I knew a man who recently died of a heart attack at age 47. It was his second heart attack. He had his first at age 42. He continued with his previous lifestyle and didn’t live to see his 50th birthday. I also know another man who is a decade and a half older who also survived a heart attack, but is now living a happy and healthy life. The difference was that he recognized that surviving a heart attack was a wake up call and changed his lifestyle.
There are multiple causes for heart attacks. Sometimes it’s hereditary and even the most physically fit can get one, but usually it’s a matter of lifestyles. There is a saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and with heart attacks, this definitely applies. Specialists in this area list seven procedures to follow to minimize this risk.
- Change your diet. Think low fat. Cook with unsaturated oils such as olive or safflower oil and not saturated fats. Cut back on animal products, especially red meat. Eat more fresh vegetables and fruit.
- Aerobic Exercise. Break into it slowly but you want to do the equivalent of walking a half hour per day. There are heart attack victims that now compete in marathons.
- Stress management. Learn how to relax. Stretching routines, yoga, meditation, listening to music can put your mind at ease.
- Psychological support. Support from family and friends is beneficial. Hang out with people who are more active. People who are religious or spiritual often find solace in participating in activities of this nature.
- Quit smoking. This is a major factor in heart disease. No excuses. Just quit.
- Lose weight. Being overweight is also a factor in heart disease. If you’re serious about your health, it’s something you need to do.
- Alcohol. Now this one is a real paradox. Heavy drinking is not good, but it is well documented that two glasses of red wine per day is good for your heart. In fact, moderate drinkers tend to outlive both heavy drinkers and abstainers. Everything in moderation.