The Virginia Department of Health's Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program and the Million Hearts™ initiative to fight heart disease offer guidelines to help prevent heart disease:
Obesity can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. To keep your body at a healthy weight and to fight high blood pressure and cholesterol, make physical activity part of your daily routine. Try to fit in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. For example, you could take a brisk 10-minute walk 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. One in 3 U.S. adults has high blood pressure, and half of these individuals do not have their condition under control. Similarly, high cholesterol affects 1 in 3 American adults, and two-thirds of these individuals do not have the condition under control. Half of adults with high cholesterol do not get treatment. If your blood pressure or cholesterol is high, take steps to lower it. This could include eating a healthier diet, getting more exercise, and following your doctor's instructions about medications you take.
Share your health history, get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked, and ask if taking an aspirin each day is right for you.
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you're a smoker, quit as soon as possible, and if you don't smoke, don't start. You can also support smoke-free policies in your community and try to avoid secondhand smoke.
Updated on: 3/5/2019