A health life style does a lot in preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, along with obesity and physical inactivity are all risk factors that every one can control.

Ideally one should maintain a reasonable body weight and in terms of good health a BMI less than 29 is helpful.

High cholesterol can be controlled with a healthy diet that emphasizes lots of whole foods, fruits and vegetables with whole grains. Red meat, chicken and fish, which are all high in saturated fat should be kept to a minimum, perhaps a meal a week. Sugar in its many forms should be avoided that is sodas, candy, cakes and cookies. Fried food is off limits. Oils should be kept to a minimum.

Blood pressure should be well controlled with diet, exercise and medications as needed to maintain a BP= or lower than 130/80.

Diabetes can be controlled with diet and medications.

Cigarettes need to be stopped

Exercise should be something that is enjoyable and should occur most days of the week. Walking is ideal for half an hour a day. Running, jogging, swimming all can be enjoyed. Any movement is better than none at all. Work in the garden and yard work all count. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a block from work and walk.

I hope these tips will get people motivated to change. Prevention is the best medicine.

Sonny J.H. Wong, MD, FACC
Dr. Sonny Wong is in private practice in Kailua, Hawaii with the Windward Heart Center, LLC. He is board certified in Cardiovascular Diseases, Internal Medicine and Echocardiography. He has over 25 years of clinical experience and is on the clinical faculty of the University of Hawaii, John A Burns Medical School. He has been a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology for over twenty five years and has been voted by his peers as one of the Best Doctors of America-Hawaii.