Heart attacks have emerged as one the major reasons for premature deaths globally. Unhealthy lifestyle is considered the prime culprit in the increasing incidence of this killer disease. However, the risk of heart attacks can be minimized through certain simple steps.

1) Walking: It is a great way to reduce the risk of a heart attack. Schedule your lifestyle so that you get at least 30 minutes of brisk walking every day.

2) Quit smoking; cut down on alcohol: It has been established beyond doubt that smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease. Limit your alcohol intake to two drinks per week for men, and one drink per week for women.

3) Minimize stress: Increased stress and anxiety can cause a temporary increase in high blood pressure. So try to lead a stress-free living.

4) Track body mass index (BMI): Body mass index (BMI) is great predictor of impending heart attacks. It can show you the rate of metabolism or the utilization of calories in your body. Lowered metabolism can increase bad fats and enhance risk of heart disease.

5) Check your blood pressure: Blood pressure can be a major indicator of heart attacks. As the major contributing factor to heart disease is the hardening of blood
6) vessels. Regular monitoring of blood pressure can help you keep the risk in check. Keep a tab on waist circumference: The size of the waist has also been linked to the risk of heart attack. The larger circumference of the waist, the greater the risk – as large waists are indicative of central obesity, a major risk for heart disease.

7) Monitor lipid levels: You need to undergo regular cholesterol level checks, as, imbalances in the ratio of `good' and `bad' lipids may put your heart in danger.

8) Eat nutritious foods: Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables. If you can’t do without meat, prefer fish, chicken or turkey. Consume low fat milk; and include whole grains into your meals.

9) Cut down on salts: Limit salt intake to help control blood pressure.

10) Choose high-fiber foods: Fiber rich foods are found highly beneficial in lowering cholesterol.

11) Consume omega-3 fatty oils: Omega-3 fatty oils found in fishes and certain vegetables, like flak seeds, help thin the blood.

12) Address family risk factors: Several risk factors leading to heart attacks run in your family. Identify those risk factors like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, obesity etc., in your family at an early stage and accordingly make suitable changes in your lifestyle to reduce the risks.