Converting high risk into low risk
r.classen/Shutterstock Between 1950 and 2000, the death rate from heart disease in the United States plummeted nearly 70 percent, and the death rate from stroke nearly 80 percent. However, although we’re dying of heart attack and stroke less often, we’re still getting cardiovascular disease just as often. In fact, some factors that put us at risk, such as obesity and diabetes, have become more common.
We’re dying less often because of the technological and pharmacological advances of modern medicine. But is your idea of a healthy future being pulled back from the brink by bypass surgery? Needing a personal secretary to keep track of your medications? Better living through angioplasty?
We thought not. Far preferable is learning how to prevent heart disease altogether. It can take some work to convert a high risk for cardiovascular disease into a low risk. But we’re here to tell you that it can be done! You know the mission we’re on: putting the power of stealth at the service of your health. Make these small changes to your daily routine, and they add up to a powerful dose of heart disease prevention—no coronary care units or intra-aortic balloon pumps required. Don’t miss these things that heart doctors do to protect their own hearts.
Ride your bike 20 minutes a day
Roman-Samborskyi/Shutterstock When German researchers had 100 men with mild chest pain, or angina, either exercise 20 minutes a day on a stationary bike or undergo an artery-clearing procedure called angioplasty, they found that a year after the angioplasty, 21 men suffered a heart attack, stroke, or other problem compared to only 6 of the bikers. Just remember that if you already have angina, you should only begin an exercise program under medical supervision. Make sure to follow these tips to be a safer cycler.