KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of the most devastating impacts of poor diet, lack of exercise and years of unhealthy behavior can be a stroke. Certainly there are people who experience strokes who have done everything correctly but there is no doubt that there are steps we can take to prevent stroke.

Harvard researchers have found that middle-aged people who practice five healthy behaviors lower their stroke risk by about 80%. This was not a small study. It involved over 100,000 men and women.

Here are the five:

First of all, you don’t want to smoke. The second step, maintain a healthy weight. You should exercise 30 minutes a day or more. Diet, of course is in there. You should eat a healthy diet with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. Finally, you can drink alcohol, but only in moderation.