KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

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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.

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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:

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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.