Health Fusion: 6 ways to cut your risk of heart attack and stroke. But take baby steps!

Most of us know that to stay heart-healthy we need to eat right, exercise and maintain a healthy weight. It all sounds so simple. But for whatever reason, lifestyle choices are super hard to change. I can’t count the number of times I’ve started diets and workout routines, only to abandon them a few weeks later. Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, says change is difficult because, as the saying goes, we are creatures of habit.

“There’s a lot of science coming out about change, and most of us feel like we have to do it right now, today, all or none,” says Kopecky. “That’s exactly wrong. We do not need to change quickly, and, in fact, we cannot change quickly because we’re humans. We have habits.”

Kopecky says that the way to make lifestyle changes last is to integrate them into your daily life slowly. Instead of revamping your entire eating plan all at once, replace some of those fries on your plate with a vegetable. Or reach for a piece of fruit instead of a cookie. When it comes to exercise, you can ease into it by taking an evening walk. Start slow and build from

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