While many risk factors that lead to heart disease aren’t in our control and there’s little we can do about it, like heredity, gender and age; some of them are actually things that we can do something about.

It’s possible to ward off heart attacks and promote cardiac health by being aware of these incidental causes and getting down to damage control.

1. Putting On Too Much Weight. Being closely linked to high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes worldwide, of heart attacks. Experts say that losing only 10% of your body weight could drastically reduce your chances of getting a heart attack.

2. Raised Blood Pressure. Over time, high blood pressure damages arteries, leading to cardiovascular problems. Cutting down on all foods that can make your blood pressure shoot up could save your life.

3. Sedentary lifestyle. If you’re not getting enough exercise your chances of suffering a heart attack are very real. Fitness experts recommend at least half an hour of daily exercise to break away from the ranks of prospective ‘high-risk’ people.

4. Smoking. Tobacco damages all your organs, there are no two ways about it, but most of all it wreaks havoc on your heart, lungs and blood vessels. Atherosclerosis is a disease that causes plaque buildup in the arteries, making them narrower and harder, increasing the risk of cardiac arrest. So if you’re really concerned about leading a productive, healthy life, you’ll ditch the urge to light up ASAP.