Did you know that you can reduce your risk of having a stroke if you make modest life changes and live a healthier lifestyle? We realize that you can’t control everything that puts you at risk of a stroke, especially if it is tied to your genetics (age, gender, race, etc.). You are, however, in control of what you eat, how much you exercise, and how well you care for yourself in general. Working to lower your blood pressure, quitting smoking, monitoring your blood sugar, treating heart disease, losing weight, and increasing exercise can reduce your risk of having a stroke. In addition, the earlier you start making these healthy lifestyle choices the more of a positive impact it will have on your overall well-being. What are you waiting for? Follow our tips below on how to reduce your risk.
Tips for Reducing the Risk of Having a Stroke
Lower your blood pressure. You should discuss with your physician the appropriate range for your blood pressure and how, if necessary, to safely lower it. A few immediate changes could be to reduce your salt and cholesterol intake, as well as follow the additional tips below.
Quit smoking. As mentioned in How to Identify Signs of a Stroke, “According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a stroke ‘occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or when there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain.’” Smoking is a big risk factor in forming blood clots and so quitting smoking will immediately reduce your risk of a stroke.
Monitor your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes you will need to make sure you treat it properly. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels contributing to blood clots. For the right treatment, consult with your physician and take any medication as prescribed.
Treat your heart disease. The heart is the integral organ for proper blood flow. If you have any type of heart condition, in particular any form of heart disease, you need to take it seriously and treat it according to your physician’s guidance.
Lose weight and exercise more. To keep your blood pressure down – and thus reduce the risk of having a stroke – eat a healthy diet and exercise more. Don’t rush into exercising heavily if you have not been active for some time. Take small steps to get a routine in place and eat heart-healthy food. For more information on getting started, check out Maintaining a Healthy Diet: 6 Crucial Nutrients and Food Sources for Elderly Adults and How to Exercise Safely as a Senior.
By being proactive and following these five tips for reducing the chance of a stroke, you will be as prepared as you can. According to the National Stroke Association – up to 80% of strokes are preventable. Being healthy, eating right, and exercising regularly are your core principals to help reduce your risk of a stroke.
These lifestyle changes are good for you and will have many positive effects. Get started and take your first step today to change your life for the better. Consult with your physician about strokes and discuss your plan to reduce your risk.