10 Best Ways to Prevent a Stroke
Did you know that stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the US? Every year, about 790,000 people suffer from stroke and more than 140,000 die every year in the US. The statistics are alarming because it shows that one out of twenty deaths in the country is caused by stroke. There are certain factors that can increase the chances of stroke in a person. Some of the risk factors for stroke are age and family history, which is irreversible. However, there are other risk factors that you can control, such as your lifestyle and diet. In this modern age where obesity, unhealthy living, high-cholesterol foods, and pollution are a common occurrence, you need to educate yourself on having a healthier lifestyle. You should have some knowledge on how to prevent a stroke and find ways to prevent a stroke. If you want to lower the risk, then follow these useful tips on how to prevent stroke.
Lower the risk by lowering your blood pressure
One of the leading causes of stroke in both men and women is high blood pressure. If you can lower your blood pressure, then you will certainly avoid the chances of getting a stroke. The ideal blood pressure is below 120/80, which should be your goal if you are prone to high blood pressure. The first step to achieving this goal is by constantly monitoring your blood pressure. You also need to find out the reasons why your blood pressure is elevating. Some of the ways to control your blood pressure are by following these methods:
1. Minimize or completely avoid high cholesterol foods such as ice cream, burgers, and sweets.
2. Limit your intake of salt. The ideal amount should be no more than half a teaspoon per day.
3. Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes or more.
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables daily. You need to have a more balanced diet consisting of fish, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.
5. Stop smoking. If you are a heavy smoker, this is the best time to consider quitting.
Exercise at least 5 days a week
Although exercise is recommended to treat high blood pressure and reduce weight, it is also one of the most effective ways to prevent a stroke. In one study, they found that men and women who were engaged in regular exercise or high physical activity were closely linked to lower risk of stroke.
Your goal is to exercise at least five days a week at a moderate intensity. This keeps your heart stronger, which means there is less effort for your heart to pump blood, thus lowering the blood pressure. Exercise can also help control the cholesterol level in the body.
If you are always very busy and you can’t fit at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily schedule, then you can break it up into 15 minute sessions twice a day. Also, the moderate intensity exercise that you are aiming at is when you are breathing hard, but you can still manage to talk.
Always drink in moderation
Alcohol can raise the risk of stroke if you are having more than two drinks per day. One glass of alcohol in one day is safe, but if you exceed that number, your risk rises sharply. If it is difficult for you to control your drinking habit, then prioritize drinking red wine because it contains resveratrol that is healthy for your brain and heart.
Too much drinking is also closely linked with subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is a deadly type of stroke that is caused by a rupture of the blood vessels in the brain. This condition tends to victimize women who are premenopausal.
Smoking can cause the thickening of the blood and increases the plaque buildup in the arteries. This will speed up blood clot formation, which can elevate the risk of stroke. It may be difficult to quit smoking, but it is necessary if you want to have a healthier and longer life. In a recent study, women who smoke one pack of cigarette per day have a higher risk of developing hypertension. The nicotine and carbon monoxide can also do much damage to the cardiovascular system, which makes the person more susceptible to stroke.
There are several ways to quit smoking. You can talk to your doctor regarding the most suitable method for you. There are also medicines, nicotine patches and pills, and quit-smoking aids that can assist you on your path towards a smoke-free life.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet
It is a common knowledge that junk foods and most fast foods are high in cholesterol, which can result in high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. Also, diets that consist mostly of saturated fats are not good for you health. Processed foods and most unhealthy foods contain high levels of sodium that can also contribute to the spike in blood pressure.
If your diet is high in cholesterol, keep in mind that cholesterol clogs the arteries, which increases the risk of blood clotting. When this happens, you are more at risk of having a stroke. Doctors recommend consuming five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Your body also needs a balanced intake of nutrition to maintain a good overall health.
Control your weight
Obesity and being overweight is always closely associated with stroke. When you gain more than 22 pounds of weight after the age of 18, then you are increasing your risk of having a stroke. If you can manage to lose at least 10 pounds, this will have a positive effect on your health and it will definitely lower the risk of stroke.
It is important to keep your body mass index or BMI at 25 or less. This can be achieved by having a calorie intake of not more than 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day. Aside from doing a regular exercise routine, you can still increase your physical activities by going into sports. You will need a lot of self-discipline and commitment to keep your weight at a normal level.
Stay away from stress
Stress is a part of the modern lifestyle for so many people. Usually, the workplace is the biggest cause of stress and it can have a very negative impact on a person’s health. Sometimes, if stress is frequent and severe, it can lead to heart disease and even sudden death. This is the reason why it is important to stay away from stress or control your mind from being too stressed out. There are many ways that you can maintain your focus and keep yourself calm during a stressful situation. You can try to learn yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises to free yourself from stress. Read More – Yoga Poses For Anxiety And Stress
Treat Your Migraine
A person who frequently have migraines, especially if it comes with blind spots and flashes of light, are more likely to have a higher risk of stroke. Women are more susceptible to this condition because they always have hormonal fluctuations.
Experts believe that trying to treat and reduce the frequency of a migraine can help in lowering the risk of stroke. It would be helpful if you can talk to your doctor about your frequent migraines so they can prescribe medications or provide some stress management techniques.
Cure your atrial fibrillation
If you have atrial fibrillation, you are dangerously at risk of having a stroke. Atrial fibrillation occurs when there is irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and lightheadedness, which can cause clots to form in the heart. This clot can travel up to the brain, which can lead to a stroke. Atrial fibrillation should be taken seriously and treated immediately.
There are more than two million Americans today who have atrial fibrillation. Most of them are taking medications to prevent clotting, which can lower the risk of stroke. If you experience any heart palpitation and shortness of breath, you should consult your doctor to be tested for atrial fibrillation. Your doctor can provide medications to treat this type of heart condition.
Learn to Control Your Temper
A study has found that being angry, aggressive, and being short-tempered is closely associated with stroke. People with antagonistic traits usually have much thicker neck arteries, which is considered as a risk factor for stroke. You should learn to control your temper and try to lengthen your patience. There are some effective therapies that can help to manage your anger.
There are still other ways on how to prevent a stroke from happening. It is also necessary to be aware of your risk factors and learn more about the symptoms of stroke. Doctors recommend that if you feel any unusual symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately. It is critical to get professional care immediately when a stroke occurs.
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and look after your weight. If you think that your current lifestyle gets in the way of being healthy, then it’s time for some major changes. Try to follow the tips we provided above on how to prevent stroke and commit to change for the better.