Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. To help you understand how severe and common strokes are, a person in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Strokes are deadly, but even if you survive, you could end up with a disability for the rest of your life.
If you are worried that you are at risk for a stroke, there are eight ways that you can reduce your chances of having one.
#1 Watch Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can significantly increase your chance of having a stroke. It is essential that you see your doctor every year for blood pressure checks.If your blood pressure is high, you will need to start taking the medication immediately. If you are going to keep your blood pressure down and avoid a stoke, you need to take your medication religiously. Also, avoid a diet high in sodium that can increase your blood pressure.
#2 Start An Exercise
Living a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of having a stroke. If you sit at a desk all day then go home and binge-watch your favorite shows, you are a ticking time bomb. To prevent a stroke, you need to start an exercise. This doesn’t mean that you need to run a 5K every weekend. Taking regular walks, riding a bike, or going to the gym to use the elliptical or walk on the treadmill is all the exercise that you need. If you start exercising four or five times a week, you can significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke.
#3 Eat a Healthy Diet
What you eat can increase or decrease your risk of having a stroke. Processed food, red meat, fried foods, and salty foods can all increase your risk of having a stroke. If you want to avoid having one, you should limit your intake of red meat, and make sure that it is lean meat. Fish and chicken are also good for you. It is also essential that you start eating more vegetables. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens are great. You should also add broccoli and cauliflower to your regular diet. If you are cooking your vegetables, use as little salt as possible. Finally, start eating more fruit. If you replace fruit with your favorite dessert, you can help curb your sweet tooth with very few calories. If you start eating healthy, your risk of stroke will drastically decrease.
#4 Lose Weight
Being overweight or obese can cause a number of serious health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If you are going to prevent a stoke, you need to try losing weight. If you are going to be successful in your weight loss journey, you need to start watching what you eat. Counting calories is a great way to lose weight. You also need to exercise. If you don’t have hours to spend at the gym each day, there are specific lifestyle changes that you can make to become more active. Rather than taking the elevator at work, start taking the stairs. Rather than parking as close to the door as possible, park far away. When watching TV, you can do sit-ups, jumping jacks or jog in place during the commercials. Finally, after dinner, rather than sitting down in front of the TV, take a walk. These changes may seem simple, but they can be incredibly useful.
#5 Quit Smoking
Smoking cigarettes can cause a slew of health issues. Smoking can cause chronic asthma, COPD, and other respiratory problems. It can also cause heart disease, stroke, and various types of cancer. One of the best things that you can do to prevent a stroke is to stop smoking now. Unfortunately, quitting smoking is not as easy as it sounds. Many smokers who try to quit cold turkey end up failing. If you want to quit smoking successfully, there are smoking cessation aids available. Nicotine gum, nicotine patches, and prescription medication can all help you quit smoking for good.
#6 Drink In Moderation
If you are a heavy drinker or binge drink, your chances of having a stroke are very high. It is essential that you drink in moderation. Also, the types of drinks that you choose can also increase your risk of having a stoke. If you have one glass of red wine with dinner, it can actually decrease your chance of having a stroke. If you are going out with friends, rather than ordering a drink with sugary mixers, stick to a glass of wine or a low-calorie beer.
#7 Reduce Your Stress Level
Stress is a major contributor to stroke. While it is impossible to remove all stress from your life, there are ways that you can reduce your stress level. Talking about the things that stress you out can help. You can also try meditation or yoga. Finally, make time each week to do something just for you. Even if you can reduce your stress level a little, you can reduce your risk of having a stroke.
#8 Control Your Cholesterol
If you are going to prevent a stoke, you need to increase your good cholesterol called HDL. You also need to decrease your LDL, which is the bad cholesterol. To do this, stop eating fried and fatty foods, and eat more high-fiber fruits, beans, legumes, and olive oil.
Your exercise level, the things you eat, and your lifestyle can all contribute to your risk of having a stoke. If you make the changes listed above, you can decrease the risk of having a stroke, and live a longer and healthier life.