There are steps you can take to reduce the possibility of ever having a stroke. If blood is unable to flow to your brain efficiently, your brain cells lack the oxygen needed to remain healthy, drastically increasing your risk of having a stroke. The older that you are, and the medical history of your family determines how at-risk you are of having a stroke. To reduce your chances of having a stroke, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Reduce Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is the leading contributing cause for stroke victims. Men and women with high blood pressure risk having a stroke 2 or 3 times more than individuals with regulated blood pressure. Here are some things that you can do to reduce your blood pressure:
•Reduce the number of salty foods that you eat & reduce the amount of salt you add to your foods
•Reduce your intake of high-cholesterol foods (i.e. eggs, cheese, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, etc.)
•Eat fruits and vegetables every day
Focus on Your Weight
Being overweight or obese is detrimental to your overall health and puts you at a much higher risk of having a stroke. This is not to say, “focus on becoming skinny,” because that is unrealistic and unlikely to happen if weight is something you’ve battled your entire life. However, even if you lose 5-10 pounds and can focus on keeping that weight off, you could significantly reduce the risk of having a stroke.
•Be disciplined with your dietary choices and focus on keeping your calorie intake around 1,500- 2,000 per day. Depending on your physical fitness and exercise tendencies, you can adjust your caloric intake but ensure you monitor what you eat.
•Start partaking in more activities that require movement including walking, jogging, swimming, playing tennis or going golfing.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption is fine in moderation; doctors recommend that if you are going to drink regularly, that you should have only one glass/pint a day. Red wine is a great choice for individuals wanting to drink because it contains ‘resveratrol,’ which has been known to lower cholesterol levels. However, having multiple drinks per day could do you more harm than good for your heart and brain.
Focus on Your Exercise
As mentioned previously, exercise is a great way to lose weight; however, regardless of your weight, daily exercise is imperative to reduce your risk of having a stroke. Working out 3-5 times a week, at a medium-to-high intensity level, will decrease your risk of having a stroke.
•Focus on walking; walking even just around the street corner or to the local park and back, once per day, will increase your heart rate and improve blood flow circulation.
•Doing at-home exercises like push-ups or sit-ups is a great way to get in shape and improve blood flow circulation.