While it can sometimes feel like our health is out of our hands due to genetic disorders or unlucky circumstances, there are some ways to preserve our well-being. These include daily regimens or small changes to our habits that can positively affect our health in large ways. If you are predisposed to having a stroke due to factors like genetics or age, these are the measures you need to take to ensure you can live a long and unhindered life. Here are some simple steps you can take to actually help prevent a stroke.
Lower blood pressure
One of the main ways to help lower your risk of stroke is lowering blood pressure. According to Dr. Natalia Rost, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and associate director of the Acute Stroke Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, “Monitoring blood pressure and, if it is elevated, treating it, is probably the biggest difference people can make to their vascular health.” To effectively do this, reduce the salt in your diet, avoid high cholesterol foods, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Another great way to reduce your risk of stroke regardless of genetics and age is to lose weight. Obesity, as well as the complications linked to it (including high blood pressure and diabetes), raises your odds of having a stroke. While an ideal body mass index (BMI) is 25 or less, that may not be realistic for you. Work with your doctor to create a personal weight loss strategy.
Hand in hand with losing weight is exercise. Exercise has many benefits for your health, including lowering blood pressure. It also stands on its own as an independent stroke reducer. Exercise could be anything from taking a walk around your neighborhood every day, to more vigorous, intense exercise. When you exercise, reach the level at which you’re breathing hard, but you can still talk.
Drink in moderation
Another healthy habit to develop if you’re looking to reduce your risk of stroke is to drink in moderation. According to Dr. Rost, “Studies show that if you have about one drink per day, your risk may be lower,” whereas if you drink about two glasses a day, your risk starts to increase.
If you already have an affliction like high blood sugar that puts you at risk for stroke, this should be regulated. Having high blood sugar damages blood vessels over time, making clots more likely to form inside them. Another condition that should maintained is atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a form of irregular heartbeat that causes clots to form in the heart.
These are the ways you can take control of your health to live the long and fulfilling life you want. Aside from implementing these in your lifestyle, you can also take inventory of the signs of a stroke. When these signs develop, it will be easier to negate the devastating impacts that a stroke can have on the body. Some typical signs of an impending stroke include:
weakness on one side of the body
numbness of the face
unusual and severe headache
numbness and tingling