A stroke is something that only happens to older people, right? Although it is more common in people over 65, research has shown that almost a quarter of people who suffer a stroke are under retirement age. In the United States, someone has a stroke approximately every 40 seconds, and the consequences can be devastating. Here’s how to reduce the chances that you will suffer a stroke.
1. Keep your blood pressure low
There are lots of ways to reduce your blood pressure, and doing so will mean that you are much less likely to fall victim to a stroke. You should cut back on your salt consumption until you are ingesting no more than half a teaspoon per day. Steer clear of foods that are high in cholesterol, such as fast food like burgers and chips – anything which is laden with fat, basically. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables can also help to lower your blood pressure, as can having regular portions of fish as part of your diet.
2. Stop smoking
If you haven’t already managed to kick the cigarettes, stop now before you have to deal with the health consequences. Smoking is the biggest preventable factor that causes strokes and resulting complications, like types of encephalomalacia, which can destroy your quality of life and even shorten your life.
3. Get moving
Doing regular exercise helps to keep the blood flowing healthily throughout your body. You don’t have to go crazy, but even a thirty minute walk every day can dramatically lower your chances of having a stroke.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Aside from smoking, being obese is a major cause of strokes – and you can fix it. Find out what the healthiest weight is for your height and sex by calculating your BMI. If you’re struggling to lose the excess pounds, ask your doctor for advice and consider joining a slimming group to get added support. Being a healthy weight is about so much more than looking good – it can stop you from having a stroke that results in mental incapacity or even death.
5. Drink small amounts of alcohol
We’re not saying you should head down to the nearest bar and start lining up the shots – but a little alcohol can actually lessen your chances of having a stroke. This is especially true if you choose red wine, as it has a chemical in it called resveratrol – which can help to protect the heart and brain from becoming diseased. Stick to the recommended limits to make sure you’re not doing harm instead of good.
6. Get heart issues checked out
If you suffer from palpitations or become short of breath sometimes, you could have atrial fibrillation. This can result in clots forming in the heart, and those clots can cause a stroke. If you’re in doubt, see a doctor.