Strokes can cause major long-term health complications, even death. Protect your heart and brain from suffering a stroke by following these six tips.
1. Exercise Regularly
Making physical activity part of a daily routine does wonders for your overall health. Regular exercise helps lower blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, and improve cholesterol levels. All of these elements contribute to reducing your risk of stroke. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, five days a week.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the most beneficial things you can do to keep your body and brain healthy. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains is a must. A diet low in saturated and trans fat is also beneficial. Avoid processed and sugary foods whenever possible.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking tobacco causes stress to the arteries and increases the risk of stroke. It doesn’t matter whether you are a light or heavy smoker – quitting and staying away from smoking is the only way to reduce the risk of stroke. If you need help, there are plenty of programs and even medications available that can help you quit.
4. Maintain Normal Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the largest risk factors for stroke. Monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis — either at home or at the doctor’s office — and talk to your doctor about ways to keep it under control through lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, and quitting smoking. If changes aren’t effective, your doctor may suggest medications to help manage it.
5. Manage Diabetes
Those with diabetes are more likely to suffer a stroke than those without. Managing diabetes by monitoring your glucose levels and taking the necessary medications can greatly reduce the risk of stroke. Additionally, working to maintain a healthy weight and exercising regularly can help manage diabetes and reduce the risk.
6. Reduce Stress
Stress and anxiety can put a real strain on your body, ultimately leading to health problems including stroke. Take steps to reduce stress in your life by engaging in regular physical activity and connecting with friends or a support group. Meditation and mindfulness can also help reduce stress and improve overall wellbeing.
By making small lifestyle changes and following these simple tips, you can easily protect your heart and brain, as well as your health, from the risks of stroke.