Now that you know the signs of a stroke from
it’s important to work on prevention. How can you help your loved one be healthy and stay healthy? And in turn, how can you work on your own health so you can be of optimal condition to take care of that person who depends on you? First, you need to be aware of the stroke risks and determine if you are at risk.
The statistics are truly frightening. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, approximately nine in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for having a stroke. The risk for having a stroke doubles for each decade of life after age 55. But unlike unchangeable risk factors like age and heredity, there are a few things that can be controlled and treated. Pay attention to the following list in order to make the best decision for your health and the health of your loved one.
Stroke Risk Factors
Following a healthy lifestyle is crucial to good health. A diet high in saturated fat, trans-fats and sodium can raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels and put you at risk for a variety of diseases – not just strokes. It is believed that a diet that includes at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day helps to lower the likelihood of having a stroke. So load up on leafy greens, tender vegetables and juicy fruits.
Research has shown that cigarette smoking is an important risk factor for stroke. The danger with nicotine is it damages the cardiovascular system. Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble kicking the habit.
Lack of Physical Activity
Get up and get moving. It’s good for you physically and for your mental health. Grabbing a walking partner will also help as you can stay socially engaged while getting the exercise you need. Cutting down on your chances of gaining weight will help reduce your risk for stroke. A 20 to 30 minute walk per day is all you need.
Being Overweight or Obese
Carrying around extra weight is stressful for your body. It can raise your blood pressure and cholesterol. Research has shown that low HDL (“good” cholesterol) in men specifically can raise the likelihood of having a stroke. You’ll feel better and lighter once you’ve shed some unwanted pounds.
High Blood Pressure
As mentioned before, having high blood pressure puts you at great risk for having a stroke. But it is controllable, through both medication and lifestyle changes. Keeping yourself trim, healthy and active will help reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure thus reducing your risk for a stroke.
If you think you have any stroke risks, talk to you doctor, caregiver or family for support in reducing your risk. Everyone wants you to be healthy and happy!