In the United States, almost 130,000 people have a stroke each year. This is an alarming statistic and one that needs to be addressed. Many of these strokes could have been prevented if only people were more aware of the risks and how to prevent them. Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of having a stroke and even prevent one! A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked. The result is that brain cells start to die due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients. There are several known risk factors for having a stroke; however, most can be managed or avoided by making some lifestyle changes. We’ve put together this list of 5 simple and effective ways you can prevent strokes.
Go to the doctor for your yearly check-up
The first and easiest way to reduce your risk of having a stroke is to go to your doctor for your yearly check-up. During your visit, your doctor will conduct a general physical examination and ask you about your medical history. Additionally, they will probably order a blood test. A blood test can help your doctor determine your cholesterol level, blood pressure, blood sugar level, and thyroid function. All of these things can contribute to your risk of having a stroke. If you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, your doctor can prescribe medication to help manage them. If you have diabetes, your doctor may suggest that you monitor your blood sugar more closely and make adjustments to your medication. If you have a family history of stroke, your doctor may suggest that you undergo an imaging scan such as an MRI or CT scan. This scan can detect any abnormalities in the blood vessels that can potentially lead to a stroke. An imaging scan can also assess the size and shape of your brain. If you notice any abnormalities, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to reduce the risk of having a stroke.
Get in shape
Studies have shown that being physically active can reduce your risk of having a stroke by up to 50%. Getting in shape can help you reduce your blood pressure and lower the amount of cholesterol in your blood. People who are physically active are also 40% less likely to have diabetes compared to those who are sedentary. All of these things can contribute to your risk of having a stroke. In addition to reducing your risk, being physically active will also help you live longer. You don’t have to be a professional athlete or be in the gym every day to get the benefits of increased physical activity. Even walking 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk! If you have any health concerns that may prevent you from getting in shape, visit your doctor and exercise specialist for advice on how to proceed.
Stop smoking and consume less alcohol
Smoking can increase your risk of having a stroke by 3 times the amount. Tobacco is known to increase blood pressure, decrease blood flow in the blood vessels, and cause clots in the blood vessels. All of these things can contribute to your risk of having a stroke. Consuming less alcohol can also reduce your risk of having a stroke. Excessive drinking can lead to dehydration, which can increase your blood pressure and cause blood clots. Alcohol abuse is also known to disrupt your sleep patterns, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure. If you currently smoke and drink alcohol, consider stopping to reduce your risk of having a stroke. Even if you’ve had a stroke in the past, it is never too late to start improving your health!
Manage your blood pressure
People with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to have a stroke. If you suffer from high blood pressure, you can reduce your risk of having a stroke by lowering your blood pressure levels. There are several different medications that can be used to lower blood pressure. You can also make changes to your diet and lifestyle to reduce your blood pressure levels. Avoiding sodium, caffeine, and alcohol can help you reduce your blood pressure levels. Reducing your stress levels can also help reduce your blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, consider taking steps to reduce your blood pressure to reduce your risk of having a stroke.
Go for the gold with a diet rich in antioxidants
A diet rich in antioxidants has been shown to reduce your risk of having a stroke by approximately 40%. There are several different foods that are high in antioxidants, including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, red grapes, red apples, spinach, avocados, broccoli, and carrots. Consuming these foods on a regular basis can help reduce your risk of having a stroke. In addition to helping prevent a stroke, antioxidants are also known to help prevent cancer and heart disease. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is easy and can be done with just a few simple changes to your daily routine!
Having a stroke is obviously very serious. However, many strokes are preventable, which is why it is important to take care of your health. If you follow these 5 simple and effective ways to prevent strokes, you can greatly reduce your risk of having a stroke. A stroke is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the symptoms of a stroke, get yourself to a doctor as soon as possible.
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