Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. This is often caused by a narrowing of blood vessels. Older people and those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes have a greater risk of developing stroke.
While certain risk factors can not be changed such as hereditary factors. But making a small change to your lifestyle can greatly reduce your risk of getting stroke. Here are 7 ways that can help you to reduce the risk of stroke:
1. Control high blood pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke. No matter how well you feel, you should find out whether you suffer from this dangerous condition.
If you do not visit doctors regularly, go to the nearest pharmacy and have them check your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is repeatedly above 140/90 mmHg, means you have high blood pressure, then it is necessary to lower your blood pressure immediately. Learn more about how to control high blood pressure.
2. Manage blood sugar levels
Like high blood pressure, high blood sugar also can increases your risk of stroke, and people with diabetes often have high cholesterol and being overweight, two risk factors for stroke.
If you have diabetes, you should try to get your blood glucose levels close to the normal range. Check out these 10 effective ways to control your blood sugar naturally.
3. Stop smoking
Smoking increases your risk of stroke by 1.5 to 2.5 times. The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke thickens your blood and increases the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries, causing blood clot. If you smoke, quitting can greatly reduces your risk of getting stroke. Check out these tips to help you quit smoking.
4. Limit alcohol intake
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for stroke. If you keep your intake within healthy limits, drink occasionally will not increase your risk of stroke. The U.S. guidelines recommend that women should drink no more than one glass a day, while men should not drink more than two.
5. Maintain a healthy weight
If you are overweight, losing a few pounds can reduce your risk of stroke. Being overweight can not only increase your blood pressure but it also can increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. By losing weight, you can reduce both risk factors for stroke at the same time.
6. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise is one of the best way to reduce stroke risk. This can help lower your blood sugar and keep your blood pressure healthy. For normal adults, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling, brisk walking or running, every week.
7. Eat a healthy balanced diet
An unhealthy diet can increase your chances of having a stroke because it may lead to an increase in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
A healthy balanced diet includes lots of fresh fruit vegetables, and whole grains, and a moderate amount of lean meat or legume products. Also, you should limit the amount of salt intake to no more than 6g a day as too much salt will increase your blood pressure.