Many people still have misconceptions about stroke as they think it’s an older person’s disease. Ischemic strokes can also strike young people, including children, and estimates show that about 10 percent of stroke patients are younger than 50. This means, a stroke doesn’ have to be inevitable, regardless of your age or family history – which increase your risk of having a stroke. Read: Warning signs and symptoms of stroke to look for; how to act quickly
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. It is a serious life-threatening medical condition that requires urgent treatment.
Obviously, you can’t reverse your age or change your family history, but there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of having a stroke. These include:
Adopting a healthy food habit, such as a diet low in saturated fat and salt, but high in fruits and vegetables can reduce certain risk factors that contribute to stroke like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, being overweight and diabetes. Therefore, it’s important to opt for a variety of healthy foods in your diet – vegetables, fruits, whole grain and high-fibre foods, lean meats and poultry, fish. Avoid or limit intake of saturated fat and trans fat. Also, cut back on foods and drinks with added sugar. Read: Air pollution can cause stroke, warn neurologists
Regular exercise will help you lose weight, lower blood pressure and achieve a number of health benefits. Exercise is also one of the best ways to reduce your risk of stroke and improve your overall well-being. Research suggests regular moderate exercise can reduce your risk of stroke by 27%. While any amount of exercise is good for your health, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five or more times a week. If you don’t have the time or can’t exercise 30 minutes at once, break it up into 10 to 15-minute sessions a few times each day.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of various health problems, including stroke and heart disease. Lose weight if you are overweight. The best and safest way to lose weight is by combining exercise with a healthy diet. A healthy eating plan that supports weight loss combined with a regular exercise programme can help you to shed those pounds effectively in a healthy manner. Here are two simple steps to lose weight and flatten your tummy in less than a week.
Drinking large amounts of alcohol contributes to a number of risk factors for stroke – high blood pressure, overweight, etc. Either avoid or do it in moderation – try having no more than one glass of alcohol a day.
Smoking is a well-established risk factor for all forms of stroke. It thickens your blood and increases the amount of plaque build-up in the arteries, which can cause a stroke. If you smoke, quitting smoking can be one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your risk of having a stroke.
By making lifestyle changes, you can significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke. These measures are even more important, especially if you have a condition that increases your chance of a stroke, or have had a stroke or TIA in the past.