So, I do have some seemingly morbid statistics to give you as a bit of a wake-up call…but, before I do, Iâd first like to reveal to you one thing: preventing a stroke is almost entirely in your hands.
How so? Before we get to that, letâs first get real with the risks.
Did you know that strokes kill almost 130,000 Americans every year? Thatâs one out of every 20 deaths.
If you live in the U.S., the truth is that youâll have a higher risk of getting a stroke.The average American lifestyle, combined with the standard âAmerican Diet,â is enough to make strokes one of the leading causes of death in this nation.But not every stroke kills: 795,000 Americans suffer from strokes every year and 610,000 of those are first-time strokes.And hereâs the good news: up to 80% of strokes are preventable. That means that the decisions you make on a daily basis can lower your risk of having a stroke.
Natural Ways to Prevent Stroke
May is National Stroke Awareness month, so letâs take a moment to go over the dangers of a stroke, and how you can limit your chances of having one.
1. Diet Tips to Prevent Stroke
What you eat plays a big role in your risk of having a stroke, so try your best to make healthy eating decisions over the next month (and going forward, of course). Limiting soda, refined grains, added sugars and processed foods can help improve blood flow by lowering dangerous forms of LDL cholesterol. Replacing these items with plant-based foods like vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and fruits can improve your cholesterol profile and greatly reduce your risk of having a stroke. Swapping fatty red meat for fish can also be extremely beneficial!Another benefit of cleaning up your diet is the potential for dropping some of that extra weight youâve been carrying around. Excess weight puts increased strain on your circulatory system, which is a major stroke risk factor; as are high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetesâall issues that are closely tied to diet and weight.
2. Exercise to Prevent Stroke
As you might have guessed, physical activity is a major way to reduce your risk of a stroke. People who exercise five or more times per week are less likely to have a stroke. Opt for 150 minutes of moderate, steady-state activity each week (i.e. walking or jogging at a continuous, consistent pace).
If you would like to do something a little more intense, 75 minutes of vigorous cardio per week should suffice. Resistance training is also recommended, so including that as part of your exercise regime twice per week can be beneficial.
3. Keep Tabs on Your Blood Pressure
Use a blood pressure monitor to keep tabs on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels; this will help you assess your progress. If your blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher, youâre at increased risk for having a stroke.
Many grocery stores have blood pressure monitorsâor you can even download an app on your phone for free! Cholesterol testing is best done by a doctor, so book an appointment with your physician to run some tests.
Remember that how you live every day could either increase or decrease your risk of suffering a debilitating strokeâso start living a healthier lifestyle today.
See More :
- The Top 4 Supplements to Prevent Stroke
- 9 Myths About Strokes Debunked
- A Spicy Way to Prevent a Stroke
Sources for Todayâs Article:
âLifestyle Risk Factors,â National Stroke Association Risk Factors, http://www.stroke.org/understand-stroke/preventing-stroke/lifestyle-risk-factors, last accessed May 7, 2015.
âStroke Facts,â CDC web site, March 24, 2015; http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm.