Cancer and cardiovascular diseases are two of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. However, stroke is equally deadly and a silent killer, the third most life-threatening condition increasing risk of death in adults.
Stroke occurs when there is a disruption in the blood flow to the brain due to a clot, leakage, ruptured blood vessel, or blocked arteries. Individuals can lower their risk of death or disability from stroke by knowing the warning signs and controlling the risk factors. To live a healthier life and mitigate the risk of heart conditions and stroke, there are some minor lifestyle changes that people can make to their everyday regime. Here’s what you need to follow:
1. Watch your weight
Overweight people are more susceptible to health problems, including diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, etc. leading to a rise in the odds of suffering from a stroke. Losing a few pounds can have a significant benefit in the overall health. Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the crucial ways to assess if a person’s weight falls within the healthy range. An ideal range is to keep the (BMI) at 25 or less while maintaining daily calories within the 1,500 to 2,000 range, depending on the activity level.
2. Be Active
An active body is the key to a strong immune system and helps in reducing the chances of a stroke. Make a 30-minute exercise regime a routine part of your everyday life -- you can break it into two sessions of 10-15 minutes every day. Join a gym or a sports club, go for walks in the morning or evening, choose stairs over the elevator, and try to be physically active as much as possible. It is necessary to induce the habit of intense activity at least 5 days a week to stay away from the risk of a stroke.
3. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy and nutritious diet can go a long way in preventing stroke. Be sure to add fibrous snacks, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, beans, cereals, vitamins & minerals to your diet. If you are prone to stress eating, you can substitute your meals with nuts, grains, and light snacks. Reducing sodium, saturated fats, transfat, cholesterol, and high fiber in diet lowers the chances of hypertension and stroke.
4. Limit Alcohol Intake
Having one glass of wine or a mug of beer may be beneficial and may lower the risk of a stroke. Red wine is considered to be beneficial for the heart and the brain due to the presence of resveratrol. However, drinking too much alcohol has adverse effects, so it is advisable to watch your drink measures and limit alcohol consumption.
5. Quit Smoking
Cigarette smoking is widely established as a risk factor for stroke. Smoking increases the risk of developing clots as it thickens the blood. Quitting smoking is the first step to live a longer and healthier life. It is equally important to avoid secondhand smoke to reduce your chances of suffering from a stroke.
6. Lower blood pressure
Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke and it occurs when pressure in the arteries and blood vessels shoots up, leading to ruptures in or near the brain.
High blood pressure is one of the biggest factors contributing to stroke risk in both men and women. Cardiologists at AMRI Hospitals recommend avoiding high-cholesterol foods, reducing salt in daily diet, and adding 4 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products to your diet to manage your hypertension.
7. Manage Diabetes and Cholesterol Level
High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels while increasing the tendency of clot formation. It is advisable to monitor blood sugar levels regularly, take medications on time, make lifestyle changes, exercise, eat healthily, and avoid excess sugar and oily and fatty foods.
8. Know your risk
Learning about stroke and its sudden symptoms has become essential for all of us. The rule of FAST (face, arm, speech, time) is a popular method that indicates the person’s condition of facial weakness, numbness, dizziness, vision issue, speech problem, and weakness in the arms need immediate medical attention.
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