Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent a Stroke
Easy lifestyle changes
Most young people think a stroke can never happen to them but strokes are now being see in the 15 to 40 years old male and female population. It is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U. S. today. Strokes are the leading cause of adult disabilities. We have a choice to lower our risks if are willing to make permanent changes in our lifestyle.
Heredity may play a role in the risks factors for stroke along with your diet and the amount of exercise you get daily. If you have had cancer treatments or are taking some types of medication, you have a greater risk of stroke; however, your lifestyle changes can have a positive effect on your stroke risk and may lower your risk factor.
The American Stroke Association lists the following lifestyle changes we need practice to lower our chances of having a stroke.
1. Don’t smoke-- because smoking doubles your changes of experiencing a stroke.
2. Eat a healthy diet-- using less saturated fats, sugar, and salt are a starting point.
3. Be physically active—walking is a good way to begin if you are not already exercising.
4. Take medicine as directed—ask your doctor if any medicines you take will put you at a greater risk of having a stroke.
5. Keep your blood pressure checked and keep it under control—there are blood pressure machines located in many pharmacies (like Kroger pharmacy) that use can use for free. If you have elevated numbers, you would follow up with a visit to your doctor for help.
6. Maintain a healthy weight—extra lbs. place a strain on the circulatory system.
7. Decrease your stress level—stress may help bring on a stroke.
For more information you can visit on line at StrokeAssociation.org.
Eating habits are not that hard to change when you make small changes along. Baking, broiling, roasting, and boiling your foods more often than frying in oil still taste good. If occasionally, you fry some foods maybe once a week, use virgin olive oil or canola oil. Experience a different way of cooking your food each day using spices and less salt.
Eating more fruits, vegetables, cereals, along with dried peas and beans are more healthy choices. You can also have pasta, fish, poultry, and anything else that swims or flies to round out your menu. Soups (the ones that say they are heart healthy or lower sodium are best) and salads are good dinner choices.
If you are overwhelmed with making the right food choices, you can have your doctor recommend a nutritionist who will help guide you to make menus around the foods you like to eat. Buying a lot of foods you don’t like to eat will not keep you on a good eating plan. So build your new eating habit with foods you enjoy then mix in some you’ve never tried.
A different way of cooking may be all that is needed to put you on a good track. There are also many books to help guide you. The eating plan for a heart healthy diet may also work to help prevent strokes.
Even after you or a loved one has had a stroke, this same lifestyle change applies to help prevent more strokes. My husband and I have used the above guidelines since his stroke almost 2 years ago.
I urge everyone to take every step possible to try and avoid having a stroke because when it is disabling,you have a lifestyle change you cannot imagine. Some people can recover most of the skills that were taken away by the stroke when they work with a therapist, others like my husband, recover a portion of the lost skills. For some, the recovery time is a matter of months, others it may take years.
If you feel you are having a stroke, get help if you cannot talk but if you are able-- call 911. Educate your family and friends about stroke symptoms because the first couple of hours are critical and there is medicine that will reverse the effects of most strokes.
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