- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
4 Intelligent Ways to Reduce Stroke Risk
How to Reduce Stroke Risk
Stroke is a disease that is caused by the hemorrhaging of a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain, or by the blockage of the flow of blood to the brain.
This disease affects thousands each year, and it kills quite a number: according to the CDC, about 795,000 people have a stroke in the United States every year and about 140,000 Americans die each year as a result of a stroke.
However, this disease is easily preventable. So, what are some of the ways to reduce the risk of getting this disease?
In this article, I want to show you how to reduce stroke risk so that you will never have to visit a hospital because of this disease.
Now, what strategies and tricks can you use?
Manage Your Anger
A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and two other research institutions, and published in the European Heart Journal, suggests that when one has angry outburst often, it can increase one’s risk of having a stroke.
Anger stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn makes the heart beat faster and the pressure of the blood flowing through the arteries also increases. Additionally, anger causes the increased production of stress hormones in the body.
All these changes in the body cause an increase in blood pressure, and also changes in the arteries supplying blood to the brain: the walls of the arteries constrict and the arteries become narrower. Consequently, the brain does not get the right amount of nutrients and oxygen it needs to function properly, and that can increase the risk for a stroke.
So, learn to control your anger. Here are a few things you can do to manage your anger so that you can reduce your risk of having a stroke:
- Breathe in deeply, exhale, and make a positive affirmation such as, “Control yourself! I can control myself!” repeatedly to yourself until you can gain good control over your emotions.
- Meditate when you are angry. A study has revealed that doing meditation for even a few minutes can help one to control his or her anger. Therefore, when you are angry, pick a Bible verse such as Proverbs 16 v 32 which says, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Keep saying those words and thinking about them and it will make you see that it is wise to restrain yourself, and that will make it easier for you to cool your temper.
- Say a prayer. Research has shown that when one prays, it can help him or her to control their anger. Therefore, you may say a prayer such as this one when you feel angry, “God, I really hate what Isaac did to me. Yaa is the only girl I have ever loved in my life and that… well, Isaac took her away from me. I feel like strangling him. Hmmm, but LORD, I have also made others mad and they forgave me. Please help me to control myself. Please help me to get rid of the bitterness and pain in my heart. Please remind me of the times I have also hurt others so that I will humble myself. Amen.”
Get The Right Amount Of Sleep Every Day
An analysis published by scientists from the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom in the journal Neurology suggests that when one sleeps too much, he or she is at an increased risk of getting a stroke. The study revealed that older adults (40—79 years) who sleep more than 8 hours a day are 46% more likely to suffer strokes than older adults who sleep between 6 and 8 hours every day.
On the other hand, when one does not get enough sleep, he or she has an increased risk of suffering from a stroke. A study carried out at the University of Alabama in Burmingham suggests that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep every night have a four times increased risk of suffering from a stroke than people who sleep between seven and eight hours every day.
Sleeping for 6 hours or less can cause an increase in blood pressure, as well as help to change the metabolic hormones in your body, and that can make it easier for a person to suffer a stroke.
So, try to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep every evening. Organize yourself during the day so that you can finish all your tasks before 11.00 pm in order for you to get the rest you need.
Additionally, set the reminder on your smartphone so that it will remind you at 12.00 noon and again at 6.00 pm that you have made a promise to sleep by 11.00 pm or whenever you decide to sleep. This will help you to alter other plans that may threaten to interfere with your decision to get enough sleep so that you can stick to your goal to get enough rest.
Exercise can reduce stroke risk. A study published in the journal Neurology in 2009 revealed that doing vigorous exercise regularly reduces stroke risk in men, whilst a study published in 2013 in the journal Stroke suggested that when women walk briskly for at least three hours every week, it can help to reduce stroke risk in women.
Exercising causes the body to release nitric oxide which keeps the lining of the arteries that supply blood to the brain slippery and smooth, thereby preventing white blood cells and platelets from damaging the arteries. Consequently, the arteries remain strong and healthy, thereby preventing artery rupture which causes strokes.
Furthermore, exercising helps to lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, whilst boosting levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, thereby preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the brain.
So, exercise every day. If you are a woman, walk briskly up and down your stairs, walk around your yard, or walk briskly for a distance of 1000 meters before you go to work. And during your lunch break, walk briskly to the restaurant instead of going there by car.
If you are a man, play soccer for 30 minutes every day, play basketball for 30 minutes every morning, run for 30 minutes every day, jump a rope for two hours every day, dance with your partner often, or swim for 5 hours every week and you will help to reduce your stroke risk.
Some studies have shown that fasting lowers the level of “bad” cholesterol in the body, reduces inflammation, and reduces blood pressure, all of which are risk factors for the development of a stroke.
Fasting, especially Bible fasting in which you pray to God and commit all your cares, burdens, and problems into the hands of the heavenly Father, gives one a sense of security and comfort which can give inner peace, thereby helping one to reduce stress and anxiety so that blood pressure can drop.
Therefore, once a week, preferably every Sunday, choose to abstain from eating from 6.00 am to 12.00 noon, or choose to fast on Saturdays that you are not busy. Alternatively, abstain from eating solid foods from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm and eat only fruits and vegetables.
At the beginning of the fast, read the benefits of fasting and how fasting can help you to reduce your risk of suffering from a stroke so that you can motivate yourself, and so that you can boost your willpower, to go through with the exercise.
During the fasting period, read your Bible , meditate upon the words of God that you read, and pray and ask God to give you good health and strength.
Additionally, remember to drink a lot of water during your fast, especially when the hunger pangs become very strong. Furthermore, when you feel weak, lie in your bed and listen to gospel music, preaching, or motivational speeches and that will give you strength to go on with the fast.
To reduce stroke risk, manage your anger, ensure that you sleep seven or eight hours every day, exercise every day, and fast once or twice every week and you will enjoy good cardiovascular health.
How to Reduce Stroke Risk
Do you do intermittent fasting often?
© 2018 Isaac Nunoofio