Health Media Today
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How To Decrease Your Risk of Stroke
Author : Carolyn Eagle, Senior Editor, Health Media Today Category : Health and Wellness
Risk of stroke, like heart disease, has a number of contributing factors which are within your power to try and control. While increased risk due to family history or a medical condition such as lupus are genetic, others such as high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, being overweight, and lack of exercise are issues which you can work on to decrease your risk and improve your overall health.
Making changes can seem overwhelming at first, but taking them one step at a time can lead to an overall healthier lifestyle and decreased stroke risk.
• Limit your intake of sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats (generally solid fats are less healthy ie. Butter, shortening, animal fat)
• Increase the amount of fish in your diet and decrease the amount of red meat
• Increase the amount of plant foods you eat such as vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts
• Limit the amount of calories you drink ie. Pop, lattes, alcohol, and other fatty caffeinated drinks
• Being overweight increases your risk of stroke because of the strain it puts on your circulatory system. It may also be accompanied by high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes which also increase your risk of stroke
• Get moving. Regular physical activity will help to control your weight as well as improve your overall fitness and bring down your risk of stroke. If you are not used to exercise, start with walking a few times a week and work your way up to more vigorous activity
• Smokers face double the risk of stroke compared to non-smokers. Smoking thickens the blood, increases clot formation, and increases the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries which are all major risk factors for stroke.
• Reduce your alcohol consumption. Over use of alcohol can increase blood pressure which can increase your risk of stroke. For women, the recommendation is no more than 1 drink a day, equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ½ ounces of liquor