The bad news about strokes is that the old adage “you can run, but you can’t hide” is alarmingly appropriate. No matter how healthy or how careful you are, no one can completely prevent a stroke; some factors are just out of your control, such as age and family history.
However, there is some good news: Many researchers believe that almost 80% of strokes can be prevented. What’s even better news is that a stroke prevention plan doesn’t involve any strange powders or unpleasant treatments. In fact, all it requires is that you follow some basic philosophies for overall good health.
If you’re looking to reduce your stroke risk, start with these simple steps:
You’ve never had a better excuse to lose a few pounds. Obesity, along with its many other health risks, goes hand-in-hand with a stroke. Believe it or not, even losing 10 pounds can make a huge difference.
Maintaining a healthy weight will not only reduce your risk of stroke, but many other ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Both of these ailments are stepping stones to a stroke since they are likely to produce more blood clots in the body, which can eventually reach your brain, causing a stroke.
Cutting out those few extra strips of bacon is a small price to pay since studies have shown that having high blood pressure can quadruple your chances of having a stroke. A normal, healthy blood pressure reading is less than 120 over 80. If you need to reduce your numbers, work closely with your physician to get an individualized plan that includes eating right and exercising regularly.
Similar to obesity and high blood pressure, smoking cigarettes fosters a whole host of medical problems, one of which is blood thickening. This, along with increased plaque production in the arteries creates the perfect storm for a stroke.
That’s right – have a drink, especially red wine. The resveratrol found in wine has proven to be beneficial to the body, as well as a stress reducer. That being said, one drink per day can reduce your chance of having a stroke. However, anything over two drinks per day may actually increase your probability of a stroke, so monitor your intake carefully.
Talk to your doctor and ask him about taking a baby aspirin. Aspirin is a gentle blood thinner as well as a pain reducer. Thanks to this, it can help prevent blockages and clots that could have otherwise lead to a stroke.