A stroke is caused by the disturbance of blood supply to the brain – either hemorrhage or an interruption of blood supply to the brain. This can cause permanent neurological damage or even death. The seriousness of this medical emergency and the far-reaching consequences that it can have on an individual’s life as well as their family means that taking steps for prevention of a stroke are vitally important. Risk factors such as gender, age, genetic or ethnic predisposition are uncontrollable but there are lifestyle alterations you can make to reduce your risk.
People who have already had a stroke will have to take the guidance of their health care provider or nursing home facility for rehabilitation. However, if you have never had a stroke you should do your best to prevent it with the help of lifestyle choices to reduce its risk:
Regular exercise has so many benefits for the body: it not only helps the body remain healthy and fit, it helps to lower cholesterol, and keeps blood pressure within more manageable ranges. It also keeps the body’s circulatory system healthy and helps it function efficiently. However busy your schedule may be, it is important to take at least two and half hours out of your week (that’s just half an hour five times a week) to prioritize exercise.
Adopt a simple rule about eating – eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible. This means food that is minimally processed, with low amounts of salts, fats, sugars and artificial additives such as preservatives, artificial colors or sweeteners and so on. Make food choices that include healthy fats and lean protein as well as complex carbs. Keep portions small and eat a variety of different veggies, fruits, whole grains, oily fish and lean meats. Regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet are effective in helping maintain a healthy weight, which is seen to be effective in preventing strokes.
Cutting out bad habits
Excessive alcohol intake, smoking or tobacco use in any of its forms and use of banned substances have negative implications on a person’s health, their social interactions & relationships and even professional life. With so many reasons to give up these habits, it is actually self destructive to continue. Women should have no more than a drink a day and men, no more than 2 drinks a day. Smoking and drug use should be cut out entirely. Since these are all addictive substances it is important to get help if you find that quitting on your own is difficult.
Control other health conditions
High blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease are known risk factors that increase your chances of having a stroke. Take proper prescribed medications and keep your body weight within healthy ranges to control these conditions and reduce stroke risk.
Lower stress levels
Researchers are uncovering more and more negative health implications of stress. There is evidence to show that stress can contribute to conditions such as heart disease and obesity. There is also the fact that stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, overeating and so on. So controlling stress can have several beneficial impacts, directly and indirectly.
You can help yourself control stress by making some adjustments to your life to include healthy habits. Prioritize sleep – adequate, restful sleep is known to lower stress and promote overall health and wellbeing. Develop coping mechanisms to deal with daily stressors. Take time out for exercise and practice just 10 to 15 minutes of meditation each day to reap significant stress lowering benefits. Making these small changes to your lifestyle could have far-reaching beneficial impacts.
About the Author:
Sarika Periwal writes family care, parenting and healthy living articles for online publications. She recommends considering the rehabilitation and after care facilities at Bria Health Services for the complete healing of your loved ones.