Stroke is a serious enemy, taking the yearly toll of around 150,000 American people – imagine the figure for the whole world! Those who survive the first stroke walk in danger of a second one which may descend upon them at any moment and prove to be much more damaging.
The risk of the re-occurrence being higher, one should be aware of some simple measures to prevent it happening; if you belong with the lucky ones who never had one, these tips will take you further away from the misfortune.
1. Strengthen yourself by walking
You may have no time for a good strenuous workout, but it will cost you little trouble to find an opportunity to walk some distance every day. You don’t have to make it a long one from the start, just a short walk to get into the habit.
Doctors state that walking is a powerful counter-measure, reducing the stroke risk by over 25% if you walk for 2 and more hours every week (20 minutes per day).
2. Eat less salt
Salt is linked with blood pressure rise thus making the possibility of a stroke higher. Consequently you would do well to reduce your intake of salt and salty foods like bacon, meat cuts, and especially all sorts of canned and pre-packaged foods. Go easy on fast food, too!
A teaspoonful of salt – which equals about 2,400 milligrams – ought to be enough for a day.
3. Go for olive oil
Olive oil is far healthier than vegetable oil or animal fats, so you will do well to stick to it for all kinds of cooking – frying, sautéing, baking. Salads are best dressed with olive oil, too.
A French study revealed that people who use olive oil regularly in preference to other kinds of cooking fats are less likely to become victim of a stroke by 40%.
4. Go off smoking
If you brace yourself to quit smoking your risk of having a stroke will start plummeting sharply at once, in about 4 years’ time bringing you down to the level of a non-smoker with a similar state of health. On the other hand, retaining this insidious habit will get your stroke risk up by 150% and even over 200%!
5. Have your health screened regularly
When you’re past your 40th birthday, you are well advised to have your health checked on a regular basis. You ought to keep track of your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and other factors that can indicate health problems in future.
6. Don’t gain weight
Excessive weight means that your heart has a harder job to do, which leads to a higher blood pressure. The stroke risk increases immediately due to generation of plaque. Your body transforms extra fat and cholesterol to plaque that tends to accumulate on arterial walls, making them clogged. As the layers of plaque get thicker, lumps of plaque begin to fall off and travel on, forming clots that prevent free flow of the blood. The brain begins to suffer from an insufficient blood supply that is likely to end up with a stroke.
Thus, a balanced diet and regular exercise are sure to make you look smart and forget about strokes. Please keep in mind that you may need a medical consultation before you go changing your diet and your lifestyle.
7. Don’t indulge in too much sleep
A long sleep also goes to increase your stroke risk – a Harvard University study shows that a sleep longer than 10 hours can increase the risk of ending up with a stroke by more than 60%! The recommended sleep duration is 7 hours, take care not to oversleep habitually.
Snoring is also harmful in this respect – it is linked with metabolic syndrome, a condition aggravating for developing diabetes, heart problems and stroke risk.