5 Steps to Slash Your Stroke Risk in Half

Posted on

The benefits of eating a balanced diet, working out and minimizing poor health habits such as smoking are not exactly breaking news, but new research points out just how powerful these interventions can be when it comes to preventing strokes—the fourth leading cause of death among American adults.

For example, researchers found that women who adopted five simple lifestyle behaviors say a 54 percent drop in their risk of experiencing a stroke, and a 64 percent decrease in their risk for cerebral infarction—a type of ischemic stroke caused by a blocked blood vessel to the brain.

The five risk-reducing habits you should pick up include:

1.    Eating healthy. A healthy diet involves consuming more fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. It also means eating little to no red meat, processed meat, full-fat dairy, sugary foods, baked goods and white flour foods or fried starches.

2.    Working out regularly. Ideally, you should aim for forty or more minutes per day of moderate physical activity combined with an hour or more per week of intense activity. However, any time spent exercising will boast benefits.

3.   Abstaining from smoking. If you’ve never smoked before, you’re best off. Currently smoking? Stop now to lower your risks.

4.    Drinking moderately. Three to nine alcoholic drinks per week is the acceptable range for “moderate” consumption.

5.   Building a better body. A body mass index (BMI) below 25 should be your goal.

Not only are strokes on the list of leading causes of death, but they are also the primary cause of long-term disability. The good news is that by following these five lifestyle guidelines above, you’re well on your way to significantly reducing your risks.

Prevention is of the utmost importance; the consequences of strokes are usually devastating and irreversible. Laurie Johnson, RN, and director of health services at Vista Prairie at River Heights, wants you to know that while you may not have the time or energy to tackle all five healthy behaviors at once, keep in mind that even seemingly small steps can have a huge impact.

Leave a Reply