Strokes don’t usually come out of the blue. Nobody can predict the precise time when a stroke will strike. But more than two dozen factors make it more likely a person will suffer a stroke.
Some things you can’t do much about, like age and family history of stroke. But even when an underlying medical condition puts you at risk, you might be able to do something about it.
There are ways in which you can greatly reduce your risk of having a stroke. So if you’re up for it, then you’ve come to the right place.
1. Exercise in moderation
Engaging in moderate exercise decreases your risk of heart attack by 30% to 50%. Try to work out for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week. Regular exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy weight. It will improve your heart function and blood circulation, it will also lower your cholesterol level and maintain a healthy level of blood pressure.
2. Control alcohol use
In some studies, drinking lots of alcohol has been negatively linked to stroke. For example, more than 2 drinks per day may increase stroke risk by 50%.
3. Weight management
By losing just 5-10% of your body weight, you improve your cholesterol, lower blood pressure and blood sugar. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are major risk factors for stroke. Also people with diabetes are up to 4 times more likely to have a stroke.
4. Eat a proper nutrition
You are what you eat. So it makes sense to eat healthy. By eating a healthy diet full of wholesome foods, consisting of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish, you could reduce your risk of developing a stroke by a whopping 25%.
5. Don’t smoke
Even if you don’t smoke, but spend a lot of time with someone who does, then you are also at risk. It is shocking, but each year, about 46,000 people die from heart disease related to their exposure to second-hand smoke.
6. Visit your dentist
This is a less obvious tip, but worthwhile following: getting your teeth cleaned every 6 months may lower your risk of heart attack by 24% and of stroke by 13%. A dentist can also recognize signs of heart disease — such as swollen gums or loose teeth — before you or your doctor pick up on symptoms, which means you can get treatment earlier.
7. Watch for unusual symptoms
It’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to any unusual symptoms, such as shortness of breath, changes in heart rhythm and exhaustion. Your doctor is there to help you, so don’t hesitate making an appointment.