We all know the importance of eating right and getting plenty of exercise – in fact, we hear it so often, we may become immune to how critical a healthy lifestyle really is. The American Stroke Association shares a particular slant to healthy living: making good lifestyle choices can actually reduce your chance of developing a stroke. In particular:
- Control your blood pressure. High blood pressure is the most common cause of stroke.
- Stop smoking. Smoking harms the cardiovascular system in numerous ways, including increasing risk for stroke.
- Properly manage diabetes. Diabetes itself increases risk of stroke, but since many diabetics also struggle with blood pressure, cholesterol and weight issues, the risk is even greater.
- Improve your diet. Diets high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and even those with excess calories, can affect the risk of stroke. Conversely, diets consisting of at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day can reduce risk of stroke.
- Stay physically active. Getting at least 30 minutes of activity each day (briskly walking, taking the stairs, etc.) cuts your risk of stroke, while inactivity and obesity increase the risk.
For a quick, personal online risk assessment, take the American Heart Association’s “My Life Check” to see how heart healthy you are.
It’s always important to follow physicians’ recommendations when it comes to caring for your heart and minimizing your risk of a stroke. And if you or a loved one has experienced a stroke or any other debilitating condition, contact the caring team at Visiting Angels. We’re experienced in providing care for a full range of diagnoses, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, COPD, CHF, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, as well as heart disease, after-stroke, and many more. Call us at your convenience at 408-735-0977 in Sunnyvale, 510-284-0000 in Fremont, or toll free at 800-969-0499.