Stroke Prevention

Health, Home & Family
on March 27, 2012

Strokes are serious medical emergencies. The good news is you can prevent a stroke from happening with awareness of stroke prevention. The National Stroke Association states that as many as 80 percent of stokes can be stopped before they start. Adding these five steps to your lifestyle can make the difference.

Monitor blood pressure. Keep track of your blood pressure yearly, if not more often. Local supermarkets, pharmacies and other stores often have free blood pressure checking machines. Use them. You may wish to purchase your own home blood pressure machine. Many inexpensive models are available on the Internet. If blood pressure climbs out of the normal range, quick treatment of hypertension will help reduce your risk of having a stroke.

Toss the cigarettes. If you smoke, you can cut your chances of having a stroke in half by kicking the habit. Smoking damages delicate blood vessels, causes arteries to clog, raises blood pressure and forces the heart to work harder than is normal.

Limit alcohol or quit altogether. For most people, alcohol in limited moderation should not pose a problem. According to the National Stroke Association, alcohol may increase the risk of stroke.

Manage blood cholesterol. Know what normal cholesterol levels are, and monitor your cholesterol with routine visits to the doctor and regular blood tests. Some cholesterol is made in the body, but additional cholesterol comes in the foods you eat. High blood cholesterol should be treated to reduce the risk of stroke.

Healthy living with diet and exercise. A great way to reduce your risk of stroke, other diseases and improve your mood is to make healthy lifestyle choices. If you are overweight, you increase the risk of stroke. Excessive weight strains the circulatory system. Your diet should include lean meats and fish, plus plenty of fruits and veggies. Steer clear of salt and fat, particularly bad fat like saturated fat and trans fat. Additionally, light to moderate exercise three to five times a week will bolster your overall heath, particularly the circulatory system.