Are you seeking ways to reduce your risk of a stroke? A stroke happens when an area of your brain experiences interrupted or reduced blood flow, resulting in a loss of oxygen and nutrients to brain tissue in that area. Strokes are serious medical emergencies that can be life threatening.
If you are ready to make a life change, a personal counselor can help. Because as we age, the chance of experiencing a stroke grows, and some lifestyle choices put some people more at risk than others. The good news is that there are ways to reduce your risk of a stroke.
Seven Tips to Reduce Your Risk of a Stroke
- Assess your current risk
If you are looking to reduce your risk of having a stroke, it is best to start with a baseline to measure against. Speak to your doctor to have a formal risk assessment done. Your risk will be calculated by looking at a combination of factors including your family medical history, your lifestyle choices, and your current medical conditions. Once you know how high your risk is and what factors are contributing to it, you can take steps to potentially change those factors.
- Don’t smoke
Smoking is one of the largest contributors to your risk of having a stroke. If you are a smoker and are at high risk of stroke, it could be time to quit. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you require any support or strategies.
- Eat a balanced diet
The foods you eat make a huge health and they can contribute to conditions such as high blood pressure or blocked arteries. That is why you need to have a balanced diet. Try to lower your intake of sugar, carbohydrates, and processed foods, and instead look for fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, and lean protein such as fish.
- Get plenty of exercise
Keeping up a healthy exercise routine as you age is one of the greatest ways to reduce your risk of a stroke. This doesn’t mean you need to spend money on a gym membership or expensive equipment, even a short walk every day can make a huge difference in your health. Start small with gentle stretching and casual walks, and then gradually move towards longer walks, aerobics, or yoga.
- Get any other medical conditions under control
There are certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol that can contribute to your risk of stroke. If you have previously been diagnosed with one of these conditions, make an effort to seek out proper treatment. Keeping these conditions under control could reduce your risk of a stroke.
- Manage your weight
Keeping a healthy weight is essential to maintaining your overall health as you age – and that includes stroke prevention. Focusing on tips #3 and #4 above will go a long way in helping you manage your weight, but if you need extra help don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.
- Reduce your alcohol intake
If you are a drinker, consider indulging a little less often to reduce your risk of a stroke. If you do enjoy having a few drinks throughout the week, try limiting yourself to one drink per day – and always make sure to check with your doctor to determine how alcohol may affect any medications that you are taking.
If you are at high risk and need to learn new ways to reduce your risk of a stroke, reach out and connect with a professional. There are resources such as the Trillium Communities and their care home in Victoria BC, St Charles Manor. Kendall can help connect you with the resources you need.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.