Do These 5 Things to Reduce Your Stroke Risk
According to the CDC, every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. And every 3.5 minutes, someone dies of a stroke. While stroke remains the #5 killer and the leading cause of disability in the United States, here are five things you can do to reduce your stroke risk:
1. Lower your blood pressure
High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and the most controllable risk factor. Monitor your numbers and keep them within the healthy range. If yours is elevated, speak to your doctor about ways to lower it through lifestyle changes or medication.
2. Quit smoking
Cigarette smoking and vaping can damage the heart and blood vessels. And nicotine increases blood pressure. Recent research has shown that someone who smokes 20 cigarettes a day is six times more likely to have a stroke than a non-smoker. Quitting smoking will reduce your risk of stroke and many other diseases.
3. Get moving
Regular physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week.
4. Drink in moderation
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of a stroke. According to the CDC, women should have no more than one drink a day, and men should have no more than two.
5. Eat a healthy diet
Diets high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels. Those high in sodium (salt) can increase blood pressure. And those with high calories can lead to obesity. But a diet containing five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day may reduce the risk of stroke.
Source: The American Stroke Association