Did you know that up to 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented?
Although stroke can happen to anyone, certain risk factors can increase chances of a stroke. However, studies show that up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by working with a healthcare professional to reduce personal risk. It is important to manage personal risk and know how to recognize and respond to stroke signs and symptoms.
Stroke Prevention Guidelines
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) says that individuals can help prevent strokes by making healthy lifestyle choices. A healthy lifestyle includes the following:
1. Eating a Healthy Diet
Choosing healthy meal and snack options can help you avoid stroke and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet also can lower your blood pressure.
For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program Web site.
2. Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for stroke. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index (BMI). Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to measure excess body fat.
3. Getting enough Exercise
Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week. Children and adolescents should get 1 hour of physical activity every day.
4. Not Smoking
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for stroke. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for stroke. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.
5. Limited Alcohol Use
Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women only 1.
Visit the CDC website for more information: http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/healthy_living.htm