According to the CDC, nearly 800,000 Americans suffer from a stroke every year, and of these cases, almost 130,000 of them result in death. There are many lifestyle habits that contribute to the likelihood of a stroke, and the odds of having one only increase with age. With a few changes, however, minimizing the risk of a stroke is easily within reach.
A regular smoker is much more likely to have a stroke than someone who abstains. Refraining from smoking cigarettes and cigars comes with a number of health benefits, including lowered chance of heart disease, but it’s also one of the most important aspects of lowering the chance of having a stroke.
It doesn’t take the lifestyle of a professional athlete to reduce the likelihood of having a stroke. Even moderate aerobic activity 30 minutes a day, five times a week plays a huge role in staving off strokes. Activities like brisk walking, jogging or bike riding are all that’s needed to lower the risk of a stroke.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Like smoking, alcohol is an extremely dangerous activity for those at risk for a stroke. Heavy alcohol intake ultimately leads to increase blood pressure, which is one of the main causes of a stroke. If drinking does occur, limit the amount to no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
Get Proper Rest
Don’t underestimate the importance of a full night’s sleep when it comes to reducing the risk of a stroke. No one who regularly gets an insufficient amount of sleep is in optimal health, and any health risk only adds to the likelihood of a stroke occurring. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to achieve a proper restfulness.
Monitor Cholesterol Levels
Like high blood pressure, a high cholesterol level greatly increases the chance of a stroke. Watch the cholesterol level closely and make necessary adjustments as needed. Resort to medication if necessary, but living an active lifestyle and eating healthy foods is a great way to ensure the cholesterol levels don’t get too high.
Although not everyone is safe taking aspirin daily, it does help to prevent blood clots by thinning the blood. Check with a doctor first, but if given clearance, regularly taking aspirin can be an excellent method of lowering the chance of a stroke.
Cigarette smoking by Paolo Neo