Preventing Stroke: The Basics
Have a Healthy Weight
Being a healthy weight is imperative for reducing your risk of stroke. This is because obesity and being overweight is linked to several health issues like high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, and Type 2 Diabetes – all risk factors for stroke!
A tool to help you identity if you’re at a heathy weight is the CDC’s Assessing Your Weight website. Using your height and weight, you can get a rough idea of your body mass index (BMI), a measurement doctors often use to help determine a healthy weight. Another option is to purchase a type of ‘smart scale‘ which can be found in-store or online.
We recommend consulting your primary care physician for a more thorough and accurate determination of what is a ‘healthy weight’ for you!
Remember, every body is different!
Regular exercise and movement can help not only your physical abilities and weight but it can also help with your mental health! Exercise has been shone to individuals manage anxiety, depression, and stress levels- all common emotions/symptoms after a major life event such as a stroke!
The surgeon general recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week for adults.
This can be hard to achieve for stroke survivors who may have impaired or limited mobility. Thankfully, there are a list of adaptive exercises available, both in-person and online! Check your local community center and senior center for a list of in-person workout classes available.
Our online chair yoga classes are tailored specifically for stroke and traumatic brain injuries, with adaptive postures and poses incorporated into each class flow.
Limit your Substance Intake
Cigarettes and alcohol consumption are legal for adults in the United States, but both practices can greatly increase your chance of having a stroke. Its important to engage in these substances in moderation – and keep your doctor in the loop!
If you or a loved one is struggling with managing their alcohol intake you can seek out some local resources such as Alcohol Anonymous, local support groups, speak to a substance abuse therapist, or speak to your doctor about other options.
Remember, you’re not alone!
Manage your Medical Conditions
As mentioned above, we know that having high blood pressure and cholesterol can increase your risk of stroke significantly if not managed correctly. This applies to other health issues like coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), or diabetes to name a few.
Be sure to take your medications regularly at the recommended dosage and methods. Automatic medicine dispensers, calendar reminders or alerts, and a consistent schedule (ex. taking them every morning with breakfast) are ways to help you stay consistent.