Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S., but did you know that the National Stroke Association says that up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable?
Lifestyle changes can go a long way toward the prevention of a stroke. There are ways to manage your risk outside of the doctor’s office and we suggest the following:
- Stop Smoking—Smoking accelerates clot formation, thickens blood and increases the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Adopt a Healthy Diet—Try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with foods that are high in fiber. Limiting salt can help lower your blood pressure. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats, may reduce the plaque in arteries.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight—Carrying extra weight can make you more apt to develop high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes—which can all increase the risk for stroke.
- Be Active—Physical activity can help you lose weight and reduce stress—which can lower blood pressure.
- Drink Less—Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure and the risk of stroke.