DISCLOSURE STATEMENT: This post is sponsored by the “American Stroke Association”, however, all opinions are 100% my own.
Having just recently celebrated my 58th birthday I’ve started thinking more about my health and wellness.
If you have been following me for a minute, then you know that I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes which actually took me by surprise because I didn’t know that it was prevalent on my father’s side of the family.
But like they say, “when you know better you do better” and I have…no more wine… increased exercise and fitness routines…and cut out foods with sugar which was never really a major part of my diet. I am being more vigilant with checking my glucose levels and making sure my blood pressure stays within normal range.
I was recently talking to my aunt whose companion, a very nice man whom she had met after the death of her husband suffered not 1 but 2 strokes before his death at the age of 76.
His first 1st stroke was when he was 60, only two years older than I am now, and although he thought he took good care of himself he was 76 when he succumbed to the results of having a second stroke.
My husband’s grandmother also had a stroke which led to her death which really got me thinking, so in honor of World Stroke Day 2019 on October 29th, I want to share with you ways in which we can prevent having a stroke.
Healthy habits can protect and improve brain function which can also lower your stroke risk. These simple suggestions are for everyone to follow even if you don’t think you’ll likely to have a stroke.
- Keep your blood pressure in a healthy range, under 120 / 80. High blood pressure is controllable and is the number 1 controllable risk factor for stroke. Work with your doctor to make sure that you keep it in check.
- Eat colorful fruits and vegetables – Eating lots of fruits and vegetables has been shown to lower blood pressure over time which can help reduce your stroke. Some fruits and vegetables are especially rich in vitamins and minerals that improve brain function and are heart healthy like mangos, avocados and blueberries
- Get plenty of rest – at least 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep every night may improve your brain function for not only today but also in the long term. Try soothing bedtime routines and avoid screen time before bed. Sleep related breathing issues may increase stroke risk so seek treatment right away if you suspect sleep apnea or a similar problem.
- Meditate – emerging science shows that mindfulness practices and breathing awareness may significantly reduce blood pressure and may improve blood flow to the brain. A quick way to be mindful any time is to pause, notice your breath and notice the calming details of your surroundings.
- Take a walk – getting active activates brain cells encouraging them to grow and connect more efficiently. Plus getting active also reduces blood pressure and reduces your risk for stroke. For clear health benefits, adults should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (or a combination of those activities). In addition, two days per week of moderate- to- high intensity muscle strengthening activity is recommended.
Most strokes are largely treatable. Recognize the warning signs and call 9-1-1 immediately. This can make the difference between a strong recovery and disability or even death.
- Face – Drooping or facial numbness. Ask them to smile. Is their smile uneven?
- Arm – Arm weakness or numbness. Ask them to raise both arms. Does one drift downward?
- Speech – Slurred speech. Are they unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask them to repeat a simple sentence like “The sky is blue”.
- Time – Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately if someone shows any of these symptoms, even if this symptom go away. Note the time when the 1st symptoms appeared.
Stroke is a medical emergency and for the best chance of recovery, call 9-1-1 for help. Medical treatment may start in the ambulance.
Please share this post with your circle of family and friends. Remember strokes may be prevented – when you know better, you do better!