3 Tips for Stroke Prevention
Age and predisposition to a family history of strokes are the primary vulnerabilities individuals have when it comes to their chances of having a stroke. Since strokes affect so many of us and seemingly come out of nowhere, it may have left you wondering if there are any preventative measures you and your loved ones can take to lower the risks of a stroke. Thankfully, there are a handful of risk factors you can control, given you’re aware of them. See below for a non-exhaustive list of 3 tips on stroke prevention.
1. Monitor Body Weight
Obesity, or even just being overweight, raises a person’s odds of having a stroke. If your loved one is overweight, try getting them to eat healthier or exercise more. Try to get them to eat no more than 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day, depending on activity levels and their current body mass index (BMI). Increase the amount of exercise you do together with activities like walking, dancing, or playing tennis, and try to incorporate physical activities into part of your day. Losing as little as 10 pounds can have a real impact on decreasing a person’s risk of stroke. While an ideal body mass index (BMI) is 25 or less, that may not be realistic for everyone. Speak to a licensed health advisor for the ideal weight for them.
2. Exercise More
As mentioned previously, exercising can help reduce body weight. Not only that, it also stands on its own as an independent stroke-risk reducer. As seniors may not be the most active of age groups, try inviting them to exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 5 hours a week. Below is a list of activities they can partake in:
- Take a 10-minute walk around your neighbourhood after every meal
- Sign them up for a fitness club with their friends
- Reach a level of intensity during exercise where you’re breathing hard but can still talk fine
- Take the stairs instead of an elevator with them whenever possible
3. Drink Alcohol in Moderation, If Any
While small amounts of alcohol can decrease a person’s risk of a stroke, it is easy to go overboard. Studies have shown that having more than 2 drinks a day can sharply increase a person’s risk of stroke, though having a small glass a day can be slightly helpful. Red wine should also be their alcohol of choice, whenever possible. This is because red wine contains resveratrol, which protects the heart and brain. Don’t forget to watch their portion size, as wine glasses come in a wide variety of sizes!
Given all these tips, if you do notice your loved one’s speech is starting to slur and their facial features drooping, notify a doctor as soon as possible.