Protecting Your Brain: Strategies for Preventing Strokes

by | May 2, 2024 | Brain Health, Wellness

Did you know that 80% of strokes are preventable?

What can you do to prevent stroke?  Age and family history makes us more susceptible to having a stroke, but there are many other stroke risk factors you can control.  Making simple lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your stroke risk.

The main cause of stroke is high blood pressure, which often has no signs or symptoms. Regular checkups with a healthcare professional can  help you understand your optimal blood pressure and how often to monitor it. If your doctor recommends checking your blood pressure make sure to check your blood pressure after physical activity in addition to when you are relaxed. Some people can have a normal blood pressure at rest but experience hypertensive episodes during activity.

If you are carrying extra weight around your waist, it’s time to take action. Obesity can lead to inflammation, affecting your blood flow and circulation. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular physical activity can lead to weight loss. Losing as little as 10 pounds can have a significant impact on your stroke risk.

An unhealthy diet of processed foods high in fat and sugar raises your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which in turn, increases your stroke risk.  The American Heart Association recommends a balanced diet that is low-fat and high-fiber.  Limit salt intake to 6 grams a day (about a teaspoon).

Combining a healthy diet with regular physical activity like walking, taking the steps instead of an elevator can be the first steps in exercising for stroke prevention.  The American Heart Association recommends moderate intensity exercise 5 days a week.  Moderate intensity is defined as physical exertion where you are breathing heard but you can still talk.   If you have medical concerns about exercise, it is important to consult a healthcare professional to discuss possible exercise plans.

Small changes can add up to a big difference in your health.  Having trouble knowing where to start?  Research shows that a patient-professional relationship enhances outcomes, especially for adults with cognitive impairments.  Morpheus Wellness coaches are experts in guiding people of all ages choose the right exercises, meals, and relaxation techniques. Start reducing your risk today! 💪