“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a saying you’ve probably known since childhood, but did you know that it’s true when it comes to strokes? Health care practitioners say that up to 80% of strokes can be prevented through healthy lifestyle changes. While the four tips we’re about to provide you will reduce the likelihood of stroke, they’ve also been shown to help prevent dementia. So, following this advice will help you stay healthy physically and mentally.
Tip #1: If you smoke – quit
Studies show that for every five cigarettes you smoke, your risk of suffering a stroke increases by 12%. And, smoking doubles the risk of heart attack for Blacks because it damages the blood vessels and the brain.
While it’s highly addictive, thousands of people quit every year. Studies also show that the damage smoking causes to the lungs can be reversible when someone quits smoking.
Tip #2: Move more
Physically active adults have a 20% to 30% lower risk of stroke than their less active counterparts. Physical activity lowers cholesterol, helps maintain a healthy weight, and lowers blood pressure – all factors that reduce stroke risk.
The good news is you don’t have to run a 5k to stay active. Instead, a brisk 30-minute walk five times a week is considered adequate for older adults who want to reduce their stroke risk.
Tip #3: Keep your blood pressure under control
High blood pressure (hypertension) is the leading cause of strokes. According to the American Heart Association, 52% of all men and 43% of women in the United States have high blood pressure.
While hypertension can be controlled by medication and lifestyle changes, only about 20% of adults keep it properly managed. Diabetes, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, and eating an unhealthy diet can push blood pressure into the danger zone.
Tip #4: Start early in life
About 10% to 15% of all strokes occur in adults 50 or younger, and young Black adults have up to four times the risk as their White peers. Younger adults are affected by the same factors as older adults – high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Young adults need to check their blood pressure regularly and their cholesterol, lipids, and blood sugar levels. Having an accountability partner to share your numbers with can help keep you on track.
Trust Seniors Prefer Homecare in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa
Seniors Prefer Homecare is here for all of the families in our area, including those who have had a loved one suffer a stroke. Whether you need us for several hours a day or around the clock, we’ll be there for you.
We also offer live-in senior care. We use a team approach with live-in services: three experienced caregivers each take a 24-hour shift every three days, keeping your loved one secure and their needs met any hour of the day or night.