When most people think of stroke, they do not think of it as a disease that affects young people. Although most common in people over the age of 70, stroke can indeed strike at any age. Learn to manage your risk factors and help create more survivors.
Some risk factors like age, gender, family history, and ethnicity are out of your control, but you can learn to manage many of the other factors, such as these:
Keep your blood pressure in check. High blood pressure is often called the silent killer because it has no symptoms. The first step to controlling high blood pressure is seeing a healthcare provider regularly in order to know and track your numbers.
Breathe easy. It’s never too late to quit smoking. Once you become smoke-free and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, you immediately reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Get active and stay active. Physical activity can help you handle stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and maintain a healthy weight.
Eat smart. To help improve your cholesterol levels limit foods high in saturated fat and avoid trans fat.
Watch your weight. Excess weight around the waist can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Consult a healthcare provider to reduce your weight safely.
Limit alcohol. Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks a day may raise blood pressure levels and contribute to excess weight, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Women should limit themselves to two drinks a day to a weekly maximum of 10 and men should not exceed three drinks a day to a weekly maximum of 15.
De-stress. If your life is full of stress it can be difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. Identify the source of your stress, talk to friends and family and take time for yourself.
More information plus the opportunity to donate is available online at heartandstroke.ca.