Stroke and its consequences are among the top causes of adult disability in America. Luckily, up to 80% of strokes are preventable and most of preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of this condition are simple lifestyle modifications.
Following are 5 easy ways that can help you prevent strokes effectively.
1. Quit smoking
Cigarette smoking is a major cause of strokes. People who smoke have twice the risk for stroke compared to non-smokers. In the United States only, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, with approximately 128,842 deaths every year. That is because the nicotine causes the blood vessels to narrow and constrict, which impedes circulation. Along with the carbon monoxide, it damages your cardiovascular system, which leads to a higher risk of stroke. Besides, smoking facilitates the buildup in the walls of the arteries, which may block blood flow to the brain, directly resulting in a stroke.
2. Cut out coffee
Coffee contains caffeine. Drinking a large amount of caffeine causes a temporary increase in blood pressure, which may cause aneurysms and vascular malformations to rupture, resulting in haemorrhagic stroke. So you should limit your daily caffeine intake to the equivalent of two, 12-ounce cups of coffee.
3. Walk 20 minutes a day
Exercising regularly has a lot of positive effects on your health and one of them is preventing strokes. That is because physical activities lower your risk of obesity, diabetes and hypertension that are all associated with stroke risk. So make sure to walk 20 minutes a day to stay active and healthy.
4. Reduce alcohol intake
Along with limiting coffee intake, you should also reduce alcohol intake. According to research from the University of Cincinnati, having more than two drinks a day is linked with subarachnoid hemorrhage, a particularly deadly type of stroke. Meanwhile, drinking in moderation has a beneficial effect in preventing atherosclerotic ischemic stroke.
Stress can cause your blood vessels to narrow, which makes blood pressure rise and the heart work harder. Keeping yourself relaxed is an effective way to protect you from strokes. You can take a rest after some hard-working hours, take a yoga class, mediate, etc.