How you can decrease your risk of stroke
As a neurologist, I see on a daily basis how devastating and debilitating a stroke can be. Unfortunately, the effects are typically irreversible. Therefore, prevention is of great importance. Controllable risk factors for stroke include hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking. Thus, living a healthy lifestyle, which potentially would improve those risk factors, could decrease your risk for stroke.
Researchers in a recent study analyzed the combined effect of five factors that typically are associated with living a healthy lifestyle to see if living a healthy lifestyle would indeed decrease the risk of stroke. The 5 factors studied and recommended for a healthy lifestyle include: having a healthy diet, i.e., eating within the top 50% of a recommended foods, modest alcohol consumption (not greater than 3-9 drinks per week), not smoking, 40 minutes of being physically active per day and BMI of <25 kg/m2
The study found that women who had all 5 factors of healthy lifestyle compared with women with none had a 62% lower risk of ischemic stroke. All 5 components of the low risk lifestyle were inversely associated with the risk of ischemic stroke. The risk of stroke steadily decreased with each additional healthy lifestyle factor.
Once again research documents the importance of exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle AND prevention of a devastating stroke. If you wish to add exercise to decrease your risk of a stroke but don’t know where to start, I would love to help you.
Larsson, S. C. (2014). Healthy diet and lifestyle and risk of stroke in a prospective cohort of women. Neurology , 83, 1699-1704.