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What You Can Do To Prevent A Stroke?

With World Stroke Day on 29 October we draw attention to preventative measures that any human can take to reduce their risk of having a stroke. Here are 10 steps you can take today.

1/ Eat a Healthy Diet

Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol and sodium (salt). Consults your GP or nutritionist for a sustainable meal plan that suits your individual needs.

2/ Exercise Regularly

Engage in at least 150 minutes, ideally 300 minutes, of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Physical activity helps improve circulation, maintain a healthy weight and lowers blood pressure.

3/ Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a risk factor for stroke. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through a well-balanced diet (1) and exercise (2) can reduce your risk.

4/ If you’re a smoker – quit!

Smoking damages blood vessels and contributes to the buildup of fatty deposits in arteries. Quitting smoking significantly reduces stroke risk.

5/ Limit Alcohol Consumption

If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Excessive alcohol intake can raise blood pressure and contribute to stroke risk.

6/ Manage Stress

Chronic stress may contribute to stroke risk. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga or deep breathing exercises.

7/ Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can increase the risk of blood clots, which can lead to stroke.

8/ Get Regular Check-ups

Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor and manage your risk factors. They can provide guidance on medications and lifestyle changes when necessary.

What if I have underlying conditions that could cause a stroke?

There may be some hereditary or health-related issues that individuals have that make the risk of stroke more likely. There are still steps that you can take, in addition to the above, that can help prevent a stroke.

  1. Know Your Family History. Be aware of your family’s medical history, including any instances of stroke or cardiovascular diseases. This information can help your healthcare provider assess your risk.
  2. If you have diabetes, work closely with your healthcare team to control your blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled diabetes can increase stroke risk.
  3. If you have high cholesterol, manage your cholesterol through diet, exercise and, if necessary, medication.
  4. If you have high blood pressure, monitor your blood pressure regularly and follow your doctor’s advice to keep it within a healthy range.

Remember that stroke prevention is a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Consult with your medical doctor for personalised guidance and recommendations based on your specific risk factors and medical history.

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