Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of long-term disability for adults. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, serious health impairments, or even death. While age, race and genetics factor into your risk, you can follow these healthy lifestyle tips to lower your chance of having a stroke.
- Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for stroke.
- Choose healthy food and drinks. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Eat food low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and added sugars. Drink water and avoid drinking too much alcohol.
- Be physically active. It is recommended that adults should get at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, plus muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week.
- Manage your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. If you have diabetes or heart disease, work with your doctor to keep blood sugar levels and blood pressure under control. Your cholesterol levels should be checked at least once every five years.
- Take your heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes medicine as directed. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, and never stop taking your medicine without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for stroke.
You should also learn the signs of stroke and call 9-1-1 right away if you think someone might be having a stroke. Getting fast treatment is important for preventing death and disability from stroke. For additional resources and information about stroke, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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