Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 12 June |
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

8 Things you can do to reduce your chance of having a stroke

HEADACHE,WOMAN

Shutterstock

Dolors Massot - published on 11/09/19

We can't control everything, but we can take common-sense steps to live a healthier lifestyle and reduce our risk.

Sixty million people die each year as the result of strokes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “worldwide, cerebrovascular accidents (stroke) are the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability.” However, there are some simple things we can do to decrease our risk of having one.

A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident, is when a blood vessel in the brain is either blocked by a blood clot (an ischemic stroke) or ruptures (a hemorrhagic stroke), with the result that part of the brain is unable to receive the oxygen-carrying blood it needs.

Many factors can place us at risk of having a stroke, some of which are beyond our control, and some of which we can at least partially control.

Factors we cannot change include:

What can we do to reduce our risk of having a stroke?

1Stop smoking

It’s been shown that smoking tobacco increases the risk of having a stroke by up to 600%. Also, avoid second-hand smoke, which can also increase the risk of cerebrovascular accidents.

Shutterstock-PEPPERSMINT

2Limit alcohol consumption

Alcohol abuse can raise our blood pressure, as well as our level of triglycerides in our blood, both of which increase the risk of having a stroke.

3Try to reduce emotional stress

Chronic stress has been identified as a risk factor, so we need to try to keep balance in our life and engage in healthy stress-relieving activities.

EMPLOYEE STRESS
Tiko Aramyan I Shutterstock

4Take care of your blood pressure

Hypertension increases the risk of a hemorrhagic stroke, so it’s important to keep an eye on our blood pressure, checking it regularly, whether at our doctor’s office or at home.

5Don’t consume too much sugar

Excessive sugar in our diet can lead to obesity and/or diabetes, which are significant risk factors for stroke.

WOMAN,SODA,CAN
Shutterstock

6Take a daily walk

More exercise is even better, but even just walking 20 minutes a day brings with it a host of health benefits that can lower our risk of having a stroke. A sedentary lifestyle, by contrast, is a risk factor for stroke and many other health problems.

7Check our heart health

Several kinds of cardiovascular disease are risk factors for stroke. For example, atrial fibrillation is a kind of arrhythmia that can lead to blood clots that can travel to our brain and cause a stroke. It’s easily detectable by a doctor. We also need to be on the watch for carotid artery stenosis, which occurs when our carotid arteries (which carry oxygenated blood to the front part of the brain) are made narrow, usually due to atherosclerosis. This can also lead to strokes.

HEART ATTACK
Manusapon kasosod - Shutterstock

8Eat a healthy diet

Eating unhealthily can lead to many of the problems mentioned above (atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.). However, we shouldn’t make radical changes to our diet without consulting a doctor.

Although these may sound like a lot of things to keep track of, we mostly need to eat nutritiously, get at least moderate exercise, try to keep a good work/life balance, and go regularly to our doctor for checkups if possible (once a year, for example, although our doctor may suggest we go more or less often depending on our age and overall health).

Ultimately, it’s a matter of gratitude and responsibility; St. Paul said that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20), and that we don’t belong to ourselves, but to God. By taking reasonable care of our bodies and using them as God intended, we glorify Him and contribute to our own salvation.




Read more:
Here’s a quick way to check if the man in your life will be healthy in 10 years




Read more:
More Young Women Choosing Health Over Birth Control

Tags:
HealthHealth and Wellness
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
4
BIEDNY CZŁOWIEK
Daniel Esparza
Were Jesus and Joseph really carpenters?
5
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Offer your heart to Jesus with this prayer
6
RAIN
Kathleen N. Hattrup
3 three-word prayers to turn your day around
7
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.