Strokes are often fatal, but this “brain attack” does not just happen out of the blue. While it is true that the occurrence of stroke is unpredictable, there are several factors that can help determine whether a person is at risk of developing the disease, such as your age and family history. Your gender also affects your stroke risk. Studies discovered that women have higher risk than men, despite the latter gender having more vices in general.
While the mentioned factors are things you can’t do anything about, there are some that you can change. Eating more fruits and veggies, limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking are among the most common ways to lower your risk. Apart from these, here are more simple ways that you probably don’t know about:
- Observe your migraines. Having headaches and migraines is not something to be alarmed about. However, if your migraines are associated with blind spots and flashes of light, talk to your doctor about it – immediately if you’re a woman. Reduce the frequency of the migraines, take preventive meds, or do some relaxation exercises.
- Get enough sleep. Not having enough sleep and sleeping too much (more than 10 hours) can both increase your stroke risk. It is recommended that you get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
- Be active. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise daily. You can do this anywhere even when you’re at home. Taking a 20-minute walk every day can lower your stroke risk by up to 30%. Brisk walking for the same amount of time can reduce your stroke risk up to 40%.
- Determine if you have atrial fibrillation (AF). Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
All these symptoms occur when your heart flutters. AF can increase your stroke risk five times more than other factors. It is possible to control AF by taking anticlotting medication, which can also help reduce your risk of having a stroke.
- Be more patient. Being aggressive and angry almost all the time will not only promote aging, but also increase your stroke risk as this can thicken your neck arteries, which is also a risk factor for the disease.
Some medical conditions also contribute to stroke, such as heart disease, having high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and diabetes. Stay active, maintain a healthy weight, and follow the tips above to help you reduce your stroke risk dramatically.