What takes up the most part of your plate at mealtimes?
How often do you engage in physical exercise in any given week?
Do you drink? How often and how much?
Do you smoke? How many cigarettes do you consume in a day?
These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself to assess whether the snapshot in your mind of the lifestyle you currently have is a healthy one, or one that may lead you to developing serious health problems – including stroke.
Here are some of the areas in your lifestyle that you may need to rethink and swap out for healthier behaviors to lower your risk for stroke:
Regular consumption of foods high in trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, have long been linked to many forms of heart diseases including stroke. Too much sodium in your diet can also elevate your blood pressure levels.
A sedentary lifestyle will take its toll on your health – if not now, maybe a few years from now. You may develop obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These health conditions then predispose you to developing stroke.
Like mentioned above, obesity is a tell-tale sign that you need to get your health back in control. Obesity means you have excess body fat caused by elevated levels of “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Obesity can put you at greater risk for stroke.
Too Much Alcohol
Before anyone protests – this puts emphasis is on the ‘too much’. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure levels and put you at risk for stroke. Alcohol also elevates your body’s triglyceride levels, a type of fat found in the blood that can harden your arteries.
As a rule of thumb, women should have no more than one alcoholic drink per day. We mean a glass, not the entire bottle.
Cigarette smoking increases your risk for stroke as it damages the heart and blood vessels. The nicotine found in cigarettes crank up your blood pressure. The carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke also decreases the amount of oxygen your blood can transport throughout your body. Secondhand smoke is just as bad as it puts you at greater risk for stroke.
This list has been adapted from this article by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Is there something you need to change in your current lifestyle to lower your risk for stroke? Let us know in the comments below!