Maintain your mobility, communication ability, and quality of life – for the rest of your life.
Then you’re going to have to take some steps today to give yourself the greatest possible protection against a life-changing or life-threatening stroke tomorrow and well into the future.
What can you do to arm yourself against one of the leading causes of disability across the globe? You’re about to find out.
Put Your Food Where Your Mouth Is
As with most conditions, one of the first places to look for protection against stroke is your mouth. Pay careful attention to what you’re putting in it every day, and do your best to make sure you’re filling up with as much good stuff as possible.
Wondering what the good stuff is? It’s what mama always told you to eat: fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Get at least eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and your likelihood of suffering a stroke drops drastically. At the same time you’re amping up your good food intake, it’s a good idea to curb your appetite for salty foods and foods that have saturated fat or hydrogenated fat, as these can actually lead to stroke.
Keep the Bad Stuff Away
Now that you know what you should be eating, there are a couple things you’ll need to avoid putting in your mouth that aren’t foods. The first is cigarettes. Despite what they may do for your mood, your nerves, or your image, smoking wreaks havoc on your entire body, including the arteries that go through your neck. When these arteries are clogged and damaged, stroke can result.
Second on the chopping block is alcohol. No, you don’t have to cut alcohol out of your life altogether. But you do have to be smart about your consumption of it. Drink no more than a couple glasses of alcohol each day, and do your best to avoid high-calorie alcoholic beverages. These may taste good going down, but they don’t help your body avoid stroke once they settle into your belly.
Work It Out Often
So you’re eating the right foods, you’ve stopped smoking, and you’re drinking more responsibly. However, there’s still something else you should be doing every day to help your body fight against a potential stroke. You’ve got to get out from behind your computer desk, step away from your kitchen table, get up off the couch, and go to your local gym for a rigorous workout.
Get in at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, and you can reduce your risk for stroke by nearly 25 percent. Sound too good to be true? Talk with your physician to see what he or she thinks. Or better yet – get in the gym and start working out more regularly, with more intensity. The way you’ll feel after a few good workouts should be enough to convince you that your routine is indeed leading to the greatest level of stroke protection you’ve ever enjoyed.
What You’ll See
Recognizing stroke is key to a full recovery. Someone who is in the midst of a stroke will experience the sudden onset of the following:
- difficulty speaking
- severe headache with no known cause
- confusion or difficulty understanding speech
- changes in vision
- loss of movement, tingling, weakness, or numbness in the face, arm, or leg – especially on only one side of the body
- problems walking or maintaining balance
If any of these symptoms exist, don’t waste time sitting around. Get to the hospital immediately. There is a short window of time following a stroke that allows the sufferer to sidestep many long-term consequences, but you’ve got to move fast.