Preventing Stroke with Major Lifestyle Changes

Posted on December 24, 2018

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While genetics and unforeseen factors can put you at greater risk for a stroke, living a healthy lifestyle can go a longway in preventing strokes. If you're not currently living a healthy lifestyle, or you are at risk for a stroke, it's time to make the lifestyle changes that you need to in order to lower your risk. A healthy heart and blood vessels are key to decreasing your risk for stroke, and while you don't have control over your genetics, you do have control over your diet and exercise. A healthy lifestyle, along with proper cardiology treatment in Suffolk County, NY, will help get you where you where you want to be in terms of cardiovascular health.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

You might be wondering what a healthy lifestyle even looks like. A healthy lifestyle includes eating nutritious foods in proper amounts, exercising regularly, not smoking or consuming harmful substances, reducing stress levels, taking care of your emotional needs, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling blood pressure if necessary. That might sound like an overwhelming list, but you can start small and work your way up. It's important that you make healthy living a lifestyle. Crash diets and unsustainable work-out programs may only help in the short-run. It's more important to work on making changes you can maintain, even if it means taking longer to reach your overall goals. Here are some tips for making those important lifestyle changes.

Quit Smoking

If you're a smoker, one of the most important things you can do to help lower your risk of stroke is to quit smoking. In order to quit you need to make a serious commitment. For many people it can be very hard to quit smoking. Going cold turkey isn't always the best choice, but may work for you. Talk to your healthcare provider and work with them to find a solution that works for you. There are products and programs designed to help people quit smoking, and one or more may be helpful for you. You should also avoid places where there is smoking and ask for support from friends and family.

Eat Healthy

Changing your diet can sometimes be almost as hard as stopping smoking. You can always talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to help you get on the right track. Avoid fad diets that have very specific restrictions and that are difficult to follow. Instead of focusing on cutting out food groups or certain foods, focus instead on eating whole foods from all food groups. Control your portions, but make sure you're filling up on quality food packed with nutrition. Avoid processed and "fast foods" as well as soft drinks and even juice.

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Increase Physical Activity

You may need to start slow, and always talk to the doctor at your cardiology center before you start increasing your physical activity. You should work up to at least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise at least five days a week. If you can find a friend or family member to go to exercise classes that can help or explore new hobbies like dancing, hiking, or cycling. If you can find a physical activity that you truly enjoy participating in, you'll find it a lot easier to be consistent with exercise.

For more information about how to lower your risk of stroke by changing your lifestyle, visit http://www.pbmchealth.org.

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