Almost all doctors will tell you that in order to prevent life threatening conditions from affecting you later on in life, it is important to have medical cover and live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. But what does this actually mean? How does one really go about lessening one’s risk of a stroke?
Exercise every day
Even if you work full time and you simply cannot seem to muster up the strength to hit the gym after a tiring day at the office, there are many ways in which to get your daily exercise in. Take a relaxing walk with the dogs, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the shops instead of driving or do short bursts of simple exercises (such as lunges) throughout the day at your desk. It is recommended that you get at least half an hour of exercise each day for optimum results. When you exercise, you get your heart pumping which, in turn, helps to lower your risk of heart disease and gets the blood moving throughout the body, thus also lessening your risk of a stroke.
Remember, if you are active, medical aid companies will often reward you with lower premiums as well as an array of other additional benefits.
If you don’t want to give up alcohol completely, you can still lower your risk of suffering a stroke by cutting down your intake. Try not to have more than one alcoholic beverage a day.
Get enough sleep
We all live fast paced lifestyles, which can make it difficult for us to find enough time to rest. Unfortunately, the less sleep you get, the higher your chance of having a stroke. People who sleep less generally stress more – and stress is one of the main causes of strokes. Aim to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night, and you should feel as good as you look!
Get a dog
Not only will a furry friend help you to lower your stress levels and provide plenty of love and laughter (both of which are great health boosters), but he or she will make it easier for you to stay active. It is actually a proven fact that spending time with a dog helps to lower one’s risk of heart disease and strokes by over a third!
Go for regular check-ups
While it is common knowledge that excessive smoking, alcohol and lack of exercise can increase your risk of having a stroke, many people are not aware of the fact that other conditions can affect your risk in a big way. If you have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation, you have a much higher chance of suffering a stroke. If these conditions are going untreated, this risk gets higher and higher every day.