Not all strokes can be prevented, but making healthy lifestyle choices, like exercising, eating right, maintaining a healthy weight and treating conditions such as high blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure can help reduce your risk of another one. Consider following these tips to achieve ideal health.
Don't Let Stroke Strike Twice
(Family Features) Not all strokes can be prevented, but making healthy lifestyle choices, like exercising, eating right, maintaining a healthy weight and treating conditions such as high blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure can help reduce your risk of another one.
While there are about 7.2 million stroke survivors in the United States, people who have had a stroke are at high risk of having another one. In fact, about one in every four stroke survivors will have a second one.
Efforts like Together to End Stroke, an American Stroke Association initiative, nationally sponsored by Bayer Aspirin, work to educate stroke survivors and caregivers about how they can avoid a second occurrence.
Because the consequences of a second stroke can be more detrimental than the first, it’s important to recognize the signs, which come on suddenly, and act quickly. An easy way to remember the most common warning signs is the acronym F.A.S.T., (F – face drooping, A – arm weakness, S – speech difficulty, T – time to call 911).
Talk to your doctor about medications that may help you with your stroke prevention efforts. For example, taking aspirin regularly or other blood clot prevention medications can help reduce the risk of another ischemic stroke.
Consider following the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s “Life's Simple 7” to achieve ideal health:
Don't smoke. Smoking puts you at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Quitting is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and add years to your life. You’re more likely to quit for good if you prepare for your last cigarette and the cravings, urges and feelings that come with quitting.
Eat a healthy diet. Healthy eating starts with simple, healthy food choices. You don’t need to stop eating your favorite meals, just use substitutions to make them healthier. Learn what to look for at the grocery store, restaurants, your workplace and other eating occasions so you can confidently make healthy, delicious choices whenever and wherever you eat.
Maintain a healthy weight. The benefits of maintaining a healthy weight go beyond improved energy and smaller clothing sizes. By losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, you can also reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. There’s no trick to losing weight and keeping it off, but the majority of successful people modify their eating habits and increase physical activity.
Control cholesterol. Having large amounts of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the bad cholesterol, in the blood can cause build up and blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Reducing your fat intake, especially trans fats, often found in fried foods and baked goods, can help reduce your cholesterol. Adding more foods with omega-3 fatty acids like fish and nuts, as well as soluble fiber and whey protein, helps in managing cholesterol.
Manage blood pressure. Nothing causes more strokes than uncontrolled high blood pressure. Of the 116.4 million people in the United States who have high blood pressure, fewer than half have it under control, putting them at increased risk of stroke. Lowering your blood pressure by 20 points could cut your risk of dying from stroke by half.
Control blood sugar. By managing your diabetes and working with your health care team, you may reduce your risk of stroke. Every two minutes, an adult with diabetes in the United States is hospitalized for stroke. At age 60, someone with type 2 diabetes and a history of stroke may have a life expectancy that is 12 years shorter than someone without both conditions.
For more information on how to prevent stroke, and a complete list of warning signs, visit strokeassociation.org/americanstrokemonth.
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American Stroke Association
(Family Features) If the idea of diving into a new year has you feeling more exhausted than invigorated, it may be time to introduce some new strategies to help keep busy days from feeling overwhelming. Proper exercise, balanced nutrition and quality rest can make it easier to adapt when life demands you give a little bit more.
Everyone’s life demands are different. Some may be looking to push through a late night workout or make it to the office for an early meeting, while others are looking to enjoy an outing to the park with their kids at the end of the day. These tips will help fuel, inspire and accomplish whatever your personal “one more” is.
Begin with a bang. With a busy day ahead, it can be tempting to rush out the door and skip breakfast. However, countless studies have shown this first meal of the day is extremely important. Skipping out on a balanced breakfast can drag you down all day, both mentally and physically. Being hungry later in the day may also make you more likely to overeat or nibble on high-calorie snacks. For those mornings when you’re crunched for time, grab a protein-rich ready-to-drink shake or sandwich with egg, cheese and lean meat to give yourself sustained energy for the rest of the day.
Work in a workout. In addition to helping ward off disease and manage your weight, regular exercise helps lift your mood by stimulating feel-good chemicals in the brain and boosts energy by helping your body work more efficiently. A combination of aerobic or cardio activity (walking, jogging or running) and muscle-strengthening activity (lifting weights, resistance training or yoga) is the winning formula, according to the most recent Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. After your workout, refuel with a rich and creamy Premier Protein Shake, available in Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberries and Cream, with 30 grams of protein, only 160 calories and just 1 gram of sugar.
Power with protein. Your body gets energy from three main sources: carbohydrates, fat and protein. Protein plays a major role in repairing damaged cells, tissues and muscle. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and vegetables, but the best sources deliver lots of protein without a lot of fat, carbs and sugar. A protein-based snack is a good way to recharge during the day. Premier Protein 30-gram bars and Fiber Bars are smart, easy and gluten-free options that are available in an array of flavors to provide sustained energy with fiber, calcium and protein to help curb hunger.
Keep up on sleep. Quality sleep – and an adequate amount of it – is critical to your overall wellbeing. While you’re sleeping, your body is hard at work healing and repairing from the day, as well as regulating your hormonal balance and protecting your immune system. At the same time, your brain is also recharging to help your mental function, including learning aptitude, problem solving and emotional health. Most adults need an average of 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal performance.
Visit premierprotein.com to learn how you can get the sustained energy to help you accomplish “one more” thing each day.
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