Unfortunately, many of you will have either directly, or indirectly been affected by a stroke. Whether that’s a family member, friend, colleague, or even yourself. A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is restricted, usually by a blood clot or in some cases by a bleed. Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke, affecting both the individual and people close to them. Not all strokes can be prevented, but we can improve some of our lifestyle choices to reduce our risk of stroke!
Exercising regularly can dramatically reduce your risk of stroke, some studies show by up to 27%. Exercise is a major part of a healthy lifestyle for a reason, reducing blood pressure and helping maintain a healthy weight, ensuring your body can function optimally. This doesn’t mean you have to suddenly start running marathons, but changing things like walking to work, taking the dog for a longer walk, or hitting your daily step target will increase your activity levels!
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can really increase your risk of a stroke. Carrying excess weight means your body has to work a lot harder than it should for daily functions. By maintaining a healthy weight, you take this stress off the body, reducing your risk of strokes and heart attacks. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is hugely important in stroke prevention.
Try to limit your alcohol intake. This doesn’t mean stop it completely, but just manage it and try not to be excessive. Increased alcohol intake can increase a lot of the risk factors associated with stroke, so swap your glass of wine for a sparkling water every once in a while!
Smoking has hugely negative effects on your body, for very little positive ones. However, we’re very aware that it’s not as easy as ‘just quit smoking’. Smoking can thicken your blood and increase plaque build up which all contribute towards a stroke. Along with all of the other negative effects, dramatically increasing your risk of a stroke should help with the motivation to quit that habit once and for all!
Physiotherapy can hugely benefit stroke survivors and help them gain their independence back. If you, or someone you know has had a stroke and wants to regain their independence, book in for your physio appointment today to see how we can help!
Article written by Abbie Parsons and edited by Nicole Jones ( 4/2/18)
The Physio Crew,
0117 951 2328