Seniors are automatically at a higher risk of experiencing a stroke because of their age. If someone in your immediate family suffered a stroke, then your risk goes up even more.
You can’t change your genetics. Your birthdays don’t make you younger. What you can do is take advantage of the advancements in stroke prevention to work on lowering your risks.
Option #1: Lower Your Blood Pressure
The ideal blood pressure to keep the risk of a stroke lower is 135/85. To do this, avoid eating foods with high cholesterol content. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day. Limit your salt intake to about ½ teaspoon daily. Then eat at least 4 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Option #2: Lose Some Weight
The battle of the bulge may have been a fight you gave up long ago. There is still a health benefit to a lifestyle that encourages weight loss. Losing just 5 pounds can lower your blood pressure, improve your energy, and reduce the risks of a stroke. The ideal BMI is 25 or less. Talk with your doctor about what you can do, then consider a diet that is between 1,500-2,000 calories each day.
Option #3: Moderate Exercise
If the exercise you’re getting each day doesn’t cause you to break out in a sweat, then you need to step up your game. Take a brisk walk around your neighborhood in the morning. Use the stairs whenever you can. Go shopping, then walk around the store a couple of times before grabbing the items you need. You should be breathing hard, but still be able to talk.
Option #4: Quit Smoking
If you are a smoker, then quitting will help to reduce the risk of a stroke. Smoking actually thickens your blood, so you have more plaque buildup occur within your circulatory system. It usually takes a few times to quit, so keep at it. Some may find that nicotine gum, patches, or pills can make the process easier.
Option #5: Limit Caffeine
Some coffee is a good thing for your health. Too much coffee, when it is caffeinated, can cause your blood pressure and pulse rate to spike. For some people, the surge from caffeine creates a 30% increase in their blood pressure numbers. Try to substitute one cup of caffeinated coffee with a cup of decaffeinated coffee instead.
Option #6: Know Your Diabetes
If blood sugar levels are too high, then your blood vessels will become damaged over time. That makes it easier for clots to form. It also increases the risk of an unexpected burst, which may occur in the form of a stroke. Get yourself checked for diabetes. Monitor the extra sugars that you eat every day. That will make sure your always in the right glucose range.
The advancements in stroke prevention might seem like common sense. It can be a struggle to change some lifetime habits. Yet, when you make the efforts to reduce your risks, you’ll find that life is still quite enjoyable.