6 crucial ways to lower your stroke risk

A stroke can turn your world upside down. When you have a stroke, your brain is suddenly hit by an interruption in its blood supply. One could end up being crippled, a lifelong invalid or even dead.

So how can you lower your odds of being a stroke victim?

A stroke is caused by damage to an artery. The continuous pounding of blood at high pressure can do it. Or fatty deposits can cause a blood clot.

So what are the top six risk-busters for stroke?

1) Quit smoking

Just stop. No more tobacco smoke. Not your own, nor anybody else’s. Find something else that you love to do; something which you can’t do if you smoke. Chew gum. Kiss your partner. Play the harmonica. Go for a swim. Whatever it takes to stop the craving.

Call us; our therapists can help you on the path to quit. How about a massage, rather than a nicotine fix, to relieve stress?

2) Blood pressure control

Blood pumping against your arteries at too high a pressure is going to rupture them sooner or later. So get your blood pressure checked regularly. Especially if you have a family history or you’re overweight, stressed or diabetic.

If your blood pressure is too high, you’ve got to change to a healthy diet and/or lose weight.

You might need medications if your blood pressure remains high, or you have other risk factors. Get professional advice.

3) Dietary intake

Keeping your body fat within normal range is one of the best things you can do for your brain. Eat slowly, and no second helpings.

Reduce the daily meat and full-fat dairy products. Try baked beans, curried chickpeas, or stir-fried lentils with whole grain tortillas instead. Buy some fresh produce for your dinner.

Avoid processed foods: Too much sodium, too much sugar, trans-fats set the stage for all sorts of trouble. If it’s pre-packaged and has an “ingredients” label, it’s probably processed.

Have fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, herring or fresh tuna regularly. Switch to vegetable oils like flaxseed, safflower, sunflower and olive oil. Have a small handful of nuts as a treat.

4) Start moving

Aim to exercise for 20 minutes every day. Add some weights for strength and with stretching for flexibility. Work activity into your daily life – do some chores, walk the dog, take the stairs. And keep off that couch.

If you haven’t exercised in a while, speak with us first; we’ll get you started safely with an effective program.

5) Diabetes management

Once you’ve come this far, you know how to eat and exercise to cut your diabetic risk. If you still can’t bring your blood sugar to within normal range, see your doctor.

6) Chronic atrial fibrillation

If you suffer from atrial fibrillation, ensure you take your medication regularly and get tested for control as well. Get professional advice!

These six steps will dramatically reduce down your chances of suffering a stroke. Speak with your doctor to get some tests done, so you know where you stand. Then call or visit us, your local physiotherapists. We’ll help you add years of enjoyment to your lifespan.

Good friends, longer life!

Yes, it’s true. The wisdom of the ages has been proved scientifically in the last century. Strong loving and long-term relationships help you live longer, healthier and happier. Since you are a whole person, mind, body and spirit, what heals one so beautifully heals all. On the other hand, living a closed life increases the risk of dementia, depression and more – too early!

Some of the prime benefits of having close relationships are:

  • Being part of a close network lowers stress and has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease, push up survival four times longer after cancer and so many more!
  • Your confidence and self-esteem improves, so your body relaxes. This means better immunity, better digestion, improved heart and blood pressure and lower blood sugar!
  • Close friends tend to produce safer and healthier lifestyle decisions.
  • A socially active network delays dementia.
  • You don’t flip your lid as much when faced with a crisis because you can rely on your friends to see you through.

To have a friend, of course, you need to be one. So be on the alert for people who are wise and mature, who can love you as you are but push you to be the best – and live a longer, happier life!

Quick tip

Don’t follow the crowd. Find an exercise routine that suits you and your lifestyle. If you love the outdoors try running rather than joining the gym where you will be shut in. You need to find something you enjoy to keep your motivation high.


A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.

~ Joan Welsh

Funny thought of the day

In 1969, aliens invaded the moon.

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