There are many healthy habits that can help prevent a stroke. Although this disease can occur due to uncontrollable factors, leading a healthy lifestyle is crucial to reducing the risks as much as possible.
This condition occurs when blood flow to the brain is reduced or blocked. When the supply of oxygen and nutrients ceases, brain tissue is severely damaged, often fatal.
What is most worrying is that cases are on the rise. Despite the awareness campaigns, many still don’t know what to do to prevent this disease.
What are the causes of a cerebrovascular accident?
A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (ACV), occurs when blood does not reach any part of the brain. This situation results in the death of brain cells, so the consequences are extremely serious.
Most cases are caused by obstruction of an artery (ischemic cerebrovascular accident); a stroke, however, can also occur due to a rupture of a blood vessel or a temporary interruption of the blood supply to the brain.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle or suffering from certain diseases greatly increases the chances of having a stroke. The main risk factors for cerebrovascular accident are:
- Overweight or obesity
- Do not engage in physical activity
- Consuming an excessive amount of alcoholic beverages
- Making use of drugs like cocaine and MDMA
- Having high cholesterol
- Suffering from high blood pressure
- Suffering from sleep apnea
- Being diabetic
- Suffering from other cardiovascular problems: heart failure, heart defects, heart infections etc.
Symptoms of a cerebrovascular accident
Knowing some of the symptoms of the cerebrovascular accident is essential to deal with the emergency immediately. Although it can manifest itself with a plurality of symptoms, the main ones are:
- Difficulty with speech and understanding.
- Paralysis or swelling of the face, arms or legs.
- Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes.
- Severe headaches.
- Nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
- Problems with walking and loss of balance.
Tips for preventing a stroke
It is not necessary to fall into one of the risk categories to adopt habits aimed at preventing a stroke. Even those who believe they are perfectly healthy, in fact, must follow some rules to protect the heart and brain.
1. Play sports
Sport is one of the most effective ways to prevent stroke. It is enough to dedicate 150 minutes a week to this activity to reap great benefits. This translates into about 5 sessions of 30 minutes each. Among the recommended activities:
- Go cycling
- Jump the rope
- Walk at a brisk pace
- I swim
2. Keep your cholesterol under control
Hypercholesterolemia is one of the main culprits of ACV. Since this substance builds up in the arteries, it can cause a blockage that triggers a stroke. To keep cholesterol under control you need to:
- Limit the consumption of fats and sources of cholesterol
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Increase your fiber intake
- Maintain a healthy weight
3. Follow a healthy diet
It is very important to pay close attention to nutrition, as it is essential to protect brain health. Eating a balanced, low-calorie diet significantly reduces the risk of stroke. Make sure you:
- Eat large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Consume five or six meals a day
- Limit the consumption of processed foods and salt
- Drink a lot of water
- Eat proteins and carbohydrates in moderation
4. Avoid smoking
The toxins contained in cigarettes directly affect arterial health.
By hardening and weakening the arteries, the risk of blood clots, coronary heart disease and aneurysms increases. Quitting smoking is not a choice, but an obligation.
5. Check blood pressure
Suffering from hypertension or sporadic episodes of high blood pressure is the main risk factor for ACV.
To prevent a stroke, it is essential to follow medical advice to keep the pressure within the allowable levels.
6. Lose weight
Obese or overweight subjects represent one of the categories most at risk. The accumulation of fat, especially in the waist, hinders blood circulation and increases the risk of clots and damage to the arteries.
If the body mass index is 30 or more, the risk to the heart and brain is high. This being the case, the ideal is to keep it below 25.
Adopting healthy habits and monitoring certain conditions are the best ways to prevent a stroke. In the event that significant risk factors are present, it is essential to undergo medical checks on a regular basis.