American Stroke Association Brings Awareness to World Stroke Day October 29
October 29 is World Stroke Day and the American Stroke Association (stroke.org), a division of the American Heart Association (heart.org), which is the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, provides five tips to help Nebraska residents to feel healthier and avoid one of the most common causes of disability and death.
Stroke is often thought of as something that happens to older people, but more people under 50 are having strokes, due to increased risky behaviors, such as smoking and untreated high blood pressure. Strokes don’t discriminate. They can happen to anyone, at any age, and about one in four people worldwide will have one in their lifetime. In Nebraska, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death. The good news? Up to 80% of first strokes may be prevented.
Here are five tips to reduce your risk of stroke and maintain mental sharpness as you age:
- Keep blood pressure under control — Get your blood pressure into a healthy range (under 130/80). High blood pressure is the No. 1 controllable risk factor for stroke. Work with your doctor to manage it.
- Eat colorful fruits and veggies — Eating lots of fruits and vegetables has been shown to lower blood pressure.
- Rest up — Getting 7–9 hours of quality sleep each night can improve brain function both today and long-term. Sleep-related breathing issues may increase stroke risk, so seek treatment right away if you suspect sleep apnea or a similar problem.
- Meditate — Emerging science shows that practicing mindfulness and being aware of your breathing may significantly reduce blood pressure and may improve blood flow to the brain.
- Take a walk — For clear health benefits, adults should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Two days per week of moderate- to- high intensity muscle strengthening activity is recommended.
The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from the nation’s top killers: heart disease (No. 1) and stroke (No. 5). To learn more, visit heart.org / stroke.org.