To learn more about the signs and symptoms of stroke visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The Heart and Stroke Foundation also offers an abundance of healthy recipes, nutrition and physical activity tips to help you in living a healthy lifestyle.
Get plenty of exercise. Physical activity can be a lifesaver – literally. Just 30 to 60 minutes a day, most days of the week will dramatically lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Regular activity also helps prevent and control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Adding more activity to your daily life may also reduce stress levels, increase energy, and improve sleep and digestion.
Follow a good diet. Nutritious, balanced meals and healthy snacks may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by helping you increase your intake of heart-healthy nutrients, manage your weight, keep your blood pressure down, control your blood sugar levels, and lower your cholesterol. A good way to start is to aim to include items from the four food groups: whole-grain products, vegetables and fruit, lower-fat milk products, and lower-fat meats and alternatives.
Keep your heart clean and drug free. The human heart’s job is to pump nutrient-rich blood throughout your body. If you smoke, take drugs inappropriately, or drink alcohol excessively, you are giving your heart extra work. Smoking doubles the risk of having a heart attack. The sooner you quit, the sooner your risk will start to decline. Illegal drugs and even prescribed medications taken inappropriately can affect your heart and be potentially fatal. Drinking alcohol in moderation may not pose a risk, but excessive drinking does pose a serious hazard to your heart. While alcohol flows in your blood stream, the nutrient-rich blood is less able to nourish the heart.
Reduce your stress. The relationship between stress and heart disease isn’t completely clear, but some people with high levels of stress or prolonged stress may have higher blood cholesterol, increased blood pressure, or be more prone to developing atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries). If your life is full of stress, it can be hard to lead a healthy lifestyle. Some stress busters, in addition to being physically active and eating well, include identifying the source of your stress, taking time for yourself, making time to laugh, taking vacations, and sharing your feelings.