Prevent A Stroke Today With These 4 Simple Lifestyle Changes

NYC Dietitian

Contemplating the possibility of a stroke is terrifying.

According to the American Stroke Association, every 40 seconds someone suffers a stroke. In the time it will take you to read this blog, approximately three or four people will have experienced a stroke. (More alarming is that every 4 minutes, someone dies from a stroke, making it the 5th leading cause of death in the United States.)

Almost all of us know someone who has had a stroke. Considering that 800,000 people in the US alone suffer from a stroke ( , annually, it’s not surprising. Just seconds of a stroke can change our lives and the lives of the ones we love dramatically …  forever.

But when we replace terror with education and take control of our health, we can prevent, treat, and beat a stroke

May is stroke awareness month, and knowing how to prevent strokes (as 80% are preventable) and recognizing when someone is having a stroke are two ways I want to help educate and, hopefully, prevent you or someone you love from experiencing a stroke. Moreover, just by sharing the warning signs, and thinking  F.A.S.T. (F.A.S.T.: Face drooping. Arm weakness. Speech difficulty. Time to call 9-1-1.)   you can act quicker, getting yourself or someone you know or love the treatment she needs as soon as possible. Time is everything when someone suffers a stroke.

As a certified dietitian in New York City, many of my clients come to me because they want to take control of their lives again. And they can. You can! There are things you can do, changes you can make in your diet and lifestyle, to prevent a stroke (regardless of family history!).

NYC DietitianLower Hypertension in as Little as Two weeks: Get heart healthy. High blood pressure is the open door to stroke (doubling or quadrupling your chances ).  Change your diet to the DASH diet, filled with vegetables, fruits, and other tasty options, which has been proven to lower blood pressure significantly in as little as two weeks. Learning to control hypertension through dietary changes can lower your risk by half!

Cut Your Chances of Having a Stroke in Half:
Quit Smoking and Drink in Moderation. It’s never too late, as the body’s ability to mend and heal is phenomenal. Cigarettes thicken your blood and increase plaque buildup in your arteries, accelerating clot formation. Within a year, the excess risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease will plummet to less than half of a non-smoker. As for alcohol, studies have shown that one drink per day can actually help with hypertension (think of those lovely French dinners with red wine.) But after one drink, your risks skyrocket. So put away the cigarettes and keep drinking to a minimum.

Shave off Ten Pounds And Walk Your Way to Health: Stay fit. Exercise and keep your weight down. Right now, the United States is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. By just losing ten pounds, you can significantly lower your chance of stroke. Make small goals to get healthy. Don’t focus on the scale or the numbers,instead focus on your health. Make movement a mindset.  Independent of helping you maintain a healthy weight, exercise can lower blood pressure, increase the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and improve the overall health of blood vessels and heart. Work your way up to exercising five days/week, thirty-forty minuteNYC Dietitians each time.

Reduce Your Risks Through Education and Screenings: Make sure you are checked for diabetes, heart irregularities. Get your blood pressure checked. There are some things we can’t control: race, age, gender, family history. But by being aware of having higher risks, we can make sure we take extra care to make healthier choices and ask for stroke screenings when we have a checkup.

Education is the first step toward prevention.  You can take control of your life and reduce your chances of stroke in half by making some simple dietary and exercise changes.

By making some changes in our lifestyle, whether it be walking to the grocery store every day instead of driving, or reducing our salt intake, we’re on the right path toward a healthier heart.  Today is a great day to take control of your health and reduce your risk of suffering a stroke.

Websites for more information about prevention and treatment: