Four Ways to Reduce your Risk for Stroke
 
A stroke can occur when blood flow to part of the brain is cut off, depriving brain cells of the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive. While there are some factors you can’t control, like your family history, age, gender and ethnic origin, there are ways you can lower your risk for stroke and lead a healthier life.
 
In recognition of Stroke Awareness Month, here are few stroke prevention tips:
 

  
1. Keep your blood pressure low

High blood pressure is a huge factor, doubling or even quadrupling your stroke risk (in both men and women) if it is not controlled, as it weakens your artery walls. You can lower your risk of stroke by 30-40% if you keep your blood pressure below your target levels.
 
2. Make healthy choices

Like everything in health, the best thing you can do is to eat a balanced diet and exercise. Complications from obesity can raise your odds of having a stroke. Losing as little as 10 pounds can have a real impact on your stroke risk.
 
3. Treat any existing conditions

Conditions like atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol, sleep apnea or diabetes make it easier for clots to form in the body that could potentially travel to the brain, producing a stroke. Make sure to keep on top of your treatments and check in with your doctors.
 
4. Quit smoking

Smoking accelerates clot formation in a couple of different ways. It thickens your blood, and it increases the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries.