May is National Stroke Awareness Month and a great opportunity to learn how you can minimize your risk for a stroke. Here are a few things to keep in mind and information to share with friends and family.
Stop Smoking: Cutting down on smoking will help lower your risk, but completely stopping is the best way to prevent a stroke.
Maintain a healthy weight: Your body mass index (BMI) score measures your body fat based on height and weight. Aim for a score between 18 and 25.
Get regular exercise: Strive to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. This may include walking, biking or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Eat a balanced diet: Moderation is key to a healthy diet. Try eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats.
Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol: Try to maintain a blood pressure less than 120/80 mmHg and a total cholesterol level less than 200 mg/dL. To lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, get regular exercise and eat a balanced diet. It's important to understand the breakdown of your cholesterol numbers. Total cholesterol is just a small component. If you have questions, talk with your physician.