Stroke is one of Australia's biggest killers, here's how you can reduce your risk.
Many people think a stroke will never happen to them, or at least not until they’re old.
But in reality, a third of strokes occur in Australians before they turn 65.
While not all strokes are fatal, many cause ongoing disability.
Around 65% of stroke survivors have ongoing needs that impact their everyday life and require help from a family member or carer. These include things we often take for granted like walking, showering and communication.
The good news? Eight in 10 strokes can be prevented!
Here are five ways you can reduce your risk of stroke and improve your overall health and wellbeing:
1. Quit smoking: Did you know smoking doubles your risk of stroke? If you're a smoker, your risk of a sudden, debilitating stroke is going up and up. How? Smoking increases blood pressure and reduces oxygen in the blood. Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 toxic chemicals which are deposited on the lungs or absorbed into the bloodstream, damaging blood vessel walls, narrowing and hardening arteries. Smoking also makes the blood stickier, increasing the risk of blood clots forming.
2. Keep your blood pressure in check: High blood pressure is a key risk factor for stroke – and , it can be managed.
3. Move your body more: Getting active every day not only lowers your chances of having a stroke, it's also great for your mental health. Explore new active ideas here.
4. Drink less: Drinking six or more standard alcoholic drinks a day increases your risk of stroke. Cutting back can help lower your blood pressure, as well as your stroke risk.
5. Fill up on healthy food: Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups every day for a healthier body and lower stroke risk. For healthy food inspiration, the Stroke Foundation have these tips.
For more information on how you can reduce your risk, head to: https://strokefoundation.org.au/About-Stroke/Preventing-stroke