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7 Ways to Prevent Stroke

Maintain a blood pressure of less than 130/80.

  • Avoid high cholesterol foods.
  • Reduce your sodium intake; aim for 1,500mg a day.

Lose weight and keep your body mass index (BMI) below 25.

  • Increase exercise with fun activities like playing tennis and make them part of your daily life.
  • Limit calories to 1,500-2,000 a day (depending on activity level and BMI).
  • Eat 4-5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily, 1 serving of fish 2-3 times/week, and several daily servings of whole grains and low-fat dairy.

Exercise moderately at least five days a week.

  • Aim for 30 minutes of activity a day.
  • When exercising, reach a level at which you're breathing hard but can still talk.
  • Opt for the stairs instead of an elevator when possible.

Limit your alcohol intake.

  • Drink in moderation—have no more than one glass of alcohol a day.
  • Make red wine your first choice; it contains resveratrol, which may help protect the heart and brain.

Treat an irregular heartbeat.

  • Visit your doctor if you have symptoms such as heart palpitations or shortness of breath.
  • Take medications as prescribed by your doctor.

Care for diabetes.

  • Monitor your blood sugar as directed by your doctor.
  • Use diet, exercise, and medication to keep your blood sugar within the recommended range.

Quit smoking.

  • Ask your doctor for the most appropriate way for you to quit.
  • Take advantage of the many aids available (e.g., nicotine patches, counseling, medication), and don’t give up—each attempt brings you closer to beating the habit!