Stroke is common and serious. But we can also lower our risk through exercise and other lifestyle habits. And spotting the symptoms early can greatly lower the odds of permanent damage, according to the American Heart Association.
Doctors recommend exercise and healthy eating to improve overall heart health. They also suggest maintaining a healthy weight, drinking only in moderation, and not smoking.
Stroke is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. It can be fatal. Some 800,000 strokes occur annually in the US alone.
And the AHA has a handy way to educate us about spotting a stroke early enough to get help that could save a life or greatly mitigate permanent damage.
Face: One side of the face is drooping.
Arms: Arm or leg weakness.
Speech: Speech difficulty.
Time: Time to call for an ambulance immediately.
With February cited as American Heart Month, the AHA also points out:
Stroke risk increases with age.
African-Americans are twice as likely for a first-time stroke as white people.
High blood pressure contributes to 75 percent of first strokes.
Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
More exercise brings more benefits.
Keep exercising and eating right even if you’re on medicine for high blood pressure and cholesterol.
It’s all just more encouragement to live a healthy life and to encourage loved ones to exercise, eat right, and practice other positive daily choices. Visit the heart association or talk to your doctor to learn more.