Preventing a Stroke Adds 12 1/2 Years to Your Life

Protecting yourself from stroke is one of the most effective ways to add years to your life.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and around the world. Approximately 10-15% of stroke sufferers die within a year of having a stroke. Stroke has been estimated to decrease a stroke survivor’s life expectancy by 12.5 years. Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and in most countries throughout the world it is one of the top 3 causes of death.

Preventing a stroke prolongs your life. Here are the top 8 ways you can prevent a stroke and add healthy, happy years to your life.

Maintain a Stroke Fighting Diet

It is not as hard to maintain a stroke fighting diet as you might think. You do not need to swear off fats, carbs, desserts, salt or any of your favorite things. Balance is the key. Your diet has a huge impact on your stroke risk. High blood cholesterol can increase your risk of stroke by predisposing you to blood clots. Excess salt can cause high blood pressure in predisposed individuals, and if you have already been diagnosed with hypertension, excess salt can exacerbate that.

In addition, some great super foods like fish, nuts, mushrooms, soy and even wine can help reduce your likelihood of having a stroke. A well balanced diet, rich in variety with plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein and fiber can go a long way in reducing your risk of stroke, essentially prolonging your life.

Physical Exercise

Physical exercise has been proven to help reduce your risk of stroke by promoting natural anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering activity in your body. Even moderate exercise is effective in reducing stroke. The great news about exercise is that you have so many exercise choices that you can enjoy as part of your regular routine without even thinking about exercising.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity has been shown to increase the risk of stroke. A diet that is moderate on calories combined with an active lifestyle can help most people maintain a healthy weight. However, for those who have a hereditary predisposition to excess weight, medical intervention might be necessary.

Mental Exercise

Studies show that building up extra brain reserve can help prevent a stroke by improving brain circulation and can help minimize the effects of a stroke. Mental challenges like reading about your health or playing video games can easily build your cognitive capacity, protecting your treasured brain for years to come.

Reduce Your Anxiety Level

Anxiety produces harmful effects on your body. One of these is oxidative stress, which can produce free radicals, which damage delicate brain cells before and after a stroke. Additionally, stress exacerbates the severity of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and cerebrovascular disease, all of which lead to stroke. Learn how to relax so you can avoid the harmful effects of stress that can contribute to stroke.

Get Regular Check Ups

Most of the major contributors to stroke can be easily diagnosed with a regular medical checkup and can be effectively managed- offsetting a stroke and ultimately saving your life.

Take Your Medication

Irregularly taking stroke prevention medications can cause more harm than good. If you need a blood thinner, a blood pressure lowering pill or a heart medicine, make sure you take it as prescribed. If you experience side effects, don't just quit taking your prescription. Tell your doctor so she can either change your prescription or adjust your pills to a dose you can tolerate.

Learn to Recognize the Symptoms of Stroke and TIA

A stroke or a TIA can be subtle or strange. Learn more about what a TIA means so that you can take action to prevent a stroke if you ever experience a TIA, which is a stroke warning sign. Learn to recognize the signs of a stroke so that you can get help immediately and increase your chances of survival for ​better quality of life if you ever experience a stroke.

Don’t forget- If you want to add years to your life, protecting yourself from stroke is the best tool you have!


The effects of diabetes, hypertension, asthma, heart disease, and stroke on quality-adjusted life expectancy, Jia H, Zack MM, Thompson WW, Value in Health, The journal of the International Society for Pharmacokinetics and Outcomes Research, January, February 2013

Continue Reading