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Risk Factors of Stroke You Can Control

By Brandi Goodman 

The American Stroke Association celebrates Stroke Month in May. The focus is on stroke prevention and knowledge so that people are aware of how to prevent this from happening to them and detect the signs early. Certain risk factors are within your control to stop. 


Smoking is one of the biggest concerns for stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and other serious health struggles. Stop smoking and you will reduce your risk for these things tremendously. If you use birth control and smoke, this increases your chances of having a stroke even further. Vaping is not much better. Both options do damage to your cardiovascular health and should be avoided. 

Eating Fatty and High Cholesterol Foods

Fatty foods and foods that contain lots of cholesterol can do damage to your heart and other organs. Eating lots of sodium, trans fat, and saturated fat may lead to stroke or heart disease. Reduce your intake of these things if you want to prevent that from happening. Skip the salt, red meats, and butter and instead add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. 

Frequent Sitting

Sitting around on the couch all day may feel relaxing, but it isn't doing your body any favors. You need to get enough physical activity and movement in your day if you hope to prevent things like stroke. People who are inactive tend to be on the heavier side. Excessive weight can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Make sure you're maintaining your weight and being active and not just sitting for hours at a time. 

High Blood Pressure

Whether the foods you've been consuming have led to high blood pressure, you suffer from chronic stress that causes it, or there's another reason, this isn't something you have to live with forever. There are ways to control high blood pressure so it does not get the best of you and cause worsening problems, such as heart attack or stroke. Changes to your diet and exercise will help a lot. You should also do your best to control your stress levels by finding ways to cope, such as taking a walk, watching a funny video, or jotting down your thoughts in a notebook. 

Find ways to become a healthier you and reduce your risk factors for stroke and other health concerns drastically. Though being healthy doesn't guarantee an illness-free life, it does help to prevent many diseases as well as minimize their symptoms so you can lead a high quality life. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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