Control your weight to lower stroke risk: 5 diet, fitness tips to help you shed pounds and keep them off  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Ahead of World Stroke Day, let us tell you how exercise can slash down your risk of having a brain attack
- Leading an active lifestyle can help you maintain a healthy weight
- Here are a few tips to help you eat healthy, exercise regularly to control weight and help keep diseases at bay
New Delhi: Strokes, as we know, can be fatal. But, there’s a lot you can do to lower your chances of having a brain attack. Health experts said keeping your weight in check is an important factor to lower your risk of certain health conditions, including stroke and high blood pressure. If you think that you’re overweight, losing as little as 5-10 per cent of your starting weight can be beneficial for your health. Regular exercise along with a balanced diet and other healthier lifestyle changes can help keep diseases at bay, enabling you to lead a healthier, fitter life.
A stroke can be described as a brain attack that one may suffer because the blood supply to the part of the brain is stopped or reduced, and the brain cells die. It is a medical emergency and may cause long-term disability or, in some cases, even death. People with certain health conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes are at a higher risk of suffering from a stroke. Similarly, smoking is dangerous and also can be one of the risk factors. Yet, there are many risk factors that you can control. Guidelines for stroke prevention suggest that a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating well and exercising regularly, can cut the risk 80 per cent.
Regular exercise can help prevent stroke
An active lifestyle will not only help you minimise your risk of a having stroke. Regular physical activity has immense health benefits.
“Exercising every day can bring your blood pressure numbers down. High blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for stroke and has to be controlled before it makes your life miserable. Not only this, but you will also be able to tackle obesity, cholesterol, and even diabetes if you stay active and keep moving. Various studies have also confirmed that exercise can prevent stroke and help people to stay healthy,” said Dr Shirish M Hastak, Regional Director, Neurology, Stroke and Neurocritical Care, Global Hospital, Mumbai.
Diet and fitness tips to maintain a healthy weight
Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet can help you lose weight and stay fit.
- Move more – regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. It will help you burn off calories, helping you to maintain a healthy weight. It is important that you stay active every day, focusing on exercises that raise the heart rate. However, you must only do vigorous exercise if your body permits. Do not go overboard. Start slowly and then you can gradually opt for high-intensity workouts.
- At least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week is recommended for most people. You can walk, run, jog, do aerobics, swimming, cycling, or any other activity of your choice that will also help you strengthen your muscle and bone health. Even low-intensity activities such as doing household chores, gardening, and stretching, if done on a regular basis, can have long-term benefits.
- Dancing is another option that you can choose to stay in shape. It will not be monotonous, and you will also be able to shed those excess kilos more easily.
- If you had already suffered from a stroke, you should talk to your doctor about the type and levels of exercise that you can do. You must also avoid training rigorously at the beginning. You can even hire a fitness trainer who will help you with a tailor-made plan regarding your exercise.
- Ensuring a nutritious diet is key to staying fit. An unhealthy diet will not only make you pile on the pounds, but also increase your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, etc. Opt for a balanced diet that includes a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which are incredibly filling and nutritious. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are good for your tummy, blood pressure, and overall health. You should avoid eating too much of any single food, especially foods high in salt, added sugar and unhealthy fats.
Apart from regular exercise and a well-balanced diet, you must give up on smoking and alcohol. Also, awareness should be created among the masses regarding stroke and its life-threatening consequences. Not many people know about a stroke. So, today try to educate one more person regarding this dangerous condition.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.