Lowering Genetic Risk of Stroke

The following Stroke Prevention Guidelines will help you learn how you may be able to lower your risk for a first stroke. This information can also be obtained from www.stroke.org

National Stroke Association’s Stroke Prevention Advisory Board, an elite group of the nation’s leading experts on stroke prevention, established the first Stroke Prevention Guidelines. They were published in a 1999 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and have been updated to reflect current medical standards.

Talk to a healthcare professional and follow these guidelines.

Know blood pressure (hypertension)

High blood pressure is a major stroke risk factor if left untreated. Have blood pressure checked yearly by a doctor or at health fairs, a local pharmacy or supermarket or with an automatic blood pressure machine.

Identify atrial fibrillation (Afib)

Afib is an abnormal heartbeat that can increase stroke risk by 500%. Afib can cause blood to pool in the heart and may form a clot and cause a stroke. A doctor must diagnose and treat Afib.

Stop smoking

Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. It damages blood vessel walls, speeds up artery clogging, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder.

Control alcohol use

Alcohol use has been linked to stroke in many studies. Most doctors recommend not drinking or drinking only in moderation – no more than two drinks each day.

Know cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in blood that is made by the body. It also comes in food. High cholesterol levels can clog arteries and cause a stroke. See a doctor if your total cholesterol level is more than 200.

Control diabetes

Many people with diabetes have health problems that are also stroke risk factors. A doctor and dietician can help manage diabetes.

Manage exercise/diet

Excess weight strains the circulatory system. Exercise five times a week. Maintain a diet low in calories, salt, saturated and trans fats and cholesterol. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Treat circulation problems

Fatty deposits can block arteries carrying blood to the brain and lead to a stroke. Other problems such as sickle cell disease or severe anemia should be treated.

These are most important risk factors to keep in mind. Most importantly, discuss with a healthcare professional

Exercise and Yoga for Depression and Anxiety

“Exercise and Yoga have multiple scientific studies demonstrating their effectiveness in the treatment of depression or anxiety, comparable with mainstream treatments”, according to a study done by psychiatry professors at East Carolina University. This article was published in “American Family Physician” April 15, 2010.

Exercise and Yoga are tested as alternatives to standard pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment approaches for anxiety and depressive disorders. If you want to avoid multiple side effects from prescription anxiety/depression drugs, this is something to consider seriously. Your first step is to talk to your healthcare provider to assess the severity of anxiety or depression. Then, find a yoga instructor to get you into a routine. This is the best thing you could do to yourself to see innumerable health benefits.

Preparing for New Workout Program

Before you venture into a new workout program that you may be planning for your New Year’s resolution, you want to make sure you set realistic goals to keep your motivation up. This year, you can make it more than a couple months with your fitness resolution with a few weeks of planning.

First off, setting goals before you start has to be your main priority. It should come before you even decide on a workout program that you will use. So, sit down and write out what you want to change about yourself, in terms of fitness. For instance, maybe you can run 2 miles right now but in 3 months you want to be able to run 4 miles. Don’t be too cautious with these first goals because you will be revising them to make sure they are realistic for your personal situation.