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Stroke Is a Leading Cause of Disability

Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the U.S., happening when a blood vessel to the brain ruptures or has a blockage. The brain can’t get the blood and oxygen it needs, and that can cause serious problems. Many of the things that you can do to reduce stroke risk are the same healthy lifestyle choices that keep you in good general health:

  1. Don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoke. Cigarette smoke can damage the heart and blood vessels.
  2. Eat/drink healthy. Think color and include fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks, reduce saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and salt. Avoid fatty meats, butter and cream. Limit alcohol to one drink a day for women or two for men.
  3. Be physically active. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise. That may sound like a lot, but think of it as 10 minutes, three times a day.
  4. Have regular checkups. Manage your blood pressure if it’s high and take all medication as prescribed.
  5. Reduce and manage stress. Aim for work/life balance and seek emotional support.

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