May is Stroke Awareness month so we wanted to post some tips on how you can reduce your risk of having a stroke and take better care of your heart.
Get a good night's sleep - less than 6 hours sleep a night can increase your risk of heart disease by almost 80%! A link has been found by scientific research between lack of sleep and hardening arteries.
Avoid stress - stress releases the hormones adrenaline and cortisol which narrow your arteries and cause your heart rate to increase. It's not always easy to avoid stress but try to find ways to combat its effect. Regular exercise and mindfulness both help to reduce stress.
Keep moving - sitting too much or for too long can negatively effect your fat and sugar levels and can also contribute to hardening of the arteries. Exercise regularly particularly if you are in a sedentary job.
We also want to point out the benefits of exercise following a stroke. A recent study analysed data from 13 trials involving 735 participants looking at the effects of physical activity on cognitive function in stroke survivors. The research showed that after 12 weeks of exercise improvement started to show and that a combination of strength and aerobic training was the most beneficial for improving cognitive function. As a result of this the authors of the study recommend that exercise is integrated into rehabilitative post-stroke care.