Stroke: Two lifestyle habits increasing your risk of the life-threatening condition

Could your daily habits be leading you down a path to brain damage and shortened life expectancy? What if you had control to eliminate, or at least reduce, the risks associated with a brain attack? Thankfully, there is; according to Dr Minesh Khatri, one of the biggest risk factors for having a stroke is smoking or chewing tobacco.

“Cigarette smoke causes a fatty build-up in your main neck artery; it also thickens your blood and makes it more likely to clot.”

But what if you don’t smoke? “Even secondhand smoke can affect you,” Dr Khatri added.

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Thus, in order to help minimise the risk of a stroke, one of the best things you can do for your health is to stay away from cigarette smoke.

Stoptober is coming up next month, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) pointed out.

© Getty Stroke causes

The 28-day stop smoking challenge begins on October 1 – and participants can download the free Stoptober app on the App Store or Google Play.

Free help is also available from local NHS Stop Smoking Services and the Smokefree National Helpine on 0800 84 84 84.

The BHF stated: “Research has shown that if you quit for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to quit for good.”

Dr Khatri also highlighted how a sedentary lifestyle can increase a person’s risk of stroke.

“Your chances of a stroke may go up if you’re overweight,” Dr Khatri confirmed.

“You can lower your odds by working out every day. Take a brisk 30-minute walk, or do muscle-strengthening exercises like push-ups and working with weights.”

By having an active lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, the experts at the NHS confirmed.

These health conditions are all risk factors for having a stroke, noted Dr Khatri.

© Express Stroke symptoms

“Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose,” the experts at the NHS stated.

The UK’s Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines stated that adults “should try to be active every day”.

This includes at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week, such as walking or cycling.

“The more you do, the better,” health professionals said. “And taking part in activities such as sports and exercise will make you even healthier.”

© Express How to live longer

In order for the activity to count towards the 150 minutes of weekly exercise, you need to be moving quick enough to raise your heartbeat.

This usually involves breathing that little bit faster and feeling more warm.

Classified as “moderate intensity activity”, any activity where you aren’t able to sing counts.

You can, however, hold a conversation while performing moderate physical activity.

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