Healthier people, milder strokes

Last Modified: 5/28/2021

milder strokes

This post was written by Lisa Morgan, BSN, RN, CNRN, neuroscience CNS-fellow, Parkview Health.

In the United States, nearly 800,000 Americans experience a stroke every year. [1] A stroke is caused by a blockage in the blood vessels in the brain or a collection of blood on the brain. A stroke can be debilitating and can alter the person’s ability to function and care for themselves

Lifestyle modifications

There are lifestyle choices people can make to decrease the risk of having a stroke. These modifications can include exercise, healthy eating, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. [4] A healthy lifestyle will not only reduce your risk of having a stroke but also the severity of it. [2] Research shows that people who maintain a healthy lifestyle experience milder strokes with fewer deficits and better recovery outcomes. [2]

A look at milder strokes

A milder stroke does not require significant recovery or leave the person with significant disabilities. [3] A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in helping individuals who do experience a stroke by giving them a better chance at getting back to the life they had before the attack.

Risk reduction

The first step someone can take to reduce their risk of stroke is speaking with their physician to identify their risk factors. Then, create a plan of action to decrease their chances of a stroke by making healthy lifestyle improvements, including:

  • Increasing physical activity by moving more and sitting less
  • Eating a diet low in cholesterol and fat while focusing more on fruits, vegetables and lean meats
  • Stop smoking or make a plan to stop as soon as possible
Final thoughts

Making healthy lifestyle choices can have many positive benefits to your overall health and well-being. Remember, you are in control and can decrease your risk of stroke or experiencing a milder stroke.



Helpful resources

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Stroke Statistics

[2] The American Journal of Medicine: Healthy Lifestyle and Functional Outcomes from Stroke in Women

[3] Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases: Self-Reported Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Patients with Lacunar Stroke

[4] American Stroke Association: Stroke Risk Factors You Can Control, Treat and Improve

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