To slash your stroke risk by 80 percent, there are just five simple health habits to keep in mind:Walk every day, maintain a healthy weight, avoid cigarette smoke, enjoy alcohol only in moderation, and eat as nutritiously as you can. Some of these you probably already do. But tack on the missing items and your stroke risk drops dramatically.
The Golden Health Rules
In a large study of men and women in their fifties, those who most adhered to these five basic health habits were 80 percent less likely to have an ischemic stroke — the most common type of stroke. Specifically, these study participants exercised about 30 minutes a day and had BMIs below 25, and their diet mainstays were fruit, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein. Also, the women had no more than one alcoholic drink a day; the men, no more than two. (How close are you to your ideal BMI? Find out with this tool.)
Why It Works
These five health habits reduce your risk of a whole host of diseases and conditions, including diseases that up your odds of a stroke — like high blood pressure and diabetes. And cigarette smoke, heavy alcohol consumption, and obesity are known stroke risk factors. So who says you can't do it all?