With American Heart month coming to a close, we’re highlighting one cardiovascular disease that is the 4th leading cause of death among men — stroke. While it’s true that stroke is more common among men 65+, it can strike at any age and cause paralysis or even death.
The good news? 80% of all strokes can be prevented. By arming yourself with information, men, you can work to lower your stroke risk factors, plus be able to recognize if you’re actually having a stroke.
The Basics on Stroke
There are two main kinds of stroke: ischemic and hemmorhagic. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks one of your arteries, leading to oxygen deprivation in the brain. The brain cells begin to go into shock and eventually die. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts in your brain, again preventing brain cells from receiving the necessary blood and oxygen. In 60% of hemorrhagic stroke cases, patients die within a year; those that do survive can be severely disabled.
Common symptoms of stroke that all men should be aware of include:
- Difficulty speaking, including slurred speech
- Difficulty understanding others’ speech
- Sudden onset of weakness or numbness, especially when it occurs on one half of the body
- Vision problems
- Difficulty with walking or keeping balance
- Confused behavior
If you or someone you know exhibits the above signs of stroke, go to the emergency room immediately. Every second counts when it comes to stroke treatment.
The primary risk factors for stroke in hemorrhagic cases is high blood pressure, while blood clots due to plaque buildup are the common cause behind ischemic stroke. Both high blood pressure and plaque buildup can be controlled by making health lifestyle choices, such as:
- Exercising regularly. You should stay active for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
- Eating well. To reduce your stroke risk, avoid high-cholesterol, high-fat foods that contribute to increased blood pressure and plaque buildup. Stick to fresh fruits and veggies instead.
- Keeping your weight in the healthy range. The first two stroke prevention tips will help you keep your weight in check.
- Not smoking. Kicking the habit (or simply not starting it up) will cut your stroke risk in half.
Fight Your Stroke Risk at TITLE Boxing Club
Want to reduce your risk of stroke? Head to your local TITLE Boxing Club to find the right fitness classes for you. Our high-intensity Power Hour classes combine boxing or kickboxing techniques, cardio workouts, strength training, and toning exercises to really burn calories. You’ll reap all the benefits of our full body workout, including factors that reduce your risk of stroke, such as lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.