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Tips to keep your brain healthy

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Ever wondered what you can do to boost your brain health? The same tips that help keep your body healthy also keep your brain healthy. And, they work to lower your risk of stroke. Consider these lifestyle changes to keep your brain in tip-top shape.

  1. Choose nutritious foods

    The foods you put in your body directly impact your overall health. And your brain is no different. A healthy diet lowers your risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, two significant risk factors for stroke.

    Aim for a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit your intake of cholesterol, saturated fats, trans fats and salt. If you need recommendations or want help following a specific diet plan, speak with your healthcare provider about how to improve your nutrition.
     
  2. Exercise regularly

    Regular physical activity is one the best things you can do for your overall wellness. Moving your body helps you maintain a healthy weight, sleep more soundly and lowers your risk of chronic disease. And it’s good for your brain in more ways than one. Not only does exercise lower your risk of emergencies like a stroke, but it can also boost your mental health and reduce symptoms of anxiety or depression.

    Most adults should aim for 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, every week. If you’re a weekend warrior who exercises at a vigorous intensity, aim for at least 75 minutes of intense activity each week.
     
  3. Quit smoking

    Smoking is one of the most harmful habits for your health. But the good news is that you can quit anytime, and the health benefits kick in just hours after your last cigarette. Quitting smoking improves blood flow, stabilizes your blood pressure and slows your heart rate.

    Quitting isn’t easy – many people try several times before successfully curbing the habit. If you need extra support, your healthcare provider can direct you to a smoking cessation program to help you quit.
     
  4. Limit alcohol

    Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase your risk of health complications such as a stroke. When you drink too much, alcohol interferes with the communication signals in your brain. Long-term, it can even change the way your brain works.

    Avoiding alcohol altogether is best for your overall health. If you do drink, do so in moderation only. Men should limit themselves to no more than two drinks a day, and women should cap their intake at no more than one daily drink.
     
  5. Manage medical conditions

    Many underlying medical conditions impact your stroke risk. By taking steps to manage these conditions, you can significantly lower your chances of experiencing a stroke.

    Your healthcare provider may recommend medications, lifestyle changes or other treatments to manage conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. To learn more about your stroke risk and receive personalized guidance, find a provider near you.