By 2050 over 22 percent of the world’s population will be in their Senior years and change will be drastically noticeable in health care. The National Council on Aging has estimated approximately 92 percent of Seniors have at least one chronic disease and 77 percent with two or more chronic health conditions. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke lead the list. Fortunately, there are steps to prevent or reduce the chances of getting one of these major health conditions…stroke. Make sure you know how you can reduce your risk of a stroke.

What Are You Drinking?

A surprising result in a study by the American Heart Association identified diet soda as a potential cause of stroke among women over 50. The 12-year study of more than 81,000 women who consumed two or more diet sodas daily showed an increased risk for stroke.

Non–diet soda drinks are loaded with sugar and have increased risks of abdominal weight gain, tooth decay, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Those who are aware of the side effects of these drinks generally turn to the zero-calorie alternative, not realizing health risks are there as well.

Research linking diet sodas to risks of stroke in women does not prove strokes are caused by diet drinks but only than an association exists. By limiting or eliminating diet soda from your go-to beverages a lower risk for stroke is a possibility.

Kicking the Diet Soda Habit

Eliminating old habits is never easy and particularly difficult when a routine meets a certain need. Diet beverages may provide a rush of energy due to caffeine content, but it is healthier to turn to a more nutritious alternative.

If it is a flavor you crave, try sparkling waters infused with various fruits or create your own flavored drink. Add fruit, cucumber, or mint leaves to water, stir in ice, and you have a cold, flavorful beverage. Fruit smoothies are easy to make at home and a good alternative in warm weather. Smoothies also provide antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. Stay hydrated and refreshed. Healthy alternatives such as these beverages will help kick the diet soda habit in no time.

Exercise for Health

Few of us become excited about exercise. If you have a sedentary life typically consisted of sitting on the couch or in front of a television or computer, you are positioning yourself for a variety of chronic health problems. Stroke is only one. Get moving.

Walking is an excellent form of exercise. Walking keeps muscles limber, activates brain endorphins, burns calories and keeps blood flowing. Start by walking a few minutes each day at intervals. Work up to 30 minutes daily and you may even find you enjoy this a simple and enjoyable mode of exercise.

Swimming is a low impact exercise often recommended as are yoga and tai chi. Always speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise to avoid risks. A physician will suggest how much and what type of exercise is best for you.

Address Other Health Issues

Many individuals are unaware of major health concerns. Diabetes and high blood pressure are often termed silent killers because many do not recognize their symptoms. The best approach to knowing your body is to have a regular physical exam.

Poor health conditions substantially increase the chances of a stroke. Monitoring any symptoms and taking required medications is critical to both health and stroke prevention.

Birthdays are inevitable. Taking care of yourself is a choice. Bridge to Better Living believes in Placement with Passion and helps clients make important decisions about transitioning into life after retirement. They want you to enjoy the quality of life and being healthy is part of this approach. Contact Bridge to Better Living for information about our resources and guidance when choosing a Senior Living option.