I recently posted on our Facebook page that 80% of strokes are preventable. I saw this statistic not long ago and really wanted to learn more. If you stop and think it is an extremely powerful proven statistic. By focusing on diet and fitness it is possible to significantly reduce the likelihood of having a stroke. The Stroke Foundation put together really good information on stroke prevention and listed the 11 pillars of stroke prevention. Below is the list and I will include a link to the article.
I can tell you first hand that diet and fitness are major components to our ability to prevent and recover from medical issues. In the last 3 years I have undergone two lung surgeries due to lung collapses (spontaneous pneumothorax). The collapses are just that, spontaneous and totally outside of my control. This means no blunt force like a car accident and no I have never smoked. If I hadn’t been focused on my health I know the impact to my body would have been greater and the recovery would have been longer and more difficult.
I encourage you all to find ways to eat healthier and be more active. I think sharing with others is beneficial to all. Here are a few things that help me stay focused.
1. Find a health partner. A friend that shares the same vision of health and exercise. Being able to bounce ideas about meals and having a workout partner go a long way. My current health partner asked me to start running about a dozen times over the course of a year before I finally committed. Now we are going on seven years of running. We’ve completed 1 full marathon and countless other distances. Our love for running expanded to two other women runners. Both have completed half marathons (13.1) over this love of fitness. Below is a picture from my first 5K (3.1 miles) in 2013.
2. Reward yourself when you accomplish your goals. For me a reward is typically my favorite dessert or ice cream.
3. Plan your meals. Dinner is huge for me because it’s usually the largest meal and one that often takes place at home. At home I control the food selections, spices and most importantly to me the amount of sodium.
4. Set exercise goals and be realistic. It works best when I set a goal that’s roughly 3 months out. My current goal is to complete the Detroit Free Press half marathon (13.1 miles) on October 18. I always remember someone I thought to be an accomplished runner tell me the finish line is the finish line. Get there however you can. Walk, run, walk and run. It doesn’t matter.
5. Build endurance with your workouts. Of course gain clearance with your doctor. I have found in my own recovery that doing a little more with each work out goes a long way. This can include increasing the duration by a few minutes, adding in a hill, speeding up the pace.
6. Switch it up and have fun. A water gun fight counts for exercise!