You Need Strong Health Habits To Help Prevent A Stroke

It's not about politics. Whether or not they're fans of the president and his party (and his other policies), Americans generally are not fans of the health care reform legislation that they pushed through two years ago and are now in the process of implementing. It will change the nation economically, for sure, but it will also make deep changes in the way Americans keep themselves healthy.

For that reason, and because so many health problems are sneaky and hard to detect, you need to have a health “plan” that has nothing to do with having a medical plan at work. You need good, strong health habits to take personal responsibility for your own vitality … and to reduce the degree to which you'd be dependent upon a government-run medical system.

Think you can just let this one slide? Think again … while you can. A recent edition of the Canadian health journal “Pure Mind” published some unsettling findings about one of the most devastating maladies ever to strike a person's health: stroke.

According to the findings, a whooping 95 percent of seniors over 65 have a “small vessel disease” in their brains. Ninety-five percent! Is it any wonder so many seniors today report difficulty getting their brains to work right?

The happy news just keeps coming. The journal also reported that a quarter of HEALTHY seniors (in a study group averaging seventy years of age) show evidence of small, silent strokes … the sort associated with having smaller blood vessels in your head. Older people with high blood pressure (hypertension) and Alzheimer's disease are also commonly victimized by a fun-sounding brain problem called “microbleeds.” How many of us have had these sorts of minor stroke events … without even knowing it?

Maybe the silent strokes and microbleeds do not sound overly threatening – and, in isolation, they may not be. But the problem is that these sorts of small-vessel problems, unlike major stroke events, tend to build up gradually and greatly increase your risk of a clinical stroke event, depression, falls, and Alzheimer's dementia.

As my Granny is fond of saying, growing old is not for the faint of heart.

Granny will make it to the venerable age of 95 in a month, and no one is more amused at her advanced age than she. Maybe it was growing up on the farm in a simpler, less-toxic time … maybe it was hard work and clean livin '… maybe it was just dumb luck. It probably was not the headaches she got from running her own business as a tax professional, later in life! But the fact is, the odds are against us arriving at 95 with all of our mental marbles, as Granny has been able to do.

To maximize your chances, get The NEWSS. That's what I call the five key daily health habits that should form the foundation of a program of personal vitality: Nutrition (start by cutting out the garbage), Exercise (get 3-6 good workouts a week), Water (get your two liters every day), Sleep (get eight hours in the sack every night), and supplements (take at least one good multi-nutrient that can give your body what it can not get from a modern diet designed more for convenience than nourishment).

A mind is a terrible thing to waste – or lose. And a stroke will take yours away. You might not be able to completely prevent it, but do what you can now to rejuvenate your body. It's not trivial. You need always to keep your health in mind, while you have a mind in which to keep it!

by Michael D. Hume, MS