If you or someone you love experiences a stroke, recovery can be daunting. In some cases, it can take months or even years to recover. The good news, however, is that there are a number of health-boosting steps within your power. In fact, many yoga and health enthusiasts are already making choices that can aid the body in healing.
These are some of the best ways to encourage the brain to regenerate and heal:
1. Eat a brain-healthy diet: Consuming a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the best lifestyle changes for anyone, but especially for those who are trying to recover from a stroke and prevent another one. Because high blood pressure and high cholesterol are risk factors for strokes, focus on the kind of diet (low in sodium, low in saturated fats, high in fiber) that discourages those conditions too.
2. Maintain a healthy weight: One of the top recommendations for healing after a stroke, as well as for stroke prevention, is to lose weight. This is because carrying excess weight increases risk of stroke, not to mention other conditions.
3. Stay active: Regular exercise is not only important for a healthy weight, but also for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Generally speaking, aim for a minimum of two to three hours of moderately intense physical activity every week. This could mean brisk walking, jogging, doing yoga or another aerobic exercise you love. What’s important is staying active to help the body function as it should.
4. Limit alcohol: Since alcohol has the ability to raise blood pressure, it can be dangerous for stroke patients. Limit consumption to one drink per day as a woman or two drinks per day as a man.
While strokes are serious, scary situations, most are preventable. By making the right health changes and working with your health care provider to manage cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, sleep apnea and/or blood sugar levels, you can take significant steps to prevent a stroke from occurring.
To learn more about life after a stroke, especially in terms of brain regeneration and healing, take a look at the accompanying resource. In it, you’ll see info on the two most common kinds of strokes, get a breakdown of what happens to the brain after a stroke and find more tips to reduce your risk of having one.