Lou Baxter reports.
Keven Bellows vowed to take better care of herself after losing her husband to Alzheimer's.
Keven Bellows says, "I thought if there was anything I can do to prevent that from happening to me, I want to take advantage of it."
She took her first step to a healthier lifestyle with the help of her newly adopted dog named Rag-a-Muffin. Studies show women who walk three hours a week lower their risk for stroke by 43-percent.
Dr. David Merrill, Professor of Psychiatry, says: "There have been a number of studies that show that physical exercise may be the key to preserving healthy brain function."
Another way to cut your stroke risk, watch your diet.
Dr. Merrill, "Nutrition is really central."
Diets filled with olive oil and potassium rich foods, like bananas, can lower your risk by 20-percent. Quitting smoking, and keeping cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels can also help.
Dr. Merrill, "The better control you have over the modifiable risk factors, the lower your stroke risk will be. "
High stress levels and anger can cause thickening of the neck arteries, which can also lead to stroke.
Keven says, "I am pretty good about stress reduction because I am a meditater, so I mediate on a daily basis."
And finally, think F.A.S.T. to recognize stroke symptoms. F is for "face" -watch for an uneven smile or numbness. A is for "arms and legs" - which can become numb or paralyzed, S-is for "speech" -it could be slurred or confusing. Finally, T-is for time -you don't have much of it! If you suspect a stroke, call 911 because every second of time lost is brain lost.
Lou Baxter, Jet 24 Action News.
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