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Stroke symptoms and signs: Do 30 minutes of activity a day to prevent the fatal condition | Health | Life & Style

Stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word F.A.S.T., says the NHS.

The ‘F’ stands for face – this may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.

‘A’ is for arms – the person with suspected stoke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.

’S’ stands for speech – it may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake.

’T’ is for time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

But if you want to reduce the risk of a stroke happening in the first place, the Stroke Association suggests being more physically active.

Physical inactivity can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, becoming overweight, developing high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

It recommends going on a brisk walk, taking the stairs, and doing whatever you can to make your life more active.

But whatever physical activity you do, the charity recommends doing it for a certain amount of time.

It states on its website: “Try to get a total of at least 30 minutes of activity on most or all days.”

Eating a healthy, balanced diet, can also help prevent a stroke happening.

If you’ve had a stroke, you should talk with a registered dietician to learn how to plan and prepare meals and snacks – and one thing in particular the National Stroke Association recommends is not to miss breakfast.

It states: “You will feel healthier, be less hungry, and snack less.”

Other things it recommends is moving the salt shaker off the table, eating high-fibre foods, switching from white pasta and rice for whole grain equivalents, and keeping a bowl of fruit or cleaned vegetable snacks handy.

Keeping a food diary can also help, so you can keep track of what your are eating, and tricking your brain into using smaller plates and bowls can help you stay in control of your portion sizes.

Heavy drinkers are more likely to have strokes, but studies have shown that drinking a little alcohol can actually decrease your risk.

Dr Natalia Rost, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, said: “Studies show that if you have about one drink per day, your risk may be lower.”

But that protective effect only lasts if you stick to one or two units of alcohol per day.

“Once you start drinking more than two drinks per day, your risk goes up very sharply,” she warned.

That means having no more than the equivalent of one glass of wine a day.

Red wine is your best choice, according to Harvard, because it contains resveratrol, which is thought to protect the heart and brain.

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