Breaking down the many aspects, ’50 Shades of Stroke’

Many of us do not ever know the definite reason for having had our stroke, especially I think in cases where we had them at a young age and lived a full active life. So I am intending to write about different aspects, complexities of #50shadesofstroke within my blogs.

We go through life believing, often wrongly, that we live healthily. I for one was guilty of this. I never put on weight, I exercised regularly. My exercise was also varied: Pilates, yoga, walking, swimming and I rode race horses. I ate balanced healthy meals.  I have always loved vegetables and for snacks I would often eat nuts, almonds in particular. Pretty perfect you may think and so did I!

On the surface this could be considered exactly what is required to prevent both heart attack and stroke. Or so I thought.

It is only when you examine further, break it down and are prepared to be totally honest with yourself that you realise you may not be living the healthy lifestyle you believe you are, you are simply kidding yourself! This is what I was doing, it turns out.

Don’t get me wrong I ate chocolate, cake all the ‘baddies’ as well and enjoyed a drink but I believed that my main diet and lifestyle was healthy.

I also, wrongly, thought that because I was so slim my cholesterol would naturally be at a healthy level, wrong again. I would often reach for a chunk of cheese if peckish, thinking as it was full of calcium so beneficial for my bones and teeth it would be good for me not realising it was raising my cholesterol level considerably.

We would enjoy a drink before and with our meal, and I particularly liked a gin & tonic.  Again, on reflection a home version in our rather splendid glasses equates to three pub measures but in my mind I had enjoyed one, perhaps two drinks. It was ONLY when it was discussed in hospital, I heard the words I was drinking rather a lot for a woman’s weekly allowance, what a harsh shock.

Sticking with the drink issue for a moment this is one I ask you all to take a look at, especially those of us living in rural areas. If it isn’t possible to walk to a pub, and you want to have a drink you naturally stock up but then you often drink more because it is there. Another problem is people think they are being good by limiting themselves to few or no drinks at all during the week then  drink at the weekend, often ‘making-up’ for the week.  This puts the body under more strain and therefore at risk. You wouldn’t expect your body to run a marathon, having never gone running, yet you are expecting your vessels and heart to cope with this increased overload, demand on it. Learn from my rude awaking and ask yourself the question, are you drinking more than you thought. If so, change it.

With foods, fats etc. ask your self the same question also with regards to portion sizes. I have a healthy appetite and our plates are quite large, I got into the habit of large portions, all of which we ate and enjoyed. It was only when a friend commented, recently, how large our everyday portions looked. Another question related to both of these issues is to find out your blood pressure and ideally cholesterol. The Stroke Association hold blood pressure points regularly across the country.

Be a step ahead, learn from mistakes of others and help prevent strokes.  #50shadesofstroke






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