Ms. May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), on Thursday urged Nigerians, especially elders, to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risks of stroke.
Ikokwu gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the occasion of stroke awareness month in Abuja.
She advised elders, in particular, to control their blood pressure by checking it often.
“Follow your doctor’s advice to lower the blood pressure as treating high blood pressure lowers the risk of both stroke and heart disease.
“Stop smoking as smoking increases your risk for stroke. It’s never too late to quit. Also, control your cholesterol,” she said.
The SOHI Chief Executive explained the imperatives of complying with the doctor’s advice in lowering cholesterol, saying that cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood and it can build up on the walls of your arteries which can block blood flow and lead to stroke.
“Control your diabetes. Untreated diabetes can damage blood vessels and also lead to narrowed arteries and stroke.
“Follow your doctor’s suggestions for keeping diabetes under control. Eat healthy foods. Eat foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Exercise regularly.”
Ikokwu, however, advised elders to make physical activity a part of their everyday life.
“Do things you like; for example, take a brisk walk, ride a bicycle, or go swimming.
“Talk with your health care provider if you haven’t been exercising and you want to start a vigorous programme or increase your physical activity.
“If you have had a stroke in the past, it’s important to reduce your risk of a second stroke.”
October 29 is the day for world stroke awareness.
The month is to raise awareness of Strokes and their impact on sufferers and their friends and families as well as to educate the general public on the signs and symptoms of strokes.