Being the first one to attend the Webinar, I was warmly welcomed by Gill from the Stroke Association and had the pleasure of talking with her about what the charity does and also sharing what we do at Bridgit (Upstream Health).
Covid has caused difficult times for many charities and for the Stroke Association it has created a deficit of £9 million which they ordinarily would have raised through offline fundraising.
This money could then be used in research, offering practical support, running clubs, groups and providing Life After Stroke grants to stroke survivors.
Gill highlighted the importance of being aware of the risk factors such as:
- Having high blood pressure
- Having Diabetes
- Drinking more alcohol than the recommended amounts
- Being overweight
- Consuming more salt than medically advised.
Now, although these were highlighted as risk factors, Gill went on to offer practical advice on what you can actually do to address these. It all boiled down to two things:
- Educating yourself of the risk you or your family members may be in.
- Taking action in changing your lifestyle – making small but significant changes.
I loved the quick quiz on “guess the amount of sugar in…” different foods we buy regularly was really eye opening, especially for those of us that have been working from home because of Covid.
We’ve all done it, you let your kids have that biscuit, packet of crisps, or can of pop to tide them over until you can get off the video/voice call and make them something.
I would highly recommend you playing this game with your children and family members as it will really get them thinking and become more aware of what’s in our food.
One of the things that really came as a shock was that some ordinary sachet hot chocolate drinks contain more salt than a bag of crisps!
Yes, more salt than a bag of crisps.
This, unfortunately, is all too common. In processed foods that are so readily available today, there is often hidden salt content. So check your labels!
Labelling was a big conversation point and it was agreed that this caused a whole other problem for individuals and parents, as you might know what you are supposed to do but find it hard when you go to the supermarket as isn’t relatable in the real world.
It was a shame that more people did not attend as it was very informative and opened up your eyes to how you can easily be in a false sense of security. It is easy to think that you are doing all the right things, when in reality there are some really simple lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce your risk of having a stroke.
Did you know that,
“Approximately 1/2 of strokes could be prevented by better managing the risk factors of stroke.”
Prevention is so much better alternative than the cure so it is time to take immediate action by:
- Giving up smoking
- Eating more healthily
- Reducing your salt intake
- Avoid binge drinking and
- Increasing your levels of physical activity.
We all acknowledged that although this may seem easy it comes down to lifestyle changes which are often harder to make.
That being said there are other benefits to doing this other than reducing your risk of stroke. For example,
To lose 0.5kg (1lb) a week you need to create a deficit of just 500 calories a day.
This could be done by removing 2 biscuits and a glass (300 calories) and taking a 40 minute walk (200 calories).
So, in 14 weeks you can lose 7kg (1 stone) and in a year lose 25kg (4 stones)!
It really is down to lifestyle choices, but there is no better motivation than bettering your health.
Keep an eye out for future events and we’ll also keep you updated.