Stroke Prevention Day took place on Thursday 14 January 2021, but it’s not too late to join us and make one small change to reduce your risk of stroke.
Many of our regular behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol or being physically inactive, along with having high blood pressure, diabetes, or being an unhealthy weight, can increase your risk of stroke. It’s important to be aware of your risk of stroke so that you can act now to manage or reduce it.
This January we want to help you understand your risk of stroke and pledge with us to make one small change over three months.
How do I take part?
Anyone can take part and its free to sign up. Just fill in a short form to let us know you're taking part. You can sign up at any time between 1 and 31 January.
We'll support you during your three-month pledge by sending you monthly emails with hints and tips. You’ll also get access to our ’pledger's page’ where you can download resources to help share prevention messages on social media, and read regular updates from others who've made a pledge.
What can I do this Stroke Prevention Day?
There are lots of simple things you can do to reduce your risk of stroke. This may be swapping an alcoholic drink for a soft one, getting up and moving regularly during the day, changing up your diet to include less salt or more fruit and veg, stopping smoking, or even joining an online exercise or activity group.
We recognise that making a change to your lifestyle isn't always easy, and will be different for everyone. Pick something that’s straightforward and manageable for you. It’s also worth keeping it simple so you can complete your pledge even with ongoing or changing Covid-19 restrictions. If you’re able to stick with it for three months, you’re more likely to form a regular habit.
You could consider one of the actions below, or choose one of your own that may be more relevant and achievable for you. Find out more about the risk factors for stroke and how to reduce them.
Get help to stop smoking
Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. But we recognise that this can be hard to do. Pledge to make one small change to your smoking habits. This could be making and sticking to those appointments with a smoking cessation service, who can support you to reach your goal to quit smoking during your three-month pledge.
Think about your relationship with alcohol
Everyone has a different relationship with alcohol but we know drinking too much can increase stroke risk. Pledge to make one small change to your drinking habits. This may be swapping an evening or weekend glass of wine or beer for water or a soft drink, or even doing something like dry January, but for a full three months.
Address your high blood pressure or high cholesterol
High blood pressure or cholesterol can be very common, but we know they can both increase stroke risk. There are many things that can help to reduce high blood pressure and/or cholesterol. Pledge to make one small change to manage or reduce yours. This may be taking steps to be more active in the day, swapping fried foods like chips for steamed veg or using herbs for flavouring instead of salt. If you don’t know your blood pressure or cholesterol levels, your GP or local pharmacist can help you find out.
Enjoy healthier food
A diet high in fat, salt or sugars can increase your risk of developing a health condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or even becoming an unhealthy weight, all of which can increase your risk of stroke. It can be difficult to make healthier food choices and many of us have developed new eating habits during lockdown and may find ourselves snacking more or ordering extra takeaways. Pledge to make one small change to your eating habits. This may be giving up your weekly takeaway and saving the money for something else, swapping unhealthy snacks for healthier ones like fruits, carrot sticks or nuts or try some healthy online recipes.
Manage your diabetes
Having diabetes can increase your risk of stroke. We know that managing your diabetes can sometimes be difficult. But it’s important to follow any treatment and healthy lifestyle advice you're given. Keeping your blood sugar levels (HbA1c) to your target range can help to manage or reduce your risk of stroke. Pledge to make one small change to manage your diabetes. This could be by having a healthier diet, stopping smoking and being more active.
Hear from people who've already made a change to their diet or lifestyle, and how it has helped them reduce their risk of stroke:
Share our messages and help prevent stroke
Help spread the word about stroke prevention and how to reduce the risk of stroke. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and share our posts using the hashtags #strokepreventionday and #onesmallchange.
If you would like to get in touch, you can email the team directly at email@example.com
*If you take some types of medication that affect potassium levels, LoSalt and other reduced-sodium salt alternatives may not be suitable for you. Check with your GP for advice.