May is a glorious month! The weather is marvelous, spring is in full-bloom and the promise of summer is on the horizon.
For many of us, May is the perfect time to take stock of our figure and lose those few extra pounds or make an extra trip or two to the gym to get in shape for swimsuit season.
While we focus on getting our body ready for summer, May is also the perfect time to focus on our health, as American Stroke Month kicks off its annual 31 Days of Power.
Throughout the month of May, health care professionals, health advocates, business affiliates and partners, and people like you will be uniting together to spread the word and raise awareness about the risk of stroke and how it can be prevented.
The most common form of stroke, ischemic stroke, occurs when a blood clot stops the blood flow to the brain. Currently the Number 4 killer in the United States, strokes is often life-threatening and frequently results in permanent disability.
Approximately six million people in the United States have suffered a stroke. Risk factors including smoking, obesity, high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, and sickle cell anemia.
Those with a family history of stroke are at a greater risk, as are persons of certain ethnicities. At particular risk are those of African-American descent. African-Americans have higher death rates than other ethnicities, and carry twice the risk of first strokes as other ethnic groups.
If you or someone you know is at risk, consider joining the fight against stroke by becoming a Power Ambassador in the Power to End Stroke movement, and organize or host an event during the 31 Days of Power.
To become a Power Ambassador, simply register at the Power Ambassador web page at http://www.powertoendstroke.org/get-ambassadors.html/ and commit to completing one stroke awareness activity in your community this year.
The Power to End Stroke organization provides Power Ambassadors with numerous tools and information to make planning and hosting the stroke awareness event easy and relatively stress-free.