Across the country we are enjoying a cooler and later summer this year. Now in late June, conditions are perfect to get out and enjoy the outdoors before the summer heat sets in!
Being a cyclist, my favourite part of summer is being able to ride my bike around the city. It gives me an opportunity to
- check out what’s going on in the different neighbourhoods
- get a bit of exercise
- save on car/transit costs and
- use a mode of transportation that is good for the environment!
And what I see is truly fantastic! Any given evening, people are out biking, walking, picnicking, dancing, doing yoga, playing all kinds of sports and just getting out and having a good time.
In addition to having fun and enjoying the weather, getting out and doing something also has a hidden benefit – it reduces your risk of having a stroke. And since June is Stroke Awareness Month, what better time to do it!
A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is blocked or a blood vessel bleeds, preventing the blood from flowing properly. When this happens, the blood can’t get oxygen to the brain, and it causes brain cells to die. Scary stuff! Strokes can be small or large, and the difficulties that can occur depend on what part of the brain is affected. It can affect how you walk or speak, or cause weakness in an arm or a leg. Strokes are also cumulative, which means each stroke you have can be more debilitating.
Stroke is also a common cause of vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.
So get out and enjoy the weather! Even a daily 30-minute walk will help lower your risk of stroke.