Part of your stroke treatment will include lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of having another stroke . You should also follow up with your neurologist.

General Guidelines for Preventing Another Stroke

  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Treat high blood pressure.
  • Treat high cholesterol.
  • If you have diabetes, manage your blood sugar levels.
  • If You Smoke, Quit

    Extensive research has established smoking as a risk factor for stroke and heart attack . If you smoke, ask your doctor about strategies to quit . You should also avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

    Eat a Healthy Diet

    A dietlow in saturated fat , trans fat, and cholesterol, and rich in whole grains , fruits, and vegetables will help lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body weight—three stroke risk factors. Ask your doctor or dietitian for a balanced meal plan.

    Exercise Regularly

    Follow your doctor’s recommendations for physical activity. Choose enjoyable exercises that are safe for you. Strive to maintain an exercise program that keeps you fit and at a healthy weight. For most people, this could include walking briskly or participating in another aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes per day. If you have had an ischemic stroke or TIA, try to exercise for at least 30 minutes 1-3 times per week. Talk to your doctor before starting a program.

    Lose Weight, If You Are Overweight or Obese

    Being overweight or obese is associated with higher risk of stroke. Losing weight lowers that risk. To lose weight, consume fewer calories than you expend. To maintain a healthy weight , eat an equal number of calories as you expend.

    Treat High Blood Pressure

    High blood pressure is one of the top risk factors for stroke. Lowering your blood pressure can lower your risk of recurrent stroke or another vascular event by up to 40%. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for lowering your blood pressure. You may need to make lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating a healthier diet and limiting your alcohol consumption. You may also need to take medicines to lower your blood pressure.

    If You Have Diabetes, Manage Blood Sugar Levels

    If you have diabetes , you are at increased risk of vascular disease. The better you control your blood sugar levels, the slower vascular disease (and other complications) will advance. Work with your doctor and a dietitian to develop a diet and exercise plan that will help you control your blood sugar.