Taking action to control your risk factors can help prevent or delay a stroke. If you’ve already had a stroke, these actions can help prevent another one.
- Be physically active. Physical activity can improve your fitness level and health. Talk with your doctor about what types and amounts of activity are safe for you.
- Don’t smoke, or if you smoke or use tobacco, quit. Smoking can damage and tighten blood vessels and raise your risk of stroke. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. Also, secondhand smoke can damage the blood vessels.
- Aim for a healthy weight. If you’re overweight or obese, work with your doctor to create a reasonable weight loss plan. Controlling your weight helps you control risk factors for stroke.
- Make heart-healthy eating choices. Heart-healthy eating can help lower your risk or prevent a stroke.
- Manage stress. Use techniques to lower your stress levels.
If you or someone in your family has had a stroke, be sure to tell your doctor. By knowing your family history of stroke, you may be able to lower your risk factors and prevent or delay a stroke. If you’ve had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), don’t ignore it. TIAs are warnings, and it’s important for your doctor to find the cause of the TIA so you can take steps to prevent a stroke.