Information for Patients:
Stroke Prevention Lifestyle Changes
The first stroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA), is a wake-up call. Those who have had a stroke once are at increased risk of experiencing a stroke again. If you are not already disabled by the first stroke, the next stroke is more likely to cause disability. However, certain stroke prevention lifestyle changes can help you manage and reduce your stroke risk.
- Stop smoking! Smoking cessation is one of the most significant steps you can take to decrease your chances of future strokes. In fact, studies have shown that five years after smoking cessation, stroke risk decreases to the same level as someone who has never smoked. At Jamaica Hospital, we are here to help by teaching you behavioral methods to sway you away from smoking and providing you with nicotine-replacement products.
- Control your weight. By reducing your body weight, you can better control stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
- Increase exercise and physical activity. Try to begin a consistent routine of light physical exercise. It is recommended for patients with stroke to have at least 10 minutes of “moderate intensity” activity four times per week. “Moderate intensity” exercise means activities such as using an exercise bicycle or walking briskly, causing you to break a sweat or raise heart rate.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking has severe detrimental effects on your health and increases your stroke risk. Alcohol abuse causes hypertension and reduces the focus and clarity of mind you need to focus on your health.