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Lifestyle Changes After a Stroke

Recovering From a Stroke: Lifestyle Changes

Almost everyone who has had a stroke needs to make at least some lifestyle changes as part of their stroke recovery process. These changes involve minimizing the risk factors for another stroke. Some of these lifestyle changes can include:
 
  • Eating a healthy diet to prevent or lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol (see DASH Diet or Low Cholesterol Diet).
     
  • Quitting smoking, if you smoke.
     
  • Exercising as directed by your doctor. Exercise is good for your overall health. It can help you lose weight, keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, reduce stress, and lift your mood.
     
  • Losing weight, if you are overweight or obese (see BMI Calculator to help determine if you are at a healthy weight).
     
Adopting new habits (such as not smoking), following a healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight, and becoming more physically active can go a long way in helping to reduce your risk of another stroke.
 
You will also need to manage certain risk factors persistently. For example, if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or atrial fibrillation, you need to get these conditions under control (see Lowering Blood Pressure, Lowering Cholesterol, or Diabetes Treatment).
 
(Click Stroke Prevention for more information.)
 
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