How Can You Decrease Your Chances of Getting a Stroke?

How Can You Decrease Your Chances of Getting a Stroke?

To reduce the risk of stroke, it is important to maintain a healthy blood pressure, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Hypertension is the top risk factor for stroke. It has no symptoms, so it is essential to check the blood pressure at least every two years.

Smoking increases the risk of stroke, explains WebMD, so it is important to quit smoking. Second-hand smoke also increases the risk of death from heart disease for those who suffer exposure.

Regular exercise helps to reduce the stroke risk. As little as 2 1/2 hours of fast walking or biking per week, spread over several days, can help, according to HHS. Type two diabetes is also a risk factor, especially if the blood sugar is out of control. A doctor can help a person take steps to ensure their blood glucose remains within the recommended range.

Excess body weight increases the risk of stroke, according to WebMD. Losing as little as 5 percent of a person's body weight helps to reduce his risk. Weight loss also helps to reduce both blood pressure and blood sugar.

Indulgent behavior can also increase a person's risk of having a stroke, reports WebMD. Drinking alcohol only in moderation is helpful, and eating dark chocolate at least once weekly reduces the stroke risk by 30 percent, reports WebMD.