Eliminate 80 percent of your stroke risk factors by avoiding smoking, obesity, a poor diet, high blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle.
Even if stroke runs in your family, you can still greatly reduce your risk of having one. A study published in The Lancet examined 3,000 people who had strokes and another 3,000 people with no history of them. The research found that 10 risk factors account for 90 percent of all strokes. And many of the ones most closely associated with stroke are preventable. To lower your risk, quit smoking, lose weight if you’re overweight (especially if you carry it around your abdomen), follow a healthy diet, walk for 30 minutes most days of the week, and get your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers within a healthy range. Limit your salt, make sure your alcohol intake is no greater than one drink per day for women and two for men, and work on controlling stress and depression.