Exercising to Prevent a Stroke - Topic Overview
Exercise helps lower high blood pressure, which is an important risk factor for
stroke. Exercise can help you control other things that put you at risk, such as
high cholesterol and
It is important to
exercise regularly. Do activities that raise your
heart rate. Try to do at least 2½ hours a week of
moderate exercise. One way
to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. It's fine
to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
Start slowly and gradually build up your exercise program.
If you have already had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) and you can still do physical activity, doctors recommend ½ to 1½ hours a week of moderate exercise. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, 1 to 3 days a week.
Moderate activity is safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to
talk with your doctor before you start an exercise program. You can use your
target heart rate to figure out how hard to exercise. Use this
Interactive Tool: What Is Your Target Heart Rate?
Low-intensity exercise, if done daily, also can have
some long-term health benefits and lower the risk for heart problems that may
lead to stroke. Low-intensity exercises have a lower risk of injury and are
recommended for people with other health problems. Some low-intensity
- Gardening and other yard
For more information about making a personal fitness
plan, see the topic Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.