Roughly 800,000 strokes happen in each year in the United States alone. Around one in four of these strokes are considered to be recurrent. While it’s possible to experience multiple strokes in a lifetime, it’s also possible to manipulate the risk factor. Above all, managing and staying on top of your health will be the ultimate prevention method for a second stroke.

Before beginning with this guide, take some time to consider the circumstances surrounding your first stroke. Your physician may be able to help you identify your personal causes and risk factors. Compile a list of these personal causes and work on combating each and every one. Your personal strategy will be customized to fit your needs. There are other tips you can use to help dramatically lower your risk of having a second stroke.

Kick Your Smoking Habit

Smoking is one of the most dangerous causes of stroke. Even smoking on a casual level can double your risk. There are plenty of resources available for kicking the habit once and for all. Quitting smoking will also improve many other areas of your health. While you’re at it, it will help immensely to avoid alcohol. Research has suggested that alcohol can increase the risk of stroke by 50%.

Control Your Blood Pressure

While your blood pressure plays a pretty big role in the risk for a recurrent stroke, it is also an extremely modifiable role. High blood pressure will increase your risk for a stroke by at least 1.5 times. These days, there are many medications and health strategies designed to mitigate high blood pressure.

Be Responsible with Recovery Medication

Never take your medication for stroke recovery in any way other than how it was prescribed. At least 25% of stroke survivors report failing to follow their prescription medication orders in the first 90 days following the stroke. This initial time period following a stroke is when the risk factor for a second stroke is at its highest.

Moderate Your Cholesterol Level

High cholesterol levels cause many of the strokes experienced by people every day. Getting a firm grip on your cholesterol intake will help lower your risk factor considerably.

Manage Diabetes

Those who live with diabetes are automatically at a 4 times greater risk for having a stroke than those who don’t have it. Follow your physician’s orders closely for managing the condition, and talk to him/her about what else you can do to improve your prevention method.

Keep an Eye on Your Diet

Particularly, you should be restricting saturated fats, cholesterol, trans-fats, and overall caloric intake. A healthy, well-balanced diet will also help with combating obesity.

Get Physical

Lastly, be sure that you’re fitting regular exercise into your schedule at least five times a week. This can be as simple as taking a brisk, 30 minute walk every day after work. If you can manage to get your heart pumping on most days throughout the week, you can lower your risk of stroke significantly.