We review evidence concerning exercise for stroke prevention. Plausible biological reasons suggest that exercise would be important in preventing stroke. While definitive randomised controlled trials evaluating the impact of physical activity (PA) and exercise on preventing stroke and mortality are lacking, observational studies, small randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses have provided evidence that PA and exercise favourably modify stroke risk factors, including hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use. It is, therefore, important to understand the factors associated with poststroke PA/exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness. Positively associated factors include self-efficacy, social support and quality of patients' relationships with health professionals. Negatively associated factors include logistical barriers, medical comorbidities, stroke-related deficits, negative exercise beliefs, fear of falling, poststroke fatigue, arthropathy/pain and depression. Definitive research is needed to specify efficacious behavioural approaches to increase poststroke exercise. Effective techniques probably include physician endorsement of exercise programmesto patients, enhancement of patient-professional relationships, providing patients an exercise rationale, motivational interviewing, collaborative goal-setting with patients, addressing logistical concerns, social support in programsmes, structured exercise programming, individualised behavioural instruction, behavioural diary recording, reviewing behavioural consequences of exercise efforts, reinforcing successful exercise performance. Exercise programming without counselling may increase short-term activity; simple advice or information-giving is probably ineffective. Older patients or those with cognitive impairment may need increased structure, with emphasis on behaviour per se, versus self-regulation skills. We support the latest American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines (2014) recommending PA and exercise for stroke prevention, and referral to behaviourally oriented programmes to improve PA and exercise.