Strokes affect more than 795,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and though many people survive the incidents, they often face a lengthy road to recovery, and some may not regain their previous level of function. Experts point to a number of ways to reduce the risk of stroke, but new research suggests breaking a sweat may be the best option.
The study, which was performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, relied on an analysis of 27,000 participants who were all 45 or older. Subjects were split into groups depending on how often they vigorously exercised, and after nearly six years of follow-up, researchers determined that the least active individuals had about a 20 percent higher risk of stroke. This isn’t the first time experts found exercise can lower stroke risk, but this study broke some new ground.
“These findings confirm past results of studies done in only men or only women in limited geographical areas,” said researcher Virginia Howard. “By using [this] cohort, our study was able to use a larger and more diverse population to show that participating in regular physical activity is associated with lower stroke risk.”
Making smart senior living choices, such as eating a healthy diet, can also play a role in stroke risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as one that’s low in cholesterol, is one of the best ways to prevent strokes.
Source: Megan Ray http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/march-2014/vigorous-exercise-tied-to-lower-stroke-risk.aspx