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Exercise reduces your risk of stroke

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According to study, exercise is the best method for preventing stroke. Some people who have had a stroke think family history is the main risk factor for this, regardless of how much they care for themselves. But it must be said that although a family history of cardiovascular disease indeed increases the risk of stroke or heart attack, this that does not mean it will necessarily happen. According to a study published in the journal Stroke, it seems that regular exercise for at least four times a week is the main way to prevent stroke.

Stroke usually occurs in people who have cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, smoking, old age etc. There are several risk factors for stroke, some of which can be modified (hypertension, smoking) and some that cannot be changed (age, family history). There are two types of stroke: ischemic stroke, which is the most common, and hemorrhagic stroke, which is rarer but more severe prognosis. Hypertension and smoking are two important risk factors for both ischemic and haemorrhagic stroke. The good part is that these two risk factors can be modified and in this way it significantly decreases the risk of stroke.


It seems that there are five factors that promote a healthy lifestyle that can lower the risk of stroke by 80%: quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy diet, exercise 30 minutes a day and consuming low quantities of alcohol. Following these five factors that promote a healthy lifestyle can not only decrease the risk of stroke but also the risk of other chronic diseases.

The researchers reached this conclusion after conducting a study on 30 000 participants. They were asked if they exercise and were followed for several years. It was found that those who were physically inactive had a greater risk of developing stroke. Those who practiced four times a week had a 20% lower risk than those who exercised 3 times per week. It should be mentioned that the investigators focused on the intensity of their effort because participants were not asked what kind of exercise performed or for how long, but how intense was their effort.

Studies have shown that people know that smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol are risk factors for stroke;  however, they do not know that lack of exercise is an important part of these risk factors: lack of physical activity is actually the second most important risk factor for stroke.