Individuals who partake in fitness activities in midlife have a reduced risk of stroke in later-life, according to new findings. Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami who was not involved in the study, commented, “It is becoming increasingly clear that healthy midlife behaviors pay off as we age, and lower our risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.”
The researchers looked at nearly 20,000 adults in their mid-40s. Those who were physically fit had a 37 percent lower risk of stroke after the age of 65, compared to those who were unfit.
Even after accounting for other risk factors for stroke, the benefits of midlife fitness were still in effect.
Lead researcher Dr. Ambarish Pandey said, “Incorporating exercise and regular physical activity in one’s day-to-day routine is important to improve fitness and lower risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in older age.”
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.
The researchers suggest exercise routines should consist of aerobic exercise and strength training.
The researchers speculate that exercise reduces the risk of stroke by maintaining blood vessel health and lowering inflammation.
Even if you are over the age of 40, it’s not too late to start lowering your risk of stroke by incorporating regular exercise into your daily life.
“Other studies have shown that physical activity, even among older individuals, can also lower stroke risk and be associated with less silent stroke and mental decline. However, among older adults it is important to check with your physician before you start more vigorous physical activity,” Sacco concluded.
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Coronary heart disease, stroke, and depression risk lowered by regular outdoor walking: Study.