Benefits of Regular exercise on human health
ISLAMABAD (APP): Exercising enough to break a sweat may slightly reduce the risk of stroke in middle-aged and older people compared to those who are inactive, a new study suggests.
The study results indicate that "you can control your destiny with regards to stroke," said study lead author Michelle McDonnell.
"A healthy diet, healthy body weight, regular exercise and not smoking combined can reduce your risk of stroke by 80 percent.
"Here we show that regular physical activity is an important aspect of that and should be encouraged," Science Daily reported.
According to McDonnell, researchers already know that exercise directly reduces the risk of stroke by improving the health of blood vessels, and indirectly by improving risky traits such as high blood pressure and obesity.
The new study is unusual because it attempts to identify the effect of exercise on stroke risk and because it tracks people over time instead of relying on people's memories, said McDonnell, a lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia.
The researchers tracked more than 27,000 Americans starting between 2003 and 2007 for an average of nearly six years. Many were blacks from the "Stroke Belt," an area of the southeastern United States that has an especially high stroke rate.
Everyone was 45 or older at the beginning of the study, and none had previous strokes.
A total of 3.1 percent of those who said they vigorously exercised four or more times a week at the beginning of the study suffered strokes.
The percentages were 3.3 for those who exercised one to three times weekly and 3.6 for those who didn't exercise, according to the study authors.
The research also suggested men got more benefit from exercise than women on the stroke front. "There has been some research to suggest that women perhaps benefit from less intense exercise, like walking, but seeing as we didn't ask this question in our study we really can't speculate any more than that," McDonnell said.