Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stroke Prevention: Exercise and Physical Activity

Physical activity includes anything that gets your body moving. You know from my previous blog, Stroke Prevention: Reduce Your Risk With Diet and Exercise, people who exercise five or more times per week have a reduced stroke risk of up to 80 percent. Some recommendations for exercising during the week include:
  • Moderate Activity- 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week (brisk walking, water aerobics, bicycling) and 2 or more days a week of weight training exercises.
  • Vigorous Activity- 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week (jogging, running, swimming laps) and 2 or more days a week of weight training exercises.
  • Segmented Workouts- If you can’t fit a 30-minute activity in one time, break it up into 10-minute segments. Remember that all physical activity counts.
  • Have Fun- Walk or bike with a friend, take a dance class, and try different times of the day that fit your schedule.
Regular physical activity will improve your overall health and fitness, and reduce your risk for chronic diseases, like stroke, increasingly.
In fact, aerobic exercise deepens your breathing and increases your heart rate by activating the large muscles in your arms, legs and hips. Not only does exercise enhance your health for the future. Some short-term effects of aerobic activity are an increase in the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your body and a matching increase in the amount of oxygen-depleted blood flowing from your body to your lungs. Therefore, regular aerobic exercise has long-term benefits including a strengthening of your heart, a reduction of your normal heart rate and increased blood-pumping efficiency, which impacts your goals in the prevention of stroke.
You should challenge yourself when deciding on what exercises you want to implement into your routine. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with HIIT, or high intensity interval training. HIIT is short bursts of high-intensity exercise. Your routine should typically include:
  • Warm up for three minutes
  • Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds
  • Recover for 90 seconds
  • Repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery cycle 5-8 more times
HIIT maximizes your secretion of human growth hormone, optimizes your metabolism, and helps regulate your insulin and blood sugar. Implementing exercise and physical activity, as mentioned in this blog, you can reduce your risk of stroke extensively. Keep in mind the tips that you’ve read here and remember to challenge yourself but have fun. What you do today effects your life later. Make it count!

Lifestyle Risk Factors. (2014, August 4). Retrieved March 22, 2015, from
Hoyle, M. (2014, February 7). The Best Exercise for Preventing a Stroke. Retrieved March 22, 2015, from
Mercola. (2014, October 4). Vigorous Exercise May Significantly Lower Your Stroke Risk. Retrieved March 22, 2015, from

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