Many healthcare providers recommend regular exercise to their patients for improving overall health and reducing the risk of disease. A new study performed by researchers at Columbia University and the University of Miami has revealed that the intensity of the activities performed may play a big role in stroke risk though.
Researchers had 1200 hundred people with average ages in their mid-sixties who had no history of stroke complete a detailed survey regarding their exercise and activity habits. After a six year follow up researchers concluded that the participants who performed moderate to intense exercise were 40% less likely to develop brain lesions often referred to as silent strokes. The decrease in risk of silent strokes was just as pronounced after researchers took other risk factors for stroke into consideration. Light activities like walking and dancing has plenty of benefits for overall health but researchers did not find the same reduction in silent stroke risk with light exercise as they did with more intense activities.
Health care providers will likely continue to prescribe walking and other light activities to patients who want to lose weight but those that want to reduce stroke risk may have to crank up the intensity a bit. Make sure to consult your doctor prior to taking on any new form of exercise or activity in order to ensure that you are selecting a safe and appropriate activity for your current fitness level.