A new study finds that women who take brisk walks a few times a week had a significantly lower risk of stroke than women who didn’t walk. The study was published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association and echo the findings of prior studies that those who are more physically active have a lower risk of stroke than less active people. Statistics show that the risk factors could actually be 30 percent lower for women that are more active.
The risk factors were lower for both ischemic stroke, where the blood supply is interrupted and hemorrhagic stroke, where bleeding within the brain occurs. Furthermore, it showed that women who walked at a brisk pace had a 68 percent lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke while those who walked only two or more hours during the course of a week had a 57 percent lower risk of a hemorrhagic stroke.
The study was conducted at The Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts with numerous participants over a period of more than eleven years. More than 39 thousand women, all of which were health professionals, participated.
The study also found women who were the most active, in all of their leisure activities, lowered their risk factors for any type of stroke by 17 percent.
Statistics show that a stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. For those that survive, it is the leading cause of a serious disability in America. Exercise can help lower the risk factors for a stroke. These new findings also show that something as simple as taking the time to walk a few times a week can play a significant role in primary prevention.
Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for developing any type of coronary artery disease. According to the American Heart Association, “Coronary artery disease is characterized by deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the inner lining of arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle.”