Exercising to Prevent a Stroke
Exercise helps lower Reference high blood pressure Opens New Window, which is an important risk factor for Reference stroke Opens New Window. Exercise can help you control other things that put you at risk, such as Reference obesity Opens New Window, Reference high cholesterol Opens New Window and Reference diabetes Opens New Window.
It is important to exercise regularly. Do activities that raise your Reference heart rate Opens New Window. Try to do at least 2½ hours a week of Reference moderate exercise Opens New Window. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week. Start slowly and gradually build up your exercise program.
If you have already had a stroke or Reference transient ischemic attack (TIA) Opens New Window and you can still do physical activity, doctors recommend ½ to 1½ hours a week of moderate exercise. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, 1 to 3 days a week.
Moderate activity is safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program. You can use your target heart rate to figure out how hard to exercise. Use this Reference Interactive Tool: What Is Your Target Heart Rate? Reference
Low-intensity exercise, if done daily, also can have some long-term health benefits and lower the risk for heart problems that may lead to stroke. Low-intensity exercises have a lower risk of injury and are recommended for people with other health problems. Some low-intensity activities are:
- Gardening and other yard work.
For more information about developing a personal fitness plan, see the topic Fitness.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference January 7, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation