Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Stroke Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Regular, Vigorous Exercise May Lower Stroke Risk

Direct effect not shown in study, but experts say physical activity's impact is clear

continued...

But that number dipped to 14 percent -- considered to be statistically insignificant -- once the researchers did more adjusting. In other words, the extra exercise appeared to have no effect after taking into account for traditional stroke risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, overweight, alcohol use and smoking.

However, this may be because the further adjustments eliminated the indirect influence of exercise on stroke -- its effect on risk factors like high blood pressure, for example.

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.

Steven Blair, a professor who studies exercise at the University of South Carolina, praised the study and said a 20 percent reduction in stroke risk is "a reasonably big deal," especially in comparison with medical treatments for some conditions that may have the same effect.

The message "is simply that everyone should strive to meet our Health and Human Services physical activity guidelines -- all adults should get 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity, or mix and match with one minute of vigorous being equal to two minutes of moderate," Blair said. "The exercise bouts should be at least 10 minutes in duration. So if everyone took three 10-minute walks a day on at least five days of the week, this would have a dramatic effect on disease rates in the U.S. population."

The study appears online July 18 in the journal Stroke.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

brain illustration stroke
Know these 5 signs.
brain scans
Test your stroke smarts.
 
woman with migraine
Is there a link?
brain scan
Get the facts.
 
brain scans
Quiz
woman with migraine
Article
 
brain scan
Article
headache
Video
 
senior man stretching pre workout
Article
Floor level view of therapist helping stroke patie
Article
 
concerned woman
Article
Lowering Cholesterol Slideshow
SLIDESHOW