Researchers at the National Public Health Institute in Finland conducted a study to find out if exercise cut the risk of stroke and it found that even moderate exercise produced positive results.
They monitored 47,721 Finns aged between 25-64. They found that those who added physical activity as part of their leisure time such as walking, gardening, swimming, cycling and using fitness equipment at home or at a gym reduced their risk of stroke by 26%. Moderate levels of activity reduced the risk by 14%.
They also studied the effects of exercise on specific types of stroke. The chances of an Ischemic stroke (this is were a blood clot blocks the blood flow to the brain) were reduced by 20% in those people who did vigorous exercise and 13% in those who did moderate activity. The risk of a subarachnoid stroke (bleeding between the brain and its membrane) was 54% lower in the high activity group and 23% lower in the moderate activity group.
The lead investigator Gang Hu of the National Public Health Institute in Finland highly recommends that people should add short time exercise during working breaks such as going for a walk or visiting a gym at lunch time or cycling to and from work. The study found that those who did cycle to work for more than 30 minutes at a time had an 11% lower risk of a stoke and those that cycled slightly less had an 8% lower stroke risk.
With more computerization and mechanization people are becoming increasingly sedentary and this increases the risk of stroke considerably but the answer is simple, keep moving.