Regular Exercise can Save Older Adults from Silent Strokes: American Academy of Neurology

Many of us are aware of different benefits of physical exercise. It shows positive effects both on our body and soul. Though, it is hard to practice in the initial stages, exercising regularly has many benefits in the long run for people of all age groups. Recent research reports too have suggested the same. Especially in case of older adults, regular exercise, ranging from moderate to intense is found to lessen the risk of silent strokes.

Silent strokes
There is a misconception that silent strokes are related to heart strokes. But they are not. A silent stroke occurs in the brain when the small blood vessels in it get blocked. After some time these blocked blood vessels will be unable to deliver the blood or oxygen to the brain and eventually the cells die.

Silent strokes affect a person’s memory and concentration and in worst cases people find it difficult even to walk. These are called as silent strokes, as they don’t show any signs of major stroke like severe headaches, dizziness, inability to smile etc., and this is also the reason why they are always overlooked.

Research report says
According to a report published in the medical Journal of the American Academy of Neurology which is based on the research work conducted by the Columbia University and University of Miami, people who participate in vigorous physical activity are less likely to experience silent strokes.

The study was conducted on around 1200 people who never had a stroke in their life time. At the beginning of the study the participants were asked about their exercising habits. 43% of them reported that they had no regular exercise, 36% were engaged in light regular exercise such as walking or golfing and 21% of them reported that they do regular exercise from moderate to heavy work outs like jogging and swimming.

Six years later, when these people were about an average of 70 years old, the researchers performed MRI scans on them and checked for any brain infarcts or tissue damages.

The reports of these MRI scans were quite interesting. They found that

  • Moderate to heavy exercisers were 40% less likely to have suffered a silent stroke than the non-exercisers
  • 16%, that is 197 members of the participants who are not doing any exercise or doing it lightly have experienced silent strokes

On successful completion of their research, experts are saying that there is no difference between less exercise and no exercise. Light exercise like golfing and bowling may not reduce the risk of silent strokes but still it has its own benefits showing positive results on several other conditions like aging. They also added that even doing a lot of heavy exercise all at once is not at all a good idea. Hence, it is recommended to perform moderate level of exercise on a regular basis to incur maximum benefits.

Ignoring physical exercise, you will become inactive and obese, both of which will increase the risk of major health problems. Therefore, always perform regular workouts to become both physically and mentally fit.


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