A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is disrupted. This can be due to a ruptured or blocked brain artery. Plaque or blood clots can block totally or partially the blood flow from the carotid arteries to the brain. When this happens, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes limited, thereby damaging the cells in the brain.
Stroke results in the loss of sensation, voluntary movement, or function in the parts of the body controlled by the damaged part of the brain. In a severe stroke, the person may lose consciousness, or may die.
There are conditions and behaviours that may raise a man’s risk for stroke. Smoking raises one’s risk of a stroke by four times compared to the risk for non-smokers. Another cause of stroke is high intake of salt or sodium.
A stroke can be fatal. Men with a family history of heart disease are more likely to have higher risk for peripheral artery disease. The risk of an attack further increases with aging, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, and obesity.
If a man has one or more of the risk factors, his next step should be prevention.
Healthy Exercise Can Reduce Male Stroke Risk
Primary stroke prevention includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and clean living. Moderate daily workouts can improve a man’s health and may reduce one’s risk for stroke.
An American Heart Association Scientific Statement from the Council on Clinical Cardiology stated, “Because increased levels of physical activity are associated with a reduced risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease and enhanced physical and psychosocial performance, such interventions performed in a stroke rehabilitation program may have a favorable effect on the prevention of recurrent stroke and cardiovascular events.” [AHA Scientific Statement: Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Stroke Survivors (Circulation.2004; 109:2031-2041) © 2004 American Heart Association, Inc., circ.ahajournals.org]
Therefore, a regular workout can help men build a healthier and stronger body. A regular workout also helps speed up metabolism and boost energy levels.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General Report on Physical Activity and Health, lack of exercise can increase risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. [Article: Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart]
How Jogging, Swimming and Walking Lower Vascular Disorder
Studies show that physically active persons were less likely to have a stroke. Dr. Carl Remeirs wrote in his article “Exercise as Stroke Prophylaxis” that physical activity has an independent protective effect against stroke. He also wrote that a regular workout can lower arterial blood pressure and body weight and improves glucose and lipid metabolism. Exercise prevents stroke and lowers the risk by up to 40%.
The other effects of exercise on the body are remarkable. Frequent and regular exercise promotes good physical shape, ideal weight, strong bones, and healthy immune system. Regular exercise can boost the mechanical efficiency of the heart. Men who regularly jog, swim, and walk will have a better physical ability later in life.
Who Needs a Dose of Jogging, Swimming and Walking?
“Lifelong Exercise Keeps Seniors Young at Heart”, is the headline of an article posted on health.usnews.com.
Seniors can keep their hearts healthy with a regular exercise. A dose of exercise can lower feelings of fatigue and stress. A regular exercise routine also enhances older people’s level of balance and endurance, which they need to be able to perform their daily tasks alone.
In addition, routine exercise is helpful to those who are obese— those with 25 or more Body Mass Index (BMI). Obese individuals have a high risk for life-threatening blood clots, which block veins and arteries. Blood clots may lodge in a blood vessel and cut off blood circulation to vital organs, which will result in a heart attack.
Dynamic activities such as sports can help dissolve blood clots. Physical activities can reduce one’s risk of blood clots. “Exercise can reverse blood clot formation,” concludes lead researcher Derek T. Smith of the University of Colorado, Health Sciences Center. [Article: Exercise Can Help Dissolve Blood Clots by Jeanie Lerche Davis, WebMD Health News, webmd.com]
Aim for half an hour a day of exercise, preferably every day of the week. Moderate exercise such as jogging, swimming and brisk walking is wise to consider for the lonely, the sedentary, the middle-aged, and the 65 and counting . . . a step to better health and younger heart.
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