A track record of regular exercise may lessen the severity of a stroke, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. The authors base their findings on 673 patients all of whom had had a first stroke and were taking part in the Ischemic Stroke Genetics study. The participants were quizzed about their levels of regular physical activity prior to the stroke, and the impact the stroke had on their lives was assessed twice, three months apart. Half the patients said they were physically active less than once a week. A further 28.5% said they exercised one to three times a week; while one in five (21%) said they indulged in physical activity four or more times a week. Those who exercised less frequently tended to be older - 45% of them were over 70 - and they were more likely to be female and have pre-existing conditions, such as heart failure, high blood pressure, or diabetes. But even after taking account of these factors, those who were moderately to very physically active were still less affected by their stroke than those who had taken very little regular exercise. They had higher scores on the Barthel Index at their first assessment. This measures how well an individual is able to take care of him/herself by doing routine tasks, such as getting dressed, bathing, etc. They also had fewer functional problems, as measured by the Oxford Handicap Scale, which evaluates the degree of physical/neurological impairment and its impact on independent living. At the second assessment, three months later, those who had exercised regularly before their stroke still had higher Barthel Index scores. The authors caution that their results would need to be confirmed in a larger group of patients before any firm conclusions could be drawn. But they suggest that there are several plausible explanations for the impact of previous exercise on stroke. Exercise improves the physical tone of arteries, which eases blood and oxygen flow around the body, including to the muscles and the brain. This could both help build up resilience to the sort of onslaught a stroke has, as well as speeding up recovery, they suggest.Source: BMJSRM << Neglecting Needs Of Bottle-Feeding Mums Put Babies Health A... More Hysterectomies Could Be Performed With Minimally Invas... >> Recommended Reading Stroke Stroke can cause permanent disability and it is important to recognize its early warning signs to stop its progress. Early warning signs of stroke include sudden weakness of facial muscles. READ MORE Stroke - First Aid and Emergency Treatment Guide A quick and simple First Aid guide on how to administer treatment for Stroke. READ MORE Acute evaluation and management of ischemic stroke-1 - Introduction Distance Education for Acute evaluation and management of ischemic stroke-1 READ MORE Mini-Stroke Patients Get Better Care In Hospitals With Stroke Services Patients who suffer from transient ischemic attack (so-called "mini-strokes") are more likely to receive rapid assessment and care if they attend a hospital, which has organized stroke care services. READ MORE Congenital Heart Disease Heart diseases that are present at birth are called “ Congenital heart diseases”. READ MORE Exercise and Fitness Exercise is about revamping your lifestyle, not just weight loss. Exercise to get healthy – that way, you’ll last longer at it and get better results. READ MORE Hyperventilation Hyperventilation occurs when a person breathes in excess to the body’s requirement. READ MORE Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal! Simple and practically possible lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in improving our health status without actually putting much effort. READ MORE Mitral Valve Stenosis And Mitral Valve Replacement Mitral valve replacement is a surgical heart procedure to correct either the narrowing (stenosis) or the leakage (regurgitation). READ MORE Stress and the Gender Divide Stress has become entwined in the current lifestyle of a young working couple and has resulted in the rise in incidence of hypertension, diabetes and psychosomatic illnesses. READ MORE Tips to Live Longer Though life is temporary and short, it is possible to maximize the span of our existence by living healthy and savoring every moment of life, read our tips to live longer READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Find a Doctor Vent Forte (Theophylline) Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) More News on: Diet Lifestyle and Heart DiseaseMitral Valve Stenosis And Mitral Valve ReplacementCongenital Heart DiseaseStress and the Gender DivideStroke FactsStrokeTips to Live LongerHyperventilationExercise and FitnessLifestyle Modification: No Big Deal!