“I was surprised that moderate physical activity was most strongly associated with a reduced risk of stroke,” stated Sophia Wang, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor of population sciences at the school. “More strenuous activity such as running didn’t further reduce women’s stroke risk. Moderate activity, such as brisk walking[,] appeared to be ideal in this scenario.”
Besides the inactive, women with diabetes and those who are overweight tend to have a more elevated stroke risk, which can also be mitigated through moderate physical activity. These are the types of conditions addressed by Dr. Leslie Tidwell, a Georgia-based physician who deals specifically with women’s health issues.
Dr. Leslie Tidwell’s background in obstetrics and gynecology has given her years of expertise in addressing women’s health issues, such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, both of which can affect stroke risk. Dr. Leslie Tidwell is also an expert in dealing with osteoporosis, the subject of other similar studies that have found a common link between physical activity and improved bone health.
Keeping Fit Will Do Wonders for Your Aging Bones
A 2001 study out of the University of Nottingham published by the British Geriatrics Society found that moderate exercise significantly reduces the risk of osteoporotic fractures, particularly in old age. While some types of extreme exercise may increase the risk of bone fractures, most common exercises such as walking or playing tennis can help build bone strength by improving bone mineral density.
“[Exercise] can improve postural stability and muscle strength and so reduce the prevalence of injurious falls, as well as increas[e] bone mineral density (BMD) and by implication bone strength,” explains the study. “[T]hose who report that their normal walking speed is brisk and those who regularly climb stairs emerge as having higher bone mineral density and lower fracture risks than their more sedentary peers.”
Later research published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice (IJCP) found that, apart from staying away from cigarettes, one of the best things a person can do for his or her health is to stay active. Of course, packing on the nutrition in the form of healthy fats, trace minerals, carbohydrates from chemical-free vegetables, and proteins from nuts and grass-fed meats is also essential.
Based on the findings of the IJCP study, it is clear that exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, obesity, high blood pressure and even cancer. Walking briskly or cycling for just 30 minutes per day, at a minimum, can substantially reduce a person’s risk of developing cancer. And when that amount is doubled to one hour daily, the risk is further reduced.
“Healthy adults aged between 18 and 65 should aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week, such as 30 minutes of brisk walking, five days a week,” recommended the authors. “And people who undertake more vigorous intensity exercise, such as jogging, should aim for 20 minutes three days a week.”