Stroke prevention through lots of exercise

Stroke prevention through lots of exercise

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Strokes can be prevented with lots of exercise

Every year there are more than a quarter of a million strokes in Germany. The so-called brain infarction is one of the three most common causes of death. Those who survive the disease often have to live permanently with everyday physical limitations. However, a decisive part of the strokes could be prevented by preventive measures.

Around 270,000 people suffer a stroke in Germany every year. In principle, it can affect everyone - from infants to old people. These can be prevented by minimizing certain risk factors. “70 percent of all strokes would be avoidable. Especially through more exercise, ”wrote the German Stroke Aid Foundation in a current announcement.

Influenceable risk factors

"The cause of a stroke can be risk factors that cannot be influenced or influenced," explains the German stroke help on its website. Factors such as inheritance or age cannot be influenced. Risk factors such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, diabetes mellitus, obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, stress and lack of exercise can be influenced.

The latter factor in particular is the focus of this year's World Stroke Day on October 29th. "The key word is exercise," explains Prof. Dominik Michalski, senior physician at the stroke unit (stroke unit) of the clinic and polyclinic for neurology at the Leipzig University Hospital (UKL) in a message. "If you want to prevent a stroke, you should exercise a lot and keep blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipid levels as normal as possible."

Exercise is probably the most important "health-maker"

Accordingly, the motto of the German Stroke Aid Foundation for World Stroke Day this year is "Every step counts!". According to the experts, exercise is probably the most important "health-maker". "Because physical activity not only makes the blood vessels healthier, but also reduces other risk factors for a stroke, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and obesity," explains Miriam Mashkoori, prevention expert at German Stroke Help.

According to the foundation, this is not about top athletic performance. For example, for good stroke prevention, walking 30 minutes five days a week may be enough. “Anyone who does moderate sports for 150 minutes a week is doing a lot right. This corresponds to the recommendations of the World Health Organization WHO, ”said Mashkoori.

For Prof. Michalski, in addition to sufficient exercise, a balanced diet is also part of a package of preventive measures to keep the risk of so-called cardiovascular events, which include stroke, as low as possible. It is clear to the UKL expert that not everyone can just do it this way: "It takes a lot of positive motivation to change your lifestyle."

Prevent another stroke

Unfortunately, even with the best preventive measures, strokes cannot always be prevented. "Despite improvements in the so-called acute therapy directly after the event, which can open up reopened brain vessels, many sufferers after a stroke suffer from permanent restrictions in their everyday life, such as paralysis or difficulty speaking," explains Prof. Michalski.

The options for follow-up care are therefore crucial. In addition to reducing the stroke-related deficits, it is also a matter of preventing a new stroke from occurring. "Interestingly, in addition to the right medication, the same measures as for prevention play a crucial role, ie exercise, nutrition and the optimal setting of risk factors such as increased blood lipids," says Michalski. "However, those affected would have to pay even more attention to the implementation of this package of measures, whereby regular medical checks, for example by the family doctor, can help." (Ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Video: Best Stroke Recovery Hand Exercises - Stage 1 (September 2022).