Recent research shows that regular exercise can cut your risk of stroke by more than 25 percent. Even moderate exercise increases cerebral blood flow, which improves the function and health of your brain.
Any form of exercise will do – the key is to increase your heart rate and push yourself to feel at least a little warm and a little out of breath.
You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity five or more times a week – if you don’t have time for a half-hour all at once, don’t worry – you can break it up into smaller blocks of time throughout the day.
Here are some easy ways to add physical activity to your day:
- Take the scenic route at work. Park farther away in the parking lot and take the stairs instead of the elevator. You can park farther away when shopping or running errands, too.
- Take your dog for a walk.
- Instead of standing around and waiting – like when you’re waiting to board a flight or waiting for your kids to finish practice – use the time to take a walk.
- Plan fun activities that get you moving – like dancing or playing with your kids.
- Turn household chores into exercise – from cleaning your house to gardening and yardwork. Just make sure you move quickly enough to get your heart rate up.
If you haven’t been active recently, or if you’re over 40 and have any medical conditions, be sure to speak to a doctor before you increase your physical activity.