After a stroke, survivors can greatly increase their odds for many more years of life through activities as easy as a half-hour’s stroll each day, new research shows.
The nearly five-year-long Canadian study found that stroke survivors who walked or gardened at least three to four hours a week (about 30 minutes a day), cycled at least two to three hours per week, or got an equivalent amount of exercise had a 54% lower risk of death from any cause.
The benefits were highest among younger stroke survivors. Those younger than 75 who did at least that much physical activity had an 80% lower risk of death, according to the study published online Aug. 11 in the journal Neurology.
“We should particularly emphasize [physical activity] to stroke survivors who are younger in age, as they may gain the greatest health benefits from walking just 30 minutes each day,” study author Dr. Raed Joundi, of the University of Calgary, said in a journal news release.