By Wendy Haaf
A 2021 Canadian study found that the incidence of death was up to 80 per cent lower among stroke survivors who accumulated three to four hours a week of moderate to intense physical activity (such as gardening, walking, or biking).
The trial followed 895 stroke survivors (average age: 72) and a control group of 97,805 people with no such history (average age: 63) for roughly 4.8 years. After accounting for other risk factors, such as smoking, deaths from all causes were higher among those with a history of stroke than in the control group: 25 per cent as opposed to six per cent.
However, among stroke survivors who exercised three to four hours a week, the incidence of death was less than half that among those who were the least active: 15 per cent versus 33 per cent, respectively. The degree of protection was most impressive among exercisers under age 75 with prior stroke, who saw an 80 per cent reduction in mortality risk.