Moving Thru Your 40s? Stay Fit to Avoid Strokes Later
By Sandy Schroeder
There are all sorts of benefits from being active in the mid-to-late 40s, but one of the key ones may be reducing the likelihood of having a stroke down the road.
As you look ahead and picture yourself touring the world in retirement, staying healthy is a definite must.
Fitness Is Crucial
New research data published in Stroke, says that the more fit we are in our 40s, the less likely we are to have a stroke after age 65.
Researchers studied 20,000 people for 10 years, ages 45 to 50, using data collected from treadmill fitness tests. Three groups were created based on cardio respiratory fitness, which is how well the heart and lungs supply oxygen to muscles during exercise and how well the muscles use it.
People in the study with the highest levels of fitness were 37 percent less likely to have a stroke after age 65 compared to those who were the least fit.
What to Do Next
To take the fitness advice to heart, Harvard Health suggests checking with your doctor first and then exercising at a moderate intensity for at least five days a week.
Walk 30 minutes or more a day - If you have been skipping exercise lately, a new walking routine will boost cardiovascular fitness quickly. You should feel lighter on your feet and have greater endurance.
Take the stairs or park farther away - Add steps wherever you can, at work, while shopping, and on weekends to do errands. Drive as little as possible, making walking or biking the first choices whenever possible.
Activate the weekends - Get the family off the couch and moving as you bike, hike or pursue other favorite sports. Or volunteer to help with your child's team sports.
Exercise in the evenings too - Instead of parking on the couch, consider moving a treadmill or stationary bike into the family room to add some more activity time to the day. You can also use resistance bands or small weights.
Start mornings earlier with a walk - Get up 15 minutes earlier and walk, jog or run around your neighborhood.
Find a workout buddy - Friends who also need to exercise can be the best motivators to keep you on track. Sign up for a class at the gym or meet every morning or evening for a walk.
Try dancing, ballet or tai chi - Branch out with new classes that keep you moving and shape your body too.
Revive an old favorite sport - If you used to love to shoot hoops, or skate or ski, this may be the time to start up again.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Caldwell, N.J.