Brisk walking, tennis and other types of moderate exercise may lower a woman’s stroke risk by one-fifth, according to the results of a new study. Researchers looked at the number of strokes that occurred among nearly 133,500 women in the California Teachers Study, which ran from 1996 to 2010.

Women who said they did moderate physical activity in the three years before enrolling in the study were 20% less likely to have a stroke than those who were inactive. The findings were presented recently at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in San Diego, California.

While 87% of the women in the study were Caucasian, the results likely apply to women in other racial/ethnic groups, the researchers noted. They added that the study only found an association between exercise and reduced stroke risk. It did not prove cause and effect.

More strenuous activity, such as running, didn’t further reduce women’s stroke risk. Moderate activity, such as brisk walking, appeared to be ideal in this scenario, the researchers noted.

— Source: American Stroke Association

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