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Exercise to prevent stroke

A quarter of people in Northern Ireland could prevent a stroke by doing moderate exercise, a leading health charity said today.

The Stroke Association NI urged people to step up for the Stroke Challenge - a free sponsored walk being held on Stroke Awareness Day on May 12.

Stroke is the third biggest killer in Northern Ireland and the biggest disabler. Every year over 4,000 people will have a stroke, said the charity.

Setting out in stark detail what that meant it said: "Today in Northern Ireland 12 people will have a stroke. four of those people will recover, four will have permanent disabilities and four will die."

However, it said strokes can be prevented. By doing 30 minutes of exercise five times a week the risk can be reduced - with walking an excellent and simple form of exercise.

Charity director Tony Richardson said: "Walking 10,000 steps a day can help to reduce body fat, and to lower and prevent high blood pressure and cholesterol - two major factors for stroke."

He added: "Why not join the Stroke Association NI on Tuesday 12th May by taking part in Step Up for Stroke. Not only will you be helping raise awareness of stroke, but also helping to reduce your own risk of stroke."

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