Nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year, and stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S. Many factors contribute to stroke risk but lack of exercise and poor diet are two risks that can be controlled.



Strokes are obvious when there is sudden drooping of one side of the face, or weakness of a leg and/or arm on one side. Some people may only have numbness in an extremity, confusion, unresponsiveness, or speech problems such as inability to speak, trouble getting out words, words that are garbled or don’t make sense.

Any of these symptoms warrant an immediate trip to an emergency department, even if the symptoms are of short duration or are improving. Time since onset of symptoms is critical because some strokes may be treated with a drug if a person reaches an emergency department within 3-4 hours. In patients who qualify, this drug may improve symptoms and prevent the stroke from worsening.



A healthy diet, adequate blood pressure control, lack of smoking, and regular exercise has all been shown to decrease one’s risk of stroke. An increasing number of research studies are finding that exercise is very helpful in prevention of various chronic diseases and slowing the progression of many disease processes.



Many patients undergo formal rehabilitation programs after a stroke. It is important to remember that after rehab, regular exercise helps maintain the gains achieved, as well as increase general conditioning, strength, cardio, and flexibility.


Only 21% of U.S. adults achieve the guidelines for leisure-time aerobic and muscle strengthening activities. Motion 4 Life Fitness is a great start for those wanting to reduce the risk of an initial stroke or prevent an additional stroke from occurring. We coordinate care with your physician to help ensure your exercise program is appropriate for your medical condition.


Carol Weesner, MD


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