A recent study published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke found that women who walked regularly had a decreased risk of stroke.
Women who said they walked briskly had a 37% lower risk of stroke than those who didn't walk. Women who reported walking at least two hours a week at any pace had a 30 percent lower risk.
The research involved about 39,000 female health workers 45 or older enrolled in the Women's Health Study. The women were asked periodically about their physical activity. During 12 years of follow-up, 579 had strokes.
Besides walking, the study looked at vigorous activities like running, swimming and biking, but researchers didn't find a link between those vigorous activities and a reduced stroke risk. The researcher said there may not have been enough women in that group to show a difference. It's also possible, they said, that moderate activity is better at lowering blood pressure, a strong risk factor for stroke.
Researchers also took into account things that affect the risk of stroke like age, aspirin regime and smoking.