Exercise didn't ward off mine - a cryptogenic stroke - but a good exercise regimen brings down the odds of stroke risk years down the road. Check out the story on how middle-age fitness helps ward off stroke later:
Among nearly 20,000 adults in their mid to late 40s, researchers found the most fit had a 37 percent lower risk of having a stroke after 65, compared with the least fit.
The protective effect of fitness remained even after the researchers accounted for risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.
"Incorporating exercise and regular physical activity in one's day-to-day routine is important to improve fitness and lower risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in older age," said lead researcher Dr. Ambarish Pandey. He is a cardiology fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.
Pandey said an exercise routine should include aerobic exercise (such as jogging, swimming, walking or biking), plus strengthening exercise (such as free weights or strength-training machines).