Individuals who are physically fit are less likely to suffer from a disability after a stroke. According to new research, however, physical fitness does not necessarily mean lack of fat. In other words, high body fat percentages are not necessarily predictors of a high risk of disability after a stroke.
According to research conducted at Harvard University, physical inactivity before a stroke is linked to a higher risk of becoming dependent, both before and after the stroke. Researchers focused on more than 18,000 people who had no stroke history. They were followed over a period of 18 years, and during that time, approximately 1,400 persons in the study survived a stroke.
The researchers found that three years after the stroke, people who had a very physically fit lifestyle that included plenty of exercise were 18% more likely to be able to perform independent tasks, such as bathing. They were also 16% more likely to perform complex tasks, like managing their finances, compared to those who were not as physically fit before the stroke.