Stroke Reduction from Sweating? New Research Says Yes
Who knew that sweating could be good for you?
According to a study released this week by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, sweating while exercising may greatly reduce the risk of strokes in both men and women.
Exercising is already known to have a positive effect on the health of a person by reducing obesity and staying fit, as well as being a effective way to treat and in some cases eliminate certain types of diseases. However, this new study shows that the act of sweating while exercising can also greatly reduce the risk of stroke.
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For the study, researchers analyzed 27,000 stroke-free blacks and whites aged 45 and older in the United States from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study.
The people they studied were divided into three groups: active, which were people who did no workouts in a typical week; moderately active: people who worked out two or three times a week; and vigorously active: people who worked out more than four times per week. Their self-reported physically active levels were then followed for 5.7 years.
Scientists realized that the 33 percent of the participants who reported being physically active experienced a 20 percent reduction in stroke risks, especially among participants who worked out four times a week or more.
"The protective effect of intense physical activity may be through its impact on traditional risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes," Virginia Howard, Ph.D., UAB professor of epidemiology and senior study author,said in a press statement. "These findings confirm past results of studies done in only men or only women in limited geographical areas. By using the REGARDS cohort, our study was able to use a larger and more diverse population to show that participating in regular physical activity is associated with lower stroke risk."
The findings are published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.