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 Summer Sports Can Reduce the Risk of a Stroke

July 22, 2011    Contact: Sue Crosson-Knutson   312-334-2311

CHICAGO - Summertime fun - swimming, bicycling, jogging, playing tennis or a round of golf – can reduce the risk of coronary disease and stroke, the number one and four causes of death in America according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 National Vital Statistics Report.

“Thirty minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day is the minimum for maintaining good blood flow and a healthy body weight,” said Niten Singh, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “This moderate activity burns 600 to 1200 calories weekly and can reduce the risk of coronary disease and stroke.”

The lack of regular physical activity is attributable to 250,000 deaths annually according to a 2003 report in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation. Least physically fit persons have a mortality risk 4.5 times higher than physically fit persons. The highest gains in terms of mortality result when least fit persons begin an exercise routine. 

The bottom line: it’s never too late to start exercising.

“Start with a leisurely 30-minute walk or a slow bike ride,” said Dr. Singh. “Exercise promotes weight loss which decreases blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reports that 34 percent of American adults are overweight and 33 percent are obese. Summer sports can start to reverse that trend.”

Among the health benefits of exercise are lowering the risk of:

Early death
Heart disease
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure 
Adverse blood lipid profile
Metabolic syndrome
Colon and breast cancers

Source: 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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The Society for Vascular Surgery® is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,686 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its website at® and follow SVS on Twitter at as well as on Facebook, Linkedin, and YouTube.


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