Running May Protect The Brain From Silent Strokes

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 8, 2011

A recent study supports the notion that running is good for you.

The good news continues to pile on for runners: This time a recent study has found that a running (or swimming or biking) may protect the brain from “silent strokes”.

What are silent strokes?

They are small brain lesions that can lead to mental decline and can increase the chances of a future stroke.

“These silent strokes are more significant than the name implies because they have been associated with an increased risk of falls and impaired mobility, memory problems and even dementia, as well as stroke,” says the author of the study, Dr. Joshua Z. Willey of Columbia University.”Encouraging older people to take part in moderate to intense exercise may be an important strategy for keeping their brains healthy.”

For the study, Dr. Willey compiled information on the exercise habits of over 1,200 people who had never had a stroke.

Of this group, 43 percent indicated they did little to no exercise; 36 percent did light physical activity; and 21 percent indicated they did moderate to intense exercise on a regular basis.

For More: U.S. News and World Report

FILED UNDER: News TAGS: / / / / / / / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter