However now, scientists have found that doing exercise - and more importantly sweating while doing so - can actually decrease the risk of a stroke by up to 20%. Every year, around 40,000 people in the UK die from a stroke.
Researchers found that people who don't do any exercise are more likely to experience a stroke or mini-stroke than those who work out at a moderate or vigorous intensity four times a week.
The study was carried out in the 'stroke belt' states in south-east America including Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Top Tips To Prevent A Stroke:
- Diet - cutting out saturated fat
- Exercise - 150 minutes a week
- Quit smoking - puffing away doubles the risk of a stroke
- Manage your alcohol - heavy drinking increases the risk of a stroke by three times
However - the findings may be different for both genders, reported The Daily Mail. The findings were more likely to be applicable to men - the link between physical activity and strokes was less clear cut for women.
However, research from a study which followed more than 30,000 people for a decade has revealed that if women walk around 35 minutes a day, it can reduce a risk of stroke.
Exercise can help to reduce high blood pressure (hypertension), which can contribute to a stroke.
Author of the research Doctor Michelle McDonnell, a lecturer in Health Sciences at the University of South Australia, said: "The stroke-lowering benefits of physical activity are related to its impact on other risk factors. Exercise reduces blood pressure, weight and diabetes. If exercise was a pill, you’d be taking one pill to treat four or five different conditions."
How to spot a stroke from HuffPost US: