Northern Ireland news

Stroke Association urges people to take part in 'Resolution Run' to fund research - and reduce risk

Participants of last year's Resolution Run in support of the Stroke Association

REGULAR exercise could reduce the risk of suffering stroke by a fifth, according to a charity which is appealing for people to take part in its 'resolution run'.

Every five minutes across the UK someone's life is turned upside down by stroke, with around 37,000 people living after the condition in Northern Ireland alone.

The Stroke Association is encouraging people to take part in regular exercise to help reduce the risk and has organised 34 runs, including an event in Belfast, in a bid to promote its message.

Funds raised at the events will help fund vital research and support people affected by the condition.

Among those taking part is Graeme Ferguson (48) from Banbridge. He said he was inspired to sign up for the Belfast Resolution Run when his friend Scott suffered a stroke and heart attack in July last year, aged just 42.

"We thought we were going to lose him," he said.

"We were told to prepare for the worst but thankfully he is recovering well.

"It's spurred me on to give myself the best chance to stay healthy.

"I just really enjoy running now. I'm fitter, my mood is better. I'm glad to be running the Resolution Run for a charity that supports local people like Scott recovering from stroke."

Tom Robinson, a professor of stroke medicine at the University of Leicester, said moderate to intense physical activity can reduce stroke risk by 20 per cent.

"You don't have to be an athlete to reduce your stroke risk, we can all do it as part of our daily routine," he said,

"Simply taking part in at least 30 minutes of activity which helps you break a sweat about three to four times a week will help.

"Remember, the more you do, the more you can reduce your risk."

Barry Macaulay from the Stroke Association in Northern Ireland said: "By signing up to a Resolution Run in Belfast each runner will not only reduce their stroke risk, they will also help ensure that we can continue to support stroke survivors and their families as they rebuild their lives".

The Stroke Association Resolution Run Belfast 5K or 10K takes place on February 24 at Queen's Sport from 11am.

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