Does Exercise Help Your Stroke Recovery?
Being consistent with exercise may not always prevent a stroke but instead appears to predict you how well you’ll likely recover from a stroke. On the flip side, being inactive appears to contribute to poor outcomes such as more disability after a stroke. If you’re looking at ways to support your stroke rehabilitation, this article explores the role of exercise and its impact on your stroke recovery.
The journal, Neurology, published the latest findings of research completed by a Harvard University team. Led by study author Dr. Pamela Rist, found those who exercised ‘vigorously’ three times a week or more prior to a stroke were more likely to be more independent after the stroke compared to those who were inactive.
The researchers followed more than 18,000 people who were initially stroke-free for an average of 12 years. In answering Does Exercise Help Your Stroke Recovery? the key features and findings of the study were:
- Participants were interviewed regularly about their ability to do basic activities of daily living, height, weight and level of physical activity
- Vigorous physical activity was defined as sports, heavy housework or a job that required physical effort.
- 1,374 of the participants had a stroke and survived and
- 479 people had a stroke and died before the next round of interviews.
- Of the stroke survivors who were physically inactive, they were found to be 18% less likely to be taking care of their basic activities such as bathing and dressing three years after stroke than those who exercised regularly.
Summing Up: So Does Exercise Help Your Stroke Recovery?
“Our study was able to show that being physically inactive before stroke predicts a higher risk of being dependent both before and after stroke,” Dr Rist said.
The research implications are
- Research is required to investigate whether more intense activity has the potential to improve stroke outcomes
- It remains unanswered as to what is the right level of intensity, frequency and duration is required to achieve optimal stroke recovery outcomes
- Physical activity, but not body mass index, predicts less disability before and after stroke. https://www.neurology.org/content/88/18/1718.abstract
Stroke Recovery Products and Services
- Stroke Recovery Plan: Here’s how you can get direction and take control of your stroke recovery.The Stroke Recovery Plan was developed to help survivors and their families. People maybe like you who are dealing with the aftershocks of stroke and who want direction on what are the actions, tools and strategies to best help with their long term stroke recovery.In the end, the aim of the plan is to help you and your family obtain more clarity about what actions will help you achieve a life that you want a life, more on your terms. To learn more about how you can start your stroke recovery plan, click HERE.