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 in active appears to contribute to poor outcomes such as more disability after a stroke.
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
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