In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of combined aerobic and resistance exercise training (ET) to treat stroke side effects. Researchers suggested that exercise programs improve the recovery outcomes of these patients.
Each year, around 795000 people have a stroke in the US. This happens when the blood flow to the brain is cut-off. Brain cells stop receiving oxygen and begin to die. This might cause long-term complications such as arm paralysis.
Prior studies showed that different ET programs improved walking capacity and muscle strength in stroke survivors. However, these studies included a small number of participants and did not provide an exercise guideline.
Methods & findings
This study included information from 16 studies. Overall, 602 stroke survivors who underwent ET recovery programs were included. ET involved a combination of aerobic and resistance training. Cardiorespiratory fitness (refers to the ability of the respiratory and circulatory system to provide oxygen during exercise), walking, and muscle strength were analyzed.
These programs significantly improved respiratory and walking capacity and muscle strength. Longer training duration improved respiratory capacity. Moderate weekly exercise and lower training intensity improved muscle strength. While moderate weekly training and longer training duration improved walking capacity.
The bottom line
This study concluded that an ET program of moderate-intensity (3 days a week for 20 weeks) improves the recovery outcomes of stroke survivors.
The fine print
This study was based on information from medical records. Data may have been missing. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases: the official journal of the National Stroke Association
Nov 13, 2019