In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in improving muscle function after stroke. Researchers suggested that HIIT may improve outcomes in these patients.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability among adults. These patients often have impaired muscle function, balance, and movement. Rehabilitation of these patients improves their quality of life, and of their caregivers. However, patients with stroke have a decreased physical fitness (ability to make physical efforts) when compared to healthy people. Moreover, improving fitness is important to lower the risk of another stroke.
HIIT consists of short intensive physical exercise separated by periods of recovery. Prior studies showed that HIIT improves the fitness of healthy people. However, the effectiveness of HIIT in patients with stroke is still not clear.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed 6 other studies. They included 140 patients with stroke, overall. These patients received HIIT for 20 to 30 minutes per session, 2 to 5 times per week. The sessions lasted for 2 to 8 weeks in total. HIIT was performed on a treadmill and a bike. Patients were followed-up before and after treatment.
These patients showed improvements in fitness and in movement ability. Improvements were seen especially in walking function.
The bottom line
This study concluded that HIIT improves the fitness and walking capacity of patients with stroke.
The fine print
This analysis included studies with a limited number of patients. Further studies are needed.
If you have concerns regarding physical exercise after stroke, please consult with your physician.
Published By :
PM & R: the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation
Mar 12, 2019