Each year, about 700,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke. About one-third of those strokes are recurrent. Strokes can reduce the ability to perform daily functions that consume lots of energy, such as dressing, bathing, walking and doing household chores.
Recent research shows , stroke survivors should be urged to exercise more at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, three to seven times a week, can help reduce the risk of another stroke. Strength training, to build up weak muscles, should be done at least two to three days a week and include eight to 10 different exercises involving major muscle groups.
AdvertisementStroke survivors should also do flexibility training and stretching before or after aerobic or strength training sessions two to three days a week and balance or coordination exercises two to three times a week since stroke survivors often have balance problems, which put them at risk for falls.
Researchers warn that inactivity can create a vicious circle of further decreased activity and greater exercise intolerance, leading to secondary complications such as reduced cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle atrophy, osteoporosis, and impaired circulation to the lower extremities in stroke survivors. However researchers say stroke survivors should undergo a complete medical history and physical exam before beginning an exercise program.