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Exercise should be prescribed to people recovering from stroke

Stroke sufferers should be prescribed exercise by their doctors. That is according to a scientific statement by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association who insist that exercise is an important part of post-stroke care.

Approximately 10,000 Irish people fall victim to a stroke every year and there are approximately 50,000 stroke survivors around Ireland. The scientists in the United States believe that many people lead inactive lives after a stroke and this reduces their ability to carry out everyday activities, such as bathing, dressing and moving from one place to another. They have said that it also increases their risk of suffering from another stroke in the future.

Dr Sandra Billinger of the University of Kansas Medical Centre was the lead author of the research and said “There is strong evidence that physical activity and exercise after stroke can improve cardiovascular fitness, walking ability and upper arm strength. In addition, emerging research suggests exercise may improve depressive symptoms, cognitive function, memory and quality of life after stroke. We as healthcare providers need to help stroke patients develop the skills and confidence they need to begin and maintain an exercise program that includes aerobic exercise and strength training as part of their stroke care.”



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