Sunday, September 23, 2012

Consistency yields positive results for Stroke patients!

Following the interview that I recently completed where I spoke on Adaptive Fitness for Stroke and SCI survivors, I decided to go looking through my literature to find a research article that I referenced. I was successful in finding it and have posted it below for all to enjoy.

Click here for the article:

http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/walking-improves-function-in-stroke-survivors

To sum up the article and my conversation from that Interview, I was speaking on a research study that was conducted in October 2009 and published in an issue of The Cochrane Library and reported on by Ideafit.com

The goal of this research study was to determine the benefits of post stroke exercise programs, the research collected was from 24 different studies with over 1100 stroke patients and including resistance training, cycling, and walking as means of exercise.

The conclusion from the study was that walking, 3 or more times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes yielded greater results than a strength training program or no program at all. The benefits were noted speed, walking tolerance, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

As I stated in the interview, consistent exercise is vitally important if an individual is looking to further their progress.

Walking is, in my opinion only the beginning when it comes to stroke recovery and regaining or retraining atrophied muscle or mind-muscle communication.

Walking is something that depending on your level of independence following stroke can be done safely with a family member, friend, or in your own home.

In addition to a great foundation with a walking program, I encourage all recovering stroke patients to look into adaptive fitness training to maximize strength, balance, coordination, and endurance all to improve your walking and all other functional movements in the process.

An adaptive fitness training session will include a combination of movements that are not at all uncommon, these movements will be paired with additional otherwise simple movements with a key focus in overstimulating your nervous system and maximizing mind muscle communication to improve neuro pathways.

For example, a typical session may include a stroke client performing a squat from a chair. Simple enough right?....Stand up, sit down, done.

Again, we want to overstimulate the nervous system. So that simple squat is going to include maintaining the position of a light medicine ball with fully extended arms with the ball above eye level. Getting harder now, huh?....

That's not all, constant cuing will be provided because the focus also has to be on engaging core muscles throughout the movement while breathing correctly.

Don't think it's challenging? try it.....

Overstimulating the nervous system.....the stroke patient/client has to perform a squat, while holding a light medicine ball, keeping the ball above eye level, while keeping arms fully extended, focusing on engaging core muscles and breathing all at the same time.

and now we go into the number of sets and reps that need to be completed....

It's is a very challenging movement and only one of the many exercises in an adaptive fitness trainers toolbox.


Exercise is a great tool for everyone, but is especially important when recovering from a disability.

If you don't use it, you will lose it!

Consistency, as proven with the above research article will yield positive results if applied.

Keep fighting, Never give up!

-Devon