Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Post-stroke walking program improves stroke survivors' lives

Date:
March 7, 2013
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Regular brisk walking after a stroke may improve physical fitness, mobility and quality of life. Walking with friends or family can help stroke survivors overcome a fear of falling.

Regular, brisk walking after having a stroke could help boost your physical fitness, mobility and quality of life, according to research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

"Walking is a great way to get active after a stroke," said Carron Gordon, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a lecturer in the physical therapy department at University of the West Indies in Jamaica. "It's familiar, inexpensive, and it's something people could very easily get into."

Researchers divided 128 adult stroke survivors into a group that performed brisk outdoor walking three times a week for three months and a group that had therapeutic massage and no supervised exercise.

Compared to the massage group, the walking group:

  • Reported a 16.7 percent improvement in quality of life based on physical health.
  • Walked 17.6 percent farther in a six-minute endurance test.
  • Had a 1.5 percent lower resting heart rate (the massage group's resting heart rate was 6.7 percent higher).

After a stroke, many people lack energy and are afraid of falling while walking -- withdrawing from meaningful activities like going to church, buying groceries and visiting friends and family, Gordon said.

Previous research has shown that improving physical activity without putting too much stress on your body can help achieve a higher quality of life after a stroke. But those studies evaluated treadmill walking and cycling.

The new study shows you can walk without exercise equipment at any convenient place in the community, Gordon said.

Study participants were from three Jamaican hospitals, had either an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke six to 24 months before the study and could walk independently with or without a cane. The average age of the 70 women and 58 men was 64.

Before and after the study, researchers interviewed participants and measured their fitness and quality of life. They also monitored heart rate and blood pressure before and after each walking session.

Walking group participants were supervised by instructors during their walk. Eventually, friends or family members could walk along instead, until the participants were comfortable walking alone, Gordon said.

Although most study participants were blacks living in Jamaica, similar results can be expected in any ethnic or cultural group, Gordon said. However, the results can't be extended to patients with more severe effects or those unable to walk independently.

"Walking can help control blood pressure, reduce lipid or fat levels and help with weight control -- all cardiovascular risk factors," Gordon said. "So doctors should encourage it for patients who have had a stroke."

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or some combination of both) for most people. For stroke survivors, the association recommends aerobic exercise three to seven days a week, for 20 to 60 minutes, depending on fitness level.

Co-authors are Affette McCaw-Binns, Ph.D. and Rainford Wilks, D.M.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Post-stroke walking program improves stroke survivors' lives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307161627.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2013, March 7). Post-stroke walking program improves stroke survivors' lives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307161627.htm
American Heart Association. "Post-stroke walking program improves stroke survivors' lives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307161627.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins