Physical inactivity is a known risk factor for stroke. The interaction between exercise and risk of stroke is complex. Physical activity has a beneficial effect on most risk factors for stroke, which may show reciprocal potentiation (e.g. obesity, sleep apnea, atrial fibrillation). Advice on physical activity is of importance in primary prevention of stroke. Hereby, type, amount and intensity of physical activity may be distinguished and adjusted according to comorbidities (e.g. in case of heart failure).
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After having a stroke the main challenges are reducing the risk of recurrent stroke, improving impaired brain function, quality of life, independence in activities of daily living and reintegration into the community. [1] Lesion-induced impairment of brain function also has, besides its effects on e.g. motor, sensory, visual and speech function, an influence on e.g. cognition and mood, all of which are determinants of post-stroke physical activity. The evidence for a benefit of physical activity in secondary stroke prevention is increasing and treatment strategies aimed at factors which are limiting physical activity are more and more recognized.
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