Research: Prior exercise speeds recovery after stroke

Prior exercise speeds recovery after stroke, research finds Here is another reason to hit the treadmill: a new study has found those who have suffered a stroke tend to recover faster if they are physically fit.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Florida conducted a study which found patients who had exercised regularly before a stroke occurred were significantly more likely to have milder impairments and were better able to care for themselves, compared to those who exercised rarely or not at all.

“It makes complete sense that a person who exercised before a stroke would recover quicker,” says Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. James Meschia, the study’s lead investigator.

“A brain that generally has good blood and oxygen flow from aerobic exercise will be in a better position to compensate for neurological deficits caused by a stroke,” he adds.

According to the National Institutes of Health more than 780,000 Americans die of stroke each year, making it the third leading cause of mortality.

Some people have turned to nutritional supplements that may normalize circulation and promote blood vessels function, including horse chestnut, ginger and ginkgo biloba extracts.