Posted by Leigh MacKenzie, February, 4th, 2014
NuStep-Aerobic Exercise in Subacute Stroke Improves Cardiovascular Health and Physical Performance
Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy:
Departments of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and Neurology, University of Kansas Medical Center
Individuals in the subacute stage of stroke participated in an 8-week moderate- to high-intensity exercise training intervention, using a NuStep recumbent cross trainer. Improvements were found in both cardiovascular health and physcial performance.
Cardiovascular health is often impaired after stroke, but there is little information regarding the role of prescribed moderate- to high-intensity exercise in subacute stroke. The purpose of this study was to examine whether an 8-week aerobic exercise intervention would improve cardiovascular health and physical performance in participants with subacute stroke. Outcome measures were taken at baseline, postintervention, and at 1-month follow-up. Brachial artery vasomotor reactivity (flow-mediated dilation [FMD]) of both arms was used to assess vascular health, and a peak exercise test was used to assess exercise capacity. The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) was used to assess physical performance. Participants exercised on a NuStep recumbent stepper 3 times per week for 8 weeks at a prescribed heart rate intensity. After the intervention, significant improvements were observed in the FMD in both arms, resting systolic blood pressure, and the 6MWT.