Exercise or relaxation after stroke?

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 02 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1337
  1. Gillian Mead, senior lecturer (
  1. department of geriatric medicine, University of Edinburgh

    I had always enjoyed the occasional hill walk, but it was only when I joined the local mountaineering club that I discovered how regular physical exercise really does improve health and quality of life.

    When I wasn't in the hills I was training to be a geriatrician, with an interest in stroke. I couldn't help wondering whether the prolonged periods of immobility that often occurred after stroke must reduce both aerobic fitness and muscle strength and that stroke related disability might be reduced if physical fitness could be improved. We did a Cochrane systematic review on physical fitness training after stroke. We found only a small number of randomised trials of physical fitness training after stroke. The data were insufficient to draw any definite …

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