If you've read this blog before, you likely know I'm a longtime distance runner. Not everyone can do that, I realize. But almost anyone can exercise at some level of motion. And recent research reiterates that for stroke survivors, exercise is good for the brain:
The findings bolster what experts have long believed: Exercise can aid stroke recovery in multiple ways.
"This isn't new," said Daniel Lackland, a spokesman for the American Stroke Association who was not involved in the research. "We've known that exercise is good after a stroke."
But, he said, the findings offer more clarity on exactly what works. They suggest, for example, that a combination of moderate aerobic exercise and training in strength and balance is most effective for improving stroke patients' mental acuity.
Lauren Oberlin, a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, led the study. She said the findings confirm the value of exercise after a stroke.
"It can improve mobility, strength and quality of life, as well as cognition," Oberlin said. And that mental boon, she noted, may give stroke patients "additional motivation" to start an exercise program.Again, you don't have to go out and qualify for the next Olympics - just find your level and use it.
(Photo from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)