Each year in the United States, about 795,000 people sustain a stroke, or about 1 person every 40 seconds, and most of them survive. Evidence suggests that stroke survivors experience physical deconditioning and lead sedentary lifestyles. Exercise training improves functional capacity, the ability to perform daily activities, and quality of life, as well as reducing the risk for future cardiovascular events.

Exercise improves heart function and lipid profile by lowering total cholesterol. It lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate. Regular exercise reduces the risk and severity of diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity, and it improves strength, balance, endurance and long-term brain health. For stroke survivors, these benefits can spell the difference between dependence and independence.

Restorative exercise is designed to help prevent imbalances between healthy and affected limbs and muscle groups. Secondary weakness can sometimes occur in people who have had strokes due to inactivity. A strengthening program at C.O.R.E.  can help correct or prevent this secondary weakness. Resistance training can increase strength and muscle mass, and those changes can mean increased mobility, greater independence and better function with daily activities.

"The assessed body of evidence clearly supports the use of exercise training (both aerobic and strength training) for stroke survivors," Sandra A. Billinger, PT, PhD, from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City