Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the physiological factors affecting exercise-induced changes in peak oxygen consumption and function poststroke. DESIGN: Single-center, single-blind, randomized controlled pilot trial. SETTING: Community stroke services. PARTICIPANTS: Adults (N=40; age>50y; independent with/without stick) with stroke (diagnosed >6 mo previously) were recruited from 117 eligible participants. Twenty participants were randomized to the intervention group and 20 to the control group. No dropouts or adverse events were reported. INTERVENTIONS: Intervention group: 19-week (3 times/wk) progressive mixed (aerobic/strength/balance/flexibility) community group exercise program. Control group: Matched duration home stretching program. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: (1) Pre- and postintervention: maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing with noninvasive (bioreactance) cardiac output measurements; and (2) functional outcome measures: 6-minute walk test; timed Up and Go test, and Berg Balance Scale. RESULTS: Exercise improved peak oxygen consumption (18±5 to 21±5 mL/(kg⋅min); P<.01) and peak arterial-venous oxygen difference (9.2±2.7 to 11.4±2.9 mL of O2/100 mL of blood; P<.01), but did not alter cardiac output (17.2±4 to 17.7±4.2 L/min; P=.44) or cardiac power output (4.8±1.3 to 5.0±1.35 W; P=.45). A significant relation existed between change in peak oxygen consumption and change in peak arterial-venous oxygen difference (r=.507; P<.05), but not with cardiac output. Change in peak oxygen consumption did not strongly correlate with change in function. CONCLUSIONS: Exercise induced peripheral muscle, but not cardiac output, adaptations after stroke. Implications for stroke clinical care should be explored further in a broader cohort.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Phys Med Rehabil

Publication Date





596 - 603


Cardiac output, Exercise, Physical fitness, Rehabilitation, Stroke, Aged, Cardiac Output, Exercise, Exercise Test, Exercise Therapy, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Muscle, Skeletal, Oxygen Consumption, Pilot Projects, Single-Blind Method, Stroke, Stroke Rehabilitation