Physical activity both before and after a stroke can reduce its impact and even speed up recovery.
According to Hans-Christoph Diener, a spokesman for the German Association of Neurology (DGN) in Neuss, “Anyone who does endurance training and a variety of exercise can recover fairly quickly from a cerebral stroke.”
“The more complex the motion sequences to a sport, the more kinds of movements are stored in the brain,” he added.
Exercise also causes nerve cells in the brain to build connections faster. The more concentrated this network, the greater the chabce that connections will remain available for use after a stroke. Recommended sports with complex motions such as dancing, gymnastics and even table tennis should be practiced.
Exercise is also recommended after a stroke. Firstly, it can help to reduce the risk of another stroke as physical activity reduces blood lipids and blood pressure. Regular activity also improves the functions of disabled limbs and lessens cramping.
“Of course, stroke patients need to discuss the type of sport and intensity with their doctor before starting, since they most certainly shouldn’t overexert themselves,” says Diener.
“As a rule, stroke patients should consider some light conditioning, water gymnastics, swimming and taking walks.”