Fitness if often particularly low in stroke survivors. It may limit their ability to perform everyday activities and also worsen stroke-related disability. 2
Current evidence recommends that stroke survivors be involved in regular aerobic and strength exercise to:
"Beyond its benefits on physical health, exercise gives patients a more active role in the management of their Parkinsons. Exercise programmes among those with neurological disorders increase the patient's sense of self-efficacy, their sense of involvement in their care and overall belief in their abilities to perform certain activities. In addition, patient involvement leads to higher satisfaction with care, and greater likelihood of following provider recommendations. In essence, exercise puts patients at the centre of care, which is exactly where patients ought to be". 7
In 2014, it was estimated that 53,000 people had dementia. It is thought that by 2050, more than 147,000 people (2.6% of the population) will have dementia, almost triple the current number! 8
The most common form of dementia among older adults, Alzheimer's Disease, is a degenerative brain disease that results in progressive mental deterioration with disorientation, memory disturbance and confusion. Symptoms such as these can interfere with the ability to perform activities of daily living, ultimately affecting a persons quality of life.
Alzheimer's is linked with physical deterioration and reduced muscle mass, resulting in higher risks of falls and fractures, decline in mobility and further loss of independence. 9
1. Stroke Foundation, 2016. http://www.stroke.org.nz/stroke-facts-and-fallacies. 2. Billinger, 2014. Physical Activity and exercise recommendations for Stroke survivors: a statement for Healthcare Professionals from the American Heart Association. 3. Globas, 2012. Chronic stroke survivors benefit from high-intensity aerobic treadmill exercise: a randomized control trial. 4. Weiss, 2000. High intensity strength training improves strength and functional performance after stroke. 5. Lees, 2010. The bare essentials: Parkinson’s disease. 6. Goodwin, 2008. The effectiveness of exercise interventions for people with Parkinson’s disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. 7. Rosenthal, 2013. The benefits of exercise in Parkinsons disease. 8. Alzheimers New Zealand, 2012. http://www.alzheimers.org.nz/news-info/nz-information/dementia-economic-report-2012. 9. de Souto Barreto, 2015. Exercise training for managing behavioral and psychological symptoms in people with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis.