The Benefits of Exercise Go Beyond Prevention….

July 23, 2009

We all know the benefits of exercise.  It has been shown to afford a better lifestyle due to prevention of chronic diseases associated with sedentary behavior. 

What we dont know is how following a rigorous physical activity and being FIT can have an impact on a patients recovery from certain illnesses that unfortunately can happen due to the NON modifiable risk factors like family history and age!

A study from the Mayo Clinic published in BMJ this month shows us that indeed the benefits of exercise can go beyond Prevention:

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Background: The importance of physical activity as a modifiable risk factor for stroke in particular and cardiovascular disease in general is well documented. The effect of exercise on stroke severity and stroke outcomes is less clear. This study aimed to assess that effect.

Methods: Data collected for patients enrolled in the Ischemic Stroke Genetics Study were reviewed for prestroke self-reported levels of activity and 4 measures of stroke outcome assessed at enrollment and approximately 3 months after enrollment. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between physical activity and stroke outcomes, unadjusted and adjusted for patient characteristics.

Results: A total of 673 patients were enrolled; 50.5% reported aerobic physical activity less than once a week, 28.5% reported aerobic physical activity 1 to 3 times weekly, and 21% reported aerobic physical activity 4 times a week or more. Patients with moderate and high levels of physical activity were more likely to have higher Barthel Index (BI) scores at enrollment. A similar association was detected for the Oxford Handicap Scale (OHS). After 3 months of follow-up, moderate activity was still associated with a high BI score. No significant association was detected for activity and the OHS or Glasgow Outcome Scale at follow-up after adjustment for patient characteristics.

Conclusions: Higher levels of self-reported prestroke physical activity may be associated with functional advantages after stroke. Our findings should be seen as exploratory, requiring confirmation, ideally in a longitudinal study of exercise in an older population.

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Theoritically, the study results are obvious in that according to the author….”A brain that generally has good blood and oxygen flow from aerobic exercise will be in a better position to compensate for neurological deficits caused by a stroke.”

The results also say it all: that Exercise indded can be beneficial in all phases of the disease from prevention to recovery.  

 Among patients who reported less exercise in the year before their stroke those individuals were significantly more likely to have one or more bad outcomes while those who were into moderate to high levels of activity, the odds of a better outcome were higher. 

Likewise, in terms of recovery and functional capacity post stroke after three months , individuals who had both moderate and high exercise levels were associated with significantly better functional outcomes.  Great News specially to our diabetic patients who love to exercise! 

There you go… the many wonders of exercise !!!

You Get Everything GOOD with EXERCISE!  

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2 Responses to “The Benefits of Exercise Go Beyond Prevention….”


  1. My son told me to check out your blog and I must say I’m impressed, very helpful.

  2. Dr. Nilda Manalo Says:

    Yes.. this blog is great. I was so amazed seeing you lose that weight in the recent AACE. Hope all my patients see this website…


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