Inclusion Criteria1. first-ever stroke as defined by WHO
2. aged < 75 years,
3. able to comprehend simple oral instructions.
Exclusion Criteria1. other neurological impairments with permanent damage
2. stroke-like symptoms due to subdural haematoma, tumour, encephalitis or trauma
3. pre-stroke Barthel Index <50
4. unable to perform a maximal exercise test in accordance with absolute contra-indications for exercise testing (ACC/AHA)
5. no informed consent.