Little is known about how exercise can affect heart function in stroke survivors.
This study will look at changes in cardiovascular fitness and function after 6 months of exercise. Volunteers will be tested before and after the program and again 2 months later to measure the effects on stroke risk factors, fitness level and flexibility of the arteries. Blood tests will measure cholesterol levels and other signs of inflammation.
This study will help us better understand how exercise after stroke can improve heart function and heart health, and ultimately help in lowering future stroke risk.
To determine the effects of aerobic exercise after stroke on cardiorespiratory fitness, cardiovascular function, stroke risk factors, walking and health-related quality of life. This study will also examine the retention of these effects after the exercise program ends.
A randomized controlled study design will be used. Sixty participants will be randomized to participate in one of 2 treatment arms (6 months duration, 3 days / week, 1 hour / session):
1. BALANCE AND FLEXIBILITY (non-aerobic) PROGRAM will be comprised of individualized upper and lower body stretching, or balance activities, yoga- or Tai Chi-style classes.
2. AEROBIC PROGRAM will be comprised of a structured, progressive aerobic training program.
Participants will be evaluated at 3 time points - baseline (0 months), post-intervention (6 months) and follow up (8 months) - for stroke risk factors, cardiorespiratory fitness, arterial stiffness, echocardiography measures, inflammatory biomarkers, ambulatory capacity and health-related quality of life.
- Aerobic Exercise Program Behavioral
Intervention Desc: The AEROBIC PROGRAM will be the Experimental arm of this trial. It will be a structured, progressive aerobic training program that will be 6 months in duration. Classes will be held 3 times / week, for 1 hour / session. ARM 1: Kind: Experimental Label: Aerobic Program Description: The Aerobic Program will be the Experimental arm of this trial, where a structured, progressive aerobic exercise will be conducted in a class format
- Non-aerobic Exercise Program Behavioral
Intervention Desc: The BALANCE AND FLEXIBILITY (non-aerobic) PROGRAM will be the Active Comparator arm of this trial. It will be comprised of upper and lower body stretching, or balance activities, yoga- or Tai Chi-style classes. This program will be 6 months in duration. Classes will be held 3 times / week, for 1 hour / session. ARM 1: Kind: Experimental Label: Balance and Flexibility Program Description: The Balance and Flexibility Program will be a non-aerobic intervention that will act as an Active Comparator. Stretching, balance exercises, yoga- or Tai Chi-style classes will be conducted.
- Allocation: Randomized
- Masking: Single Blind (Subject)
- Purpose: Treatment
- Endpoint: Efficacy Study
- Intervention: Parallel Assignment
|Type||Measure||Time Frame||Safety Issue|
|Primary||Stroke risk factors (blood pressure, heart rate, lipid profiles, glucose metabolism), cardiorespiratory fitness||assessed at baseline (0 months), post-program (6 months) and follow up (8 months)||No|
|Secondary||Arterial stiffness and inflammatory biomarkers||assessed at 0, 6 and 8 months||No|
|Secondary||Echocardiography measures||assessed at 0 and 6 months||No|
|Secondary||Ambulatory capacity and health related quality of life||assessed at 0, 6 and 8 months||No|