After a Stroke: How Quickly Should Exercise Begin?


The benefits of exercise and rehabilitation after stroke are well-known. A regimen of exercise after stroke helps to improve strength and balance. These benefits have both short-term and long-term effects: people function much better in the long run if they have had a focused, challenging course of rehabilitation. The lead author of an article published in this issue of Neurology®, Dr. Julie Bernhardt, had reported in 2017 on the benefits of beginning exercise within 7 days after stroke.1 In the article appearing in this issue, “Fatal and Nonfatal Events Within 14 Days After Early, Intensive Mobilization Poststroke,”2 Dr. Julie Bernhardt and her colleagues tried to answer a simple question: Are there any concerns that arise if a person recovering from a stroke begins an exercise regimen that starts within 24 hours after the stroke?

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