Does aerobic exercise and the FITT principle fit into stroke recovery?

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2015;15(2):519. doi: 10.1007/s11910-014-0519-8.


Sedentary lifestyle after stroke is common which results in poor cardiovascular health. Aerobic exercise has the potential to reduce cardiovascular risk factors and improve functional capacity and quality of life in people after stroke. However, aerobic exercise is a therapeutic intervention that is underutilized by healthcare professionals after stroke. The purpose of this review paper is to provide information on exercise prescription using the FITT principle (frequency, intensity, time, type) for people after stroke and to guide healthcare professionals to incorporate aerobic exercise into the plan of care. This article discusses the current literature outlining the evidence base for incorporating aerobic exercise into stroke rehabilitation. Recently, high-intensity interval training has been used with people following stroke. Information is provided regarding the early but promising results for reaching higher target heart rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Quality of Life*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*