Effect of Exercise Type and Gender on Cardiopulmonary response among Stroke Survivors in Spastic and Relative Recovery Stages
Background: Stroke is one of the most common causes of long-term disability worldwide, and stroke patients need assistance with activities of daily living. Stroke survivors in our environment are not routinely prescribed adequate exercises during stroke rehabilitation partly because of the limited amount of research that has identified optimal dosing of exercises. This study sought to evaluate cardiopulmonary responses to 8-week regimen of squatting and treadmill exercises among stroke survivors of different sexes in the spastic and relative recovery stages.
Methodology: Thirty male and female stroke survivors were randomly assigned into two groups comprising of subjects in the spastic (group A) and relative recovery (group B) stages, and subjected to an 8-week regimen of squatting and/or treadmill exercise. Cardiopulmonary functions were recorded at the beginning and the end of the exercise regimen. Data were processed using SPSS version 20.0; p values ˂ 0.05 were considered significant.
Results: There was a significant decrease in SBP and DBP, and an increase in HR, FVC and FEV1 at the end of all the regimens, in the spastic and relative recovery groups. At week 1, males had significantly higher values of SBP, FVC and FEV1, but at week 8, males had more reduction in SBP values and more increase in FVC and FEV1 values than the females.
Conclusion: Our data show that squatting and treadmill exercise regimens improve blood pressure, forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume and functional mobility in both male and female stroke survivors in the spastic and relative recovery stages. This improvement is more expressed in males than in females.
Keywords: Cardiopulmonary response, Exercise regimen, Gender, Stroke rehabilitation, Stroke survivors