Friday, February 24, 2012


Banking energy is essential to recovery. Muscle strengthening (even on the unaffected side) and cardio work, i.e. walking, recumbent steppers, upper-body ergometers) are essential to provide the underlying "banking" of energy. The banked energy is needed to provide the fuel needed to do the hard work of recovery. The average stroke survivor has half the amount of cardiovascular strength as age-matched "couch potatoes." But most ADLs (walking is what is usually measured) take twice as much energy. In other words, stroke survivors have half the energy to do twice the work.

The foundation of all recovery from stroke involves neuroplastic "rewiring" of the brain. And while the energy needed to drive neuroplastic change has not been measured, one thing is for sure-neuroplasticity takes a lot of energy. The buzz word in rehab research is intensity. But how can you do intensive without enough energy?

Up to 70 percent of stroke survivors suffer from severe fatigue. Many survivors consider fatigue the worst aspect of post- stroke life. Banking energy goes a long way toward fighting fatigue.



Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

This is my biggest problem!! My fatigue is severe and very limiting. I have always been very physically fit, but find "exercising" is draining now. It seems like exercising depletes my already limited energy stores and just leaves me more exhausted sooner in the day. I do walk quite a bit, but I find when I try to "conserve" my energy, I feel better and can make it through the day easier.

Peter G Levine said...

And you have to stay in shape for another reason- the same reason we all do: your not getting any younger. So you have to work out just to stay in the same place!

Thanks for the comment.....-pete

Barb Polan said...

I'm one of the lucky 30% that does not suffer from fatigue, but I still work hard to stay in shape and cardiovascularly fit; I'm very tired at the end of the day (9 p.m.), so I can't imagine what it would be like to have fatigue on top of that.

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