Exercise Training for Stroke Survivors

An Effective Practice


The Exercise Training for Stroke Survivors program is a health-promotion program to improve outcomes for urban African-American stroke survivors. The 12-week program has sessions three days a week on fitness instruction and exercise, nutrition education, and health behavior changes. The 45-70 minute exercise classes included a warm-up, aerobic activity, strength activity, and cool down. Aerobic equipment includes stationary bikes, recumbent steppers, treadmills, and cross-trainers. Introductory classes educate participants in measuring perceived exertion, using equipment safely, and understanding signs of overexertion. Nutrition classes include hands-on cooking instruction focused on low-fat, low-cholesterol food. Health behavior classes include presentations and group discussions to help participants develop goals related to stress, coping styles, family, role change, communication, exercise, healthy cooking, and nutrition.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program is to use education and exercise improve outcomes for urban African American stroke survivors.

Results / Accomplishments

This program was evaluated using a pre- and post-test lag control group study. The intervention group made significant gains over lag controls in the following outcome measures: reduced total cholesterol (p < 0.05), reduced weight (p < 0.01), increased cardiovascular fitness (p< 0.001), increased strength (p < 0.001), increased flexibility (p < 0.001), increased satisfaction and ability to manage self-care needs (p < 0.05), and decreased social isolation (p < 0.05).

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
James Rimmer, PhD
Department of Disability and Human Development
University of Illinois at Chicago
1640 Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 413-9651
Health / Heart Disease & Stroke
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Health / Disabilities
University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Disability and Human Development
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Date of publication
Geographic Type
Chicago, IL
For more details
Target Audience
Racial/Ethnic Minorities