This randomized trial investigates the hypothesis that regular aerobic exercise training
using a task specific gait training modality will improve cardiovascular fitness, functional
mobility, and reduce risk factors for recurrent cardiovascular events in chronic hemiparetic
stroke patients, when compared to matched controls performing just stretching.
The aims are to determine whether 6 months progressive graded treadmill training: 1)
improves cardiovascular fitness levels and reduces the excessive energy demands of
hemiparetic gait, as defined by oxygen consumption levels based on open circuit spirometry
during peak and submaximal exercise ambulation tasks; 2) increases free living physical
activity measured by portable kinematic recording devices and quantitative in vivo
determination of energy expenditure using stable isotopes; and, 3) improves the
cardiovascular-metabolic risk factor profile including measures of key endogenous
fibrinolysis regulatory enzymes [plasma tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and its main
circulating inhibitor (PAI-1)], fasting lipoprotein lipid profiles, blood pressure, and oral
glucose tolerance and insulin responses. Measurements of body composition at baseline and
after training will further determine the effects of aerobic exercise training on muscle
mass and central obesity.
Males or Females Ages 40 yrs to 80 yrs who are chronic hemiparetic stroke patients.