Standard rehabilitation programs for functional recovery following stroke, traumatic brain injury and cancer diagnosis are well established. However, physical and cognitive fatigue and disability often persist throughout and after standard rehabilitation, limiting full functional recovery and return to independent community status. The cardiac rehabilitation model of aerobic exercise overcomes the physical and cognitive disability and fatigue associated with cardiac diagnoses.

We will discuss the cellular mechanisms and science of aerobic exercise in improving physical and cognitive function and endurance and its applicability in patients recovering from stroke, traumatic brain injury and cancer. Evaluation for suitability of aerobic exercise and the work up to write an accurate prescription for aerobic exercise will be outlined. Models of integration of aerobic exercise into the routine rehabilitation programs for these conditions will be discussed. We will review the ongoing benefit of aerobic exercise in promotion of wellness and secondary prevention of cardio-cerebrovascular disease and cancer.