Have you had a stroke or know someone who is still recovering from one? Yes, it can be quite confronting, and the recovery process can seem very slow and challenging
Don’t worry, we are aware that recovering from a stroke can be a very puzzling journey however try not to lose hope just yet. There is now strong evidence that suggests exercise plays an important role in the stroke rehabilitation process and can have significant health and well-being outcomes in persons that have suffered. A huge barrier to partaking in exercise can be a lack of motivation especially if having a stroke is the reason that has caused you to cease participation in activities you enjoy. Therefore, it is important to educate people that a specifically structured exercise program is a vital part of recovery. Regardless of one’s physical capacity after a stroke, exercise will certainly have a multitude of benefits in one’s health. Still struggling with motivation to exercise? Down below I have listed my top 6 reasons for commencing exercise after a stroke.
- Exercise can prevent strokes from recurring
Aerobic exercise in particular improves many physiological functions in the body that can prevent strokes from recurring. This includes seeing improvements in blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol levels and body fat percentage which can all contribute to a stroke recurrence.
- Exercise improves walking gait
Unfortunately having a stroke can have a direct influence on our ability to walk and can make many people reliant on walking aids. Physical activity has proven to restore normal walking capabilities and can reduce the dependency on using walking aids.
- Exercise improves balance
Following a stroke many people can experience a reduced ability to maintain balance when standing and moving however specific strengthening exercises and balance training helps prevent falls and can restore normal balance.
- Exercise improves strength
Strokes are responsible for not allowing many important muscles in the body to function properly and can lead to weakness. Regular resistance training has proven to improve muscle strength and can help restore normal functioning of muscles that have been affected by stroke.
- Exercise improves brain function
Damage to important areas in the brain responsible for many important physical and cognitive functions are a direct effect of stroke. By exercising regularly, the damaged areas to the brain can be improved through a process known as neural plasticity which is often enhanced through exercise.
- Exercise improves quality of life
The benefits achieved from including exercise after having a stroke can improve the overall perception individuals will have on their quality of life. This will only make living so much more fulfilling in all aspects of life.
Although a stroke can affect every person differently, Exercise Physiology can play an important role in helping individuals develop specific goals so a tailored exercise program can be made to meet the individual health goals of each person. If you would like to speak with one of our Exercise Physiologists Exercise for Life where you will find Clinical Exercise Physiologists who can assist you and provide you your individualised exercise program to help achieve your goals!
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