Typically, after a stroke, rehabilitation focuses on regaining function. And when you get sent home, you’re given a handful of exercises that you can try on your own. And that’s great, but many stroke survivors struggle with actually doing them. And most likely, these exercises focus on motor function. There are two problems with this. First of all, many stroke patients fall into a sedentary lifestyle. At home, no one reminds them to do their therapy. Secondly, the prescribed program typically doesn’t involve any aerobic activity that gets the heart pumping. But it turns out that incorporating exercises that get our blood flowing can help more than we think. Aerobic exercise after stroke offers a few different benefits.
Aerobic activity after stroke can improve functional movements
A group of American researchers compared studies that looked at the effects of aerobic training on functional abilities after a stroke. They found that when stroke survivors improved their aerobic fitness, they also improved their movements and were able to do daily tasks more easily. Not only that, their quality of life got better too. Imagine that improved fitness means you can now walk faster and for longer periods. Now you are stronger and less dependent on other people. Being more self-sufficient can also lead to more socializing and an increase in general wellbeing.
What exercises help?
Any exercise that gets your heart rate up will start to help you feel better and functioning better too. Some examples of things you can do on your own are walking on a treadmill, brisk walking, riding a stationary bike, or using a stair stepper.
These exercises might sound like a lot at first, but don’t get intimidated. The important thing to remember is that they all make an impact at any level. It doesn’t matter how long ago you had your stroke or at what your level of mobility is as long as you get started.
We at Strokemark are here to help you get on the right track. Every course we offer contains exercises that get your heart going! Things like strength training or walking faster will challenge you to an aerobic level. And these exercises are the building blocks of recovery after stroke, even if you are in the chronic phase. So, no reason to wait any longer. Contact us to hear more about how you can take advantage of our program!