Exercise is a very important part of stroke recovery, and it also helps to reduce your risk of having another stroke.
Exercise has many benefits for both mind and body:
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Improve blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol
- Reduce stress, anxiety and depression
- Reduce fatigue and improve energy levels
- Reduce risk of diabetes
- Help control weight.
Finding a type of exercise you really enjoy is the key to keeping motivated and consistent. Your options are endless, including walking, cycling, gym work, swimming, yoga and tai chi. Try making a deal with a friend or family member to exercise together, or join a local group. Your local council or community health centre will have information about exercise groups that operate in your area.
Aim to build up to at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. This can be broken down throughout the day. If you do two lots of 15 minutes of exercise in a day, you will still receive the benefits.
It is generally safe to exercise after a stroke however it is a good idea to speak with your doctor prior to starting an exercise program. Consult a physiotherapist if you have difficulties walking, or if you have balance problems or a history of falls. A physiotherapist can tailor an exercise program to suit your needs, abilities and interests. You can also see an exercise physiologist to have an assessment and create a personal exercise plan based on your current level and goals. Many community health centres and fitness centres have an exercise physiologist.
It helps you get better from a stroke.
It can also make it less likely you will have another stroke.
- improve your heart health
- improve blood pressure
- reduce stress, anxiety and depression
- give you more energy
- help control weight.
Types of exercise
The most important thing is to find a type of exercise you really enjoy.
This will keep you motivated and consistent.
You could try:
- riding a bike
- going to the gym
- tai chi.
Try making a deal with a friend or family member to exercise together.
You could also join a local exercise group.
Try to do at least 30 minutes every day.
You can break this up during the day.
If you do two lots of 15 minutes, you still receive the benefits.
Who can help?
Most people can exercise safely after a stroke.
Talk to your general practitioner before starting an exercise program.
A physiotherapist can help if you have trouble walking.
They can also help if you are worried about falling.
Many community health centres and fitness centres have an exercise physiologist.
An exercise physiologist can give you a personal exercise program.