Tips and exercises for recovering after a stroke

Jul 17, 2022
Dr Lisa Gadd shares her top tips and exercises on stroke recovery. Source: Getty

Experiencing health challenges can be difficult for us to overcome, especially recovering from a stroke. Losing the ability to perform basic bodily functions with ease such as walking can be a significant challenge both physically and mentally to conquer.

Osteopath, fitness professional, nationally recognised coach and trainer within the health and fitness industry and the founder of Living Health Group, Dr Lisa Gadd shares her top tips and exercises on stroke recovery.

Tips for overcoming a stroke

Have a good support network

One of the key lessons that helped me recover from my stroke was surrounding myself with good people. Friends, family, people that actually were there for me, that were happy to support me and those that stuck with me in the challenging times. Some moments were really challenging and dark, but having good supportive friends and family really do make the difference. What once would have been a walk and coffee with a friend now was just a walk to the letterbox, but I had people there on that journey with me.

Listen to your body

Overcoming a stroke may be a shock to both you and your friends and family. Like recovering from any injury or illness, listening to your body is key. Our body gives us feedback on what it needs and when it needs to rest. Learn to listen to it.

Set small realistic goals

Work closely with your practitioner to set realistic goals, small walks, up 5 steps, and being able to make a cup of tea.

Top exercises for regaining strength post-stroke

Walking

Start small, do a lap of the house and then gradually build little by little.

Sit to stand from a chair

Sitting in a chair, hips, knees and toes all straight, push through your heels and stand up, engage through your heels and stand up. This is a great exercise to help strengthen your glutes (bum muscles and keep you strong in the core).

Step-ups

Help with coordination plus help keep your low back strong. Find a small step, step up with one foot, drive your weight through your heel, keep your core on and slowly step down in a controlled manner. If you need to use a rail for support do so.

Seated band rows

Using bands is a good way to help keep your back strong and help with posture. Wrap a strong band around something stable, from a sitting position row the band into your belly button, slow and controlled, keeping shoulders relaxed.

Wall push-ups

Help to keep your upper body strong. Placing your hands on a wall at shoulder level, slowly lower your chest to the wall then press away slow and controlled.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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