Can stroke patients exercise?
Slowed motor function, poor physical strength, and cardiorespiratory function can occur due to physical paralysis and various complications of a stroke patient. These factors may detur a stroke patient from exercising. However, a moderate amount of exercise improves muscles and neural functions as well as cardio and pulmonary function. Furthermore, it can help prevent or control diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, empowering you to live an active and confident life. Therefore, regular home-training is beneficial for the patient’s physical and mental health. However, improper exercise may cause negative side effects. Recuperation requires exercise, but patient’s conditions such as fitness level, sickness, paralysis, and complications must be taken into account.
What kind of exercise is good for stroke patients?
Workouts that helps maintain flexibility and endurance are appropriate for stroke patients. Exercise that require sudden movements or a lot of energy such as running, jump roping, and weight training pose a high risk of injury. For those with high blood pressure or diabetes, it may cause a strain to the heart. You should choose aerobic exercises suitable to your abilities such as walking, cycling, or swimming. It is recommended to exercise more than 3 days a week, 40 minutes per session. However, adjust the intensity to avoid fatigue. The most important thing is to work out regularly over a long period of time at a moderate intensity rather than cramming it into one session. Neofect Smart Solution is a digital rehab device that has been developed to enable users to undergo rehab training at home.
What are some thing that needs to be considered when exercising?
Although it is important to exercises, don’t get hurt. When going outside, it is advisable to carry a cane or other mobility devices to prevent falling. Stroke patients should avoid exercising in winter conditions. Sudden exposure to the cold air can abruptly contract the blood vessels that have been dilated overnight, which could lead to a myocardial infarction or another stroke. In the case of a recurrence, the patient may not be able to receive treatment due to lack of assistance. If you have diabetes, exercise before breakfast should be avoided at all cost. After a meal, wait for 1 to 3 hours before your exercise. Be careful not to exercise too heavily even briefly or exercise for an extended period of time as your blood sugar can suddenly drop.
A Vietnam Veteran who had 3 strokes: Michael Eustace
I went to move and I couldn’t. I moved forward and slid right onto the floor. Started to get a little bit better and then I had another stroke. And then had problems with the heart and wound up having 3 strokes and 1 heart attack.
I couldn’t move my arm, I couldn’t move my hand, I couldn’t do anything. At that point I started to try to get better.
They kept saying, “What is your goal?”
I said my goal is to get up and walk again.
My goal is to get up and use my hand.
For me it was like it opened up a world of things that I could do with my hand, and get more mobility, because it motivates you to do more. You don’t appreciate things that you do before that you can’t do now.
"If it wasn’t for Neofect, I’d probably never bend my hand the way it is now."
- June LeeClinical Manager / Physical Therapist