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Stroke Recovery Exercises for Your Whole Body

By Alyssa Ball

Once upon a time, suffering from a stroke would feel like the beginning of the end. Changes to our physiological conditioning and our medical treatment standards, though, mean that today survival rates after a stroke are much higher. You will find that it’s much easier to come back from a stroke today, thanks to the advanced quality of care that you can receive. However, coming back from a stroke is by no means easy: it is going to take a huge amount of effort to get yourself to that point.

While stroke numbers are going down by a considerable margin, we are not quite out of the woods yet. This is why we recommend anyone who has one through a stroke looks through the following exercises. Each of these will go some way to making sure you can return to a high living standard, if you are looking for more exercises to try out we recommend taking a look at the detailed list compiled by gym equipment.

Arm Stretches

The first problem that you might wish to overcome post-stroke is a lack of quality activity in your arms. However, a simple daily stretching regime can be enough to make a meaningful difference. Start off by placing your hands with their palms facing down, and then rote your wrists so that your fingers are pointing inward towards the body.

Now, keep the shoulders nice and straight. Then, start to slowly move your body back the way. This will help you to feel the inside of the arm stretching nice and tight, giving you a nice stretch. Do this a few times, and you’ll notice a considerable improvement in your arm dexterity.

It’s such a simple exercise, yet it is so often not used. It helps to improve flexibility and agility in the arm and wrist again, making it an invaluable solution to use as you work out.

Hand Movement

If you find that your hands have become the victim of agility issues post-stroke, then you should look to combat that problem right away. The best way to do this is to start using a stress ball. Simply hold the ball in your hand as tight as you can, then let go and do it again. Do this a few times, and then start pinching the ball with the thumb at the bottom and your fingers at the top.

Do this five or ten times, and you will notice an immediate improvement in how well you can move your fingers. Also, try and place the ball between your thumbs and then start extending and straightening your thumb out, with the feeling of tension really running up the middle of your thumb.

If you do this, you will start to notice an immediate improvement in your hand movements overall

Leg Exercises

The next place we recommend that you try and work on is to be your legs. With your hands and your arms feeling a bit freer, we should look to give your legs the same sense of liberation. To do that, you would want to first work on making sure that your hips are strong enough to handle the pressures of regular walking.

Start off by making sure that you use a bridging exercise to begin with. simply lie straight on your back, and then stretch out your legs entirely, with your feet pointed upward, creating an L-shape with your legs.

You should feel an immediate sensation of relief from doing so. It’s a great one for making sure that you can reduce tightness in the legs, all the while helping to build up strength around your core hip areas. Alongside squats (With assistance), you should notice immediate improvement.

Balance Strengthening

Next, we should look to improve your general ability to retain balance and physical independence. One of the most effective ways to do this is to start using a heel-to-toe solution. Start off by getting a tape line and having someone put the tape line down on the ground, make it around 10-15 steps for each foot.

Then, simply start walking alongside the tape, with one foot going directly after the heel of the other. If you do this, you will notice a general improvement in your balance. For something so simple, though, you might struggle at first: don’t feel let down or embarrassed.

This is a challenging little exercise that will begin to make a meaningful difference to your general quality of life. Getting your balance and stability back is so important, so using this will become one of your most useful and rewarding post-stroke exercise plans. 

Core Control

Lastly, we recommend that you try to work on your core. As the most impacted area for some post-stroke, getting your overall physical command of your core back is something that you need to do as soon as you possibly can. to do that, we recommend that you spend some more time working on your core.

Start off by trying out some floor contractions, lying flat on the back with your knees slightly raised. Then, raise your hip area towards the sky, raising them more in-line with your knees. Keep your arms on the ground nice and flat. This should give you a very interesting workout on the core, working on muscles that simple would never get so much attention.

If you are able to work on your core by this point, we recommend that you try out a clam. To do this, simply go down on the ground as if you were going to go for a push-up. Now, simply stretch out one leg entirely, pushing it into the air. Then, use the opposite arm and push that out in front of you, too, so that you are extending, for example, you left leg and right arm.

Once you do that, use your remaining arm and leg to provide balance and then swap around after a few. This should really help with your core in time. 

With the above exercises, you should be much more likely to come out the other side of your workout with a feeling of genuine improvement. If you are struggling post-stroke, then simple solutions like this could be just what you need to see meaningful physical improvement that lasts.

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Tags: Senior Fitness, Heart health

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