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STROKE (CEREBROVASCULAR ACCIDENT) AND EXERCISE

Post-rehabilitation exercise is important for those recovering from a stroke to help stroke victims maximize physical abilities and maintain or build on the functional gains they made in rehabilitation. After experiencing a stroke, participants often are very deconditioned, and require a lot of improvement in their fitness status to regain satisfactory functional levels. Exercise is therefore a vital component in the recovery those affected by stroke.  An enhanced level of fitness, which comes from participating regularly in gentle exercises for stroke, will not only improve their functional level by increasing strength, coordination, endurance, and balance, but also may help to reduce risk of a recurrent stroke by reducing hypertension. According to the American Family Physician, a clinical review journal, exercise is a powerful way to treat and even prevent stroke in susceptible individuals.  Exercise for participants who are recovering from a stroke needs to be individualized based on his or her residual physical and intellectual abilities.  Although in general exercise can help those affected by stroke, it is extremely important for the exercises to be approved by the physician due to the high risk of a second stroke.

Exercise goals for those recovering from a stroke include:

  • Maintaining or increasing range of motion of the neck and trunk and the affected and unaffected extremities.
  • Reducing pain, stiffness, and excessive muscle tone.
  • Increasing strength, endurance, and coordination.
  • Increasing balance.

Recommended SIT AND BE FIT exercises for those who have suffered a stroke:

 

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