We know being active is important as it can improve both your physical and mental wellbeing. It could help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increase muscle strength and flexibility and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
Our Active Lives After Stroke project ran between 2018-2020 to help support stroke survivors to be active and stay active. It was funded by Sport England and ran in four areas across England, Grimsby, Central Lancashire, North Devon and Newham.
Disabled people say they are nearly twice as likely to be physically inactive (43%), compared with non-disabled people (21%).Quote from Sport England
Over the course of the project, 170 participants took part in Active Lives After Stroke, doing activities such as badminton, chair-based exercise, surfing, circuit training, table tennis, and strength and balance exercise. We saw that the project made a big difference to people becoming more active, confident, motivated and able to manage their daily activities better.
The learning from Active Lives After Stroke, and the other funded projects across the Richmond Group, will help Sport England provide further opportunities in the future to support people affected by stroke and other long-term conditions.
Peter had a stroke while in the hospital after a heart attack in October 2018. The stroke left him with a weakness on his left. Peter has since had a second stroke and sepsis in September 2019, which left Peter with problems swallowing and some speech problems due to his throat being affected by his stroke.
"I was invited by Sonya, a Stroke Association support coordinator, to attend the Active Lives After Stroke sessions when I was at the gym for physio. I really enjoyed being in a group. I like doing new things and keeping busy so this seemed a great way to meet people, other stroke survivors, and try new activities while having some fun and being active. "Attending the sessions has improved my quality of life, as it gives me something to look forward to each week.
"When I joined the stroke group, I was told I'd be going surfing, but I didn't think it would really happen. The surfers looking after us were absolutely brilliant - they were so helpful and I absolutely loved every minute of it. It was wonderful. I didn't think I would ever be able to do anything like that again".
"I look forward to meeting other people and I have made friends who I keep in touch with outside of the group. I think I am more positive that I can do things now, because I start off thinking 'I am going to try something new' but not sure whether I can. Most people can do it if they give it a go and doing these activities has shown me what I can do. Particularly surfing; I never thought I would go in the sea again."