Start slowly and build up

Once you’ve set yourself some realistic goals, try to start slowly. Doing too much too soon can make you more likely to give up, so try to take it one step at a time. Plan in some time to rest, especially if you have fatigue.

Find something you enjoy

If you can find something you enjoy doing, it makes it so much easier to keep going. Try different things, until you find something you love.

I hate swimming, but love the gym, I find running dull (especially treadmills) but enjoy cycling.
Rich, stroke survivor

Plan it in to your day

If you’re planning an activity, put it in your diary. That way it’s already on your mind, and you’re much more likely to do it. Why not tell someone what you're going to do, so they can ask you about it later? It might help you stick to your plan if you know someone is interested in what you're doing.

I work well with an activity on a set date and time.
Mike, stroke survivor

Do it with other people

Many people tell us that sharing their movement/activity goals with other people can really help.

If you can find someone with similar fitness goals, you can help and encourage each other, stay motivated and celebrate your successes together. Some people say they enjoy meeting people of a similar ability or level of fitness, as it makes them feel more motivated to keep going with exercise.

Try to get more involved with as many activities, fitness groups and social events as you can.
Andy, stroke survivor

Share your activity goals

Tell friends and family you’re planning to be more active. Ask them to encourage you by asking how you did each day or each week. They could help you record your activities on paper or using an app. They could do some activities with you such as chair-based exercises in the home, or going for a walk or run together.

Find peer support online. My Stroke Guide has online chat rooms where people share advice and stories. 

Join a group, such as a post-stroke movement group offered by the Stroke Association in some areas of the UK. There may be cardiac rehabilitation groups or exercise on prescription offered by your local health authority.

If you stop, have another go

Don’t be put off if you can’t keep going with an activity. You might run out of steam or need a change. See if you can find a way round any physical barriers that were stopping you, such as transport problems. You might just need to try a few different things before you find what suits you.

Sometimes a chat with a friend or therapist can help you find solutions. If you’ve lost motivation, just going back to an activity once can remind you how much you enjoy it and give you the boost you need.

…you may have to try a few things before you find your level, appropriate group or new passion and be honest about your likes, but it’s important to stay committed to finding something.
Rich, stroke survivor

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