It's important to try and keep as active as you can when you get home to look after your health and reduce your risk of having an accident or fall.
Your physiotherapist can advise you on ways to continue improving your strength and overall health, and give you activities you can do to help you to stay healthy.
Some areas have an ‘exercise referral scheme’ where you can exercise in your local gym or leisure centre under the guidance of a fitness instructor who has been trained to help people with disabilities. Ask your GP for more information.
Top tips for staying active after therapy
- Keep to a routine of exercising at a regular time each day.
- Practise the exercises your therapist has set you.
- Use a notebook to remind you what you need to do and record your progress.
- Remember to involve and move your affected side as much as possible.
- Be patient with yourself. You are aiming for long-term rather than immediate results.
- Many people worry that being active might cause another stroke. This is very unlikely but if you have any pain or are excessively breathless (getting a little out of breath is a good thing) then stop. If this does not subside after a short rest then seek medical attention.
- If you suffer from post-stroke fatigue, exercise can help, but start slowly and build it up gradually. Choose a time of day to exercise when you are feeling relatively lively. Recognise that you may need to rest afterwards.
- Take steps to keep to a sensible weight.
- Join an exercise group or stroke club to meet and be encouraged by other people. Contact us for details of clubs in your area.
- Ask your physiotherapist about resuming sports and activities that you enjoy.
How can my family or carer help?
Your family, friends or carers can get involved to support you with your rehabilitation in different ways. They can attend sessions with you. They can be involved in your exercises and rehabilitation after you have left hospital, and support you in staying active.
Your physiotherapist may also show your family or carer how to help you practise your exercises and include them in everyday activities. They can give you support and encouragement by talking to you about your therapy, and the progress you are making.
Moving more after stroke
We asked stroke survivors, therapists and exercise professionals to share their ideas for getting more active after a stroke. We have information on moving more in your home, and adding activity to your daily life. We also have tips for anyone who is ready to look for more structured activity or getting back into sport.