Being active is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your health, especially after a stroke.
Moving more can reduce your risk of another stroke in several different ways, it:
- Slows the clogging-up of your arteries.
- Keeps your heart healthy.
- Lowers your blood pressure.
- Stabilises blood sugar.
- Reduces cholesterol in your blood.
- If you make changes to your diet, exercise can also help with weight loss.
Being active can help with fatigue. You might need to plan in some extra rest time, but moving more can improve your energy levels, and help you sleep better. Moving can improve your fitness and muscle strength, which can also make you feel less tired.
Improve independence and recovery
You can gain more independence through being active, because you are moving and using the parts of your body in a new way. You can practise motor skills like walking, lifting things and using your hands. These can all make you more able to carry out essential tasks like dressing, cooking and travelling.
My biggest success was leaving the wheelchair in an outbuilding and then sending it back to the NHSPaul, stroke survivor
Boost wellbeing and confidence
Moving your body helps your emotional wellbeing. Doing even a little more exercise can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Starting to reach your goals, trying new things and meeting new people can help build your confidence.
My balance is still a problem but it doesn't stop me getting on with things. Exercise classes have given me back my confidence.Paul, stroke survivor
Staying active and mobile can help with long-term pain by reducing muscle stiffness and improving wellbeing. Choose an activity that is safe for you - you may need to check with your physiotherapist or GP to make sure. Try smaller movements in a pain-free range.
Do fewer repetitions and rest if you need to.You can sometimes get sore muscles when you start off with a new exercise, but if it's a sharp pain or you're worried, stop and check with your fitness instructor, or a GP or therapist.