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Why is exercise good for those who have had a stroke?

Exercise is important if you have had a stroke as it can help improve muscle strength, tone, balance and health/fitness. Exercise can help to improve symptoms commonly found after a stroke and can also help to reduce muscle tone and improve the overall muscular function of affected side (depending on severity) and improve mental health.

Disclaimer: All exercises should be done based off of your level and current ability and can be done with or without a weighted object. If you are unable to do these exercises safely and independently, please have assistance where appropriate.

Assisted Bicep Curl Into A Shoulder Press: Either with or without a weight/weighted object between both hands (weak side assisted by string side) and with the weighted rested between the legs, sitting in a chair. Bend the elbows and lift the weight/hands to the chest and then push them up above the head and then gently return to the start position. This exercises helps improve upper limb strength and improve overall mobility in the arms especially for those who suffer with hypertension on their affected arm.

Staggered Sit To Stands/ Regular Sit To Stands: In terms of complexity, Staggered Sit To Stands are much harder to perform than regular Sit To Stands and should only be done by someone who is confident and strong enough to attempt them as Staggered Sit To Stands are more intense. The difference between the 2 are that Staggered Sit To Stands are where one foot is place further forward than the other to target the leg closest to the chair (This is usually the side that was affected by the stroke). Whereas Regular STS are where both feet are placed level to each other (shoulder width apart). To perform them make sure that you have a frame or table in front of you for support (if needed). Place your feet in the correct position and then push through your legs and stand, then gently return to the chair. This exercise is great to help improve your lower limb strength.

Banded and Assisted Open Clams: Whilst sitting in a chair, place feet and legs together and wrap a resistance band just below the knee. Use you legs to to pull that band apart. If needed, place hand on the leg that was affected by the stroke and use this to assist you as you push pull the band apart. This exercise helps to improve your lower limb strength and hip stability.

Forward Reaches: Forward reaches are a good way to improve core strength and upper limb stability. Sitting in a chair. Hold hands or a weight. Reach with your arms and lean as far forwards as you can without falling from the chair (If unsure? Make sure you do this with someone present or over a table) and then gently return back to the chair.

Perform each exercise 8-10 times to help improve your strength and stability.

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