Stroke Connection - September/October 2011 - (Page 7)
EXERCISES TO TRY WHILE STANDING
MARCHING IN PLACE: Raise
your knees one at a time as high as possible. Again add weights to your ankles or thighs when this becomes easy. If you need to, hold onto a sturdy object like your couch with one or both hands to maintain your balance.
FOOT KICKS: Kick one foot as high as possible then kick the other. Add ankle weights once this becomes easy for increased difficulty. Do this standing in front of your couch or a chair so you can sit down if you need to.
ARM LIFTS: Raise your hands one at
a time as high as possible over your head. When this becomes easy, add weights to your arms. You can also lift both arms up at the same time. If you do this standing in front of your couch, you can sit down if you need to.
BOXING. First, raise your hands so they are at your chest, then one at a time push them forward as far as possible as if you were boxing. Gradually introduce weights so you are lifting more than just your arms. You can do this standing in front of your couch so you can sit down if you need to.
If doing these exercises is not fun for you, remember that walking and stair climbing are two functional activities survivors can and should do each day to improve muscle strength, endurance, joint range of motion and balance. Research has shown that survivors who walk at least three times a week experience less functional decline. Start by walking on level surfaces such as hardwood floors or linoleum, and then challenge yourself by including obstacles that you must go over, around or through. Changing the surfaces you walk on to include grass, carpets, gravel and sand challenges your ability to balance and forces you to pay more attention to the task. For added benefit, do two things at once, such as carrying an object and walking or talking on the phone and walking. Carrying objects with one or both hands changes your walking speed and forces you to pay attention to both tasks. Another way to challenge yourself is to walk up and down steps while stepping only one foot on a step at a time while placing only one hand on the railing, or while carrying a small object in your hand like a cup, bag or pen. Increasing your physical activity level lowers your risk for another stroke, and may help your recovery and positively affect your quality of life. A great way to start this healthy change is by engaging in a home exercise program. In addition, participating in a stroke peer support exercise program may provide the external motivation you need to
make lasting changes. Group activities such as yoga classes, swimming programs and walking groups often provide an atmosphere that enables you to increase your physical abilities while interacting and connecting with others. The next step is yours; get in touch with your health care professional and get physical!
your physical activity and contact your medical provider if you experience any of these: • Unexplained weight gain or swelling • Feeling overly fatigued during exercising • Any other symptoms that cause concern If you experience any of these symptoms during physical activity, call 9-1-1: • Pressure or pain in the chest, neck, arm, jaw or shoulder • Shortness of breath • Rapid or irregular heartbeats or heart palpitations • Feeling weak, dizzy or lightheaded
September | October 2011
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.