Stroke survival rates are improving. Once the third leading cause of death in the US, stroke has since decreased to one in six deaths from cardiovascular disease. However, the condition remains a common problem, affecting nearly I million Americans. For in-depth statistics, read more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While most survive their strokes, survivors often face several challenges that hinder their recovery. At least two-thirds of survivors are left disabled in movement, speech, or strength, so stroke rehabilitation is necessary to help them regain their independence. As part of these programs are fitness improvements, which can not only boost the quality of life but also reduce the risk of recurring stroke. If you’re a stroke survivor looking into stroke rehabilitation, here are some ways you can incorporate fitness into your program:
Engage in exercise
For stroke survivors, this post highlights how getting exercise is more about reducing sedentary time rather than intensive workouts. Research supports that exercise can contribute to stroke recovery as long as they don’t overexert themselves.
If you’re only experiencing minor stroke effects, it’s recommended that you get 20-30 minutes of light to moderate aerobic exercise at least three times a week. There are plenty of options for exercise, including walks, cycling, and dancing to help get your heart pumping for stroke recovery. On the other hand, when experiencing mobility issues, it’s best to consult a physical therapist on how you can be active without risking a fall.
Good posture is a vital part of physical development. For stroke survivors, being able to work on posture can enhance balance and help maintain correct form while engaging in other rehab activities, which is why it’s necessary to invest in ergonomic solutions. The best ergonomic office chairs here encourage the right position and posture for overall health and wellness. Since many stroke survivors have limited mobility, you may benefit from a durable chair that enables movement throughout the house. The Steelcase Gesture Chair does not only come with a sturdy body with wheels, but it also has synchro-tilt tension technology that enables users to lean back while keeping their feet flat on the ground.
As noted in this article, the added benefit of using these ergonomic chairs is that it helps people with physical restrictions reclaim their independence. Models such as the VELA Independence Chair takes up less space than a traditional wheelchair and has customized features catered to stroke survivors, opening the door to a better quality of life alongside physical wellness.
Eat more nutritiously
Diet is a critical part of rehabilitating your body and preventing stroke relapse. Some of the biggest risks for stroke are diet-influenced, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, so it’s important you manage these conditions through proper nutrition. Avoid ordering or eating out often, as meals from fast-food chains and some full-service restaurants may not meet your nutritional needs. They tend to have too much salt and often are processed foods which are unhealthy.
When possible, it’s best to have your food made at home. Not only can you save money, but you can also pick and choose ingredients that are low-calorie and nutrient-dense. Stroke survivors should pay attention to food labels and limit eating foods high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt, such as processed meats and cakes. Instead, opt for whole foods that supply the nutrients needed for stroke recovery. If you’re having difficulty swallowing, it’s good to find food with changing consistency, like scrambled eggs, root vegetables, and oatmeal, to name a few.
To enhance your stroke rehabilitation, it’s essential to incorporate fitness activities. Boosting physical wellness through exercise, posture improvement, and diet enrichment can help you recover post-stroke and allow you to reclaim your independence for a better life.
Roane Jenston is a freelance writer and editor. She writes for a variety of topics but specializes in fitness and nutrition. When not working on her next piece, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her two daughters and husband.
This article was written by Roane Jenston exclusively for Stroke Recovery Foundation.
If you believe that you or someone you are with is having a stroke
CALL 911 CALL IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT DRIVE TO THE HOSPITAL. TIME IS BRAIN!