Many people think that as they get older it is normal to have a decline in strength, joint motion, energy levels, and mobility. However, studies have shown that many of these changes are actually related to not being active. Exercise is also a proven factor to help you prevent stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Frequent exercise can reduce stress and help relieve depression. Being inactive, obese or both can increase your risk of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Besides preventing disease, exercise is also an excellent tool to help minimize the residual effects of a stroke for your loved one.
Two Main Factors to Staying Active
1) First, choose activities that are enjoyable. These activities may include things such as moving at an increased pace during routine housework or chores and/or dancing, walking, or gardening, if able.
2) Next, make sure that the exercise is accessible: meaning safe, close to home, and inexpensive. All exercise activities should be discussed with and approved by your healthcare provider [doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant].
Staying Active is Linked to YOUR Health
Here are few tips.....
-Use exercise that is moderately strenuous, if approved by your healthcare provider. This is exercise that causes your heart to beat faster, your breathing to increase, your muscles to get tired, and causes you to perspire. Examples of these activities are brisk walking, taking the stairs, swimming, and water aerobics for 30 minutes about three times a week.
-Staying active throughout the day is also very important.
Avoid activities that involve sitting for extended periods of time by getting up and moving around for 5 to 10 minutes each hour.
-Use these breaks to walk or stretch. Stretching and moving around are very important to help prevent muscle strains or injury. When performed regularly, exercise and stretching will help flexibility, strength, circulation, and overall fitness.
-Form an exercise routine. Developing a routine allows for exercise to become part of your daily routine. Surround yourself with supportive people and exercise with a friend!
-Exercise with other people, if able, and plan ahead. This makes exercise more enjoyable and allows you to be ready to exercise.
-Use music to keep you entertained and motivated while you do home exercises.
-Keep an activity record. Reward yourself at special milestones, such as three weeks without missing a day.
Staying Active is Essential for YOUR Mental Well-being
Activities such as jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and word games help to maintain a healthy mental activity level. Mental alertness is also maintained through daily activities of this sort. Other activities that revolve around social settings such as church, support groups, clubs, volunteer work, or simply having lunch with friends can help to maintain mental well-being.
American Stroke Association. (2009). Exercise and physical activity. Retrieved from www.strokeassociation.org
Elrick, H. (1996). Exercise the best prescription. [Electronic version]. The Physician and Sports Medicine, 24(2), 79.
Fight stroke with fitness. (2002). Retrieved from www.stroke.org/magazine/janSub2.cfm
National Stroke Association. (2010). Movement and exercise. Retrieved from http://www.stroke.org/site/DocServer/hope4.pdf?docID=524
Stamford, B. (2000). Staying motivated to exercise. [Electronic version]. The Physician and Sports Medicine, 28(2), 117-118.
Stuart, A. (2011). Arm and hand exercises for stroke rehab. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/stroke/features/arm-and-hand-exercises-for-stroke-rehab
Vann, M. (2009). The importance of exercise after a stroke. Retrieved from http://www.everydayhealth.com/stroke/exercise-after-a-stroke.aspx
Developed in 2002 by Michael Finn, BSN, RN at the University of Toledo for Caring~Web©
Revised 2010, 2012