Monday, March 3, 2014

The single best activity you can perform at home when recovering from a Stroke (Hands down!)

Hey Team,

One of the questions that I receive the most following an adaptive fitness assessment from a client is "what should I be doing on my own?"...

This is a great question, and my answer to these clients usually receives the following response... "that's it!"

Clients usually expect a really elaborate exercise program right from the start so that they can begin performing it as soon and as often as possible so that they can reap the rewards sooner.

I've learned over the course of my career that consistency in the performance of an exercise or activity is more important than the program design or slew of exercises that I can give a client, because of this I instruct the majority of my clients who are recovering from a stroke to perform one activity, every day, for a duration of 20 minutes, consistently!

Walking!

That's right, walking....

"Well I walk everyday" is probably what your thinking, and I'm sure you do walk every day but, what I mean is a timed duration of 20 minutes of walking with little to no rest breaks (standing rest breaks are allowed).

One of the greatest ways to improve Neuroplasiticy is through Functional, task specific, repetitive movements.

What is more Functional, Task Specific, and Repetitive than Walking?

Think about it...You're in a weight bearing position (excellent), you have to shift weight from one hip to the other to take steps (even more excellent), you have to maintain balance while shifting weight (Super excellent) and you have to reciprocate this movement over and over again for 20 minutes (Amazing).

Not to mention the breathing, core stabilization, and mental focus that's also involved.

Throw in some extra visual stimulation, focus (and bonus points) for walking in busy areas where people are so focused on where they're going they don't watch where their walking.

The benefit of this repeated activity has been proven during my personal adapted fitness training sessions and  in several studies.

You can take a look at the studies for yourself here:

http://newsroom.heart.org/news/post-stroke-walking-program-improves-stroke-survivors-lives

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/03/07/walking-program-helps-stroke-survivors-get-on-with-life

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14586916

So much neuronal activity is present when walking which is why this is the Hands Down number one activity I give my clients recovering from a stroke.

If you would like to see more exercises that I recommend my clients following a Stroke you can check out the Disability Fitness Handbook here:

 http://www.lulu.com/shop/devon-palermo/disability-fitness/paperback/product-21314244.html

Hope you enjoyed this article!

Please like and comment in the comments section.

Keep Fighting & Never Give Up!

-Devon