The Blog

Stroke & Exercise

What is a Stroke?

 A stroke is a blockage or bleed within the brain that interrupts blood supply leading to tissue damage and potentially death. Approximately 60,000 Australians will experience a stroke every year, with 30% passing away within the first 12 months of the event and 50% experiencing long term disability.

Symptoms following a stroke can be highly individualised and dependent on the circumstances, however the most common include:

  • Paralysis in one or multiple limbs or side of the body or face
  • Impaired balance and change in gait
  • Pain, numbness, tingling sensations through affected regions of the body
  • Increased fatigue
  • Reduced ability to plan and coordinate activities and movement

Recognising a Stroke

Identifying a stroke can go a long way to saving both a life and function of the individual afflicted. To assist in its identification, you can use the FAST acronym.

Face – Check their face, has their mouth dropped?

Arms – Can they lift both of their arms?

Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time – Timing is critical. If you see these signs, call 000!

How can exercise assist in treating a stroke?

Different types of exercise can have different effects on post stroke symptoms. And it is important to consult with a qualified exercise professional to determine which exercise might be appropriate for you.

Stretching – Can be excellent in reducing issues with muscle spasticity, reduced range of motion and preventing contractures

Aerobic – Improves overall fitness and heart health. Assists in reducing risk factors such as weight and high blood pressure that may contribute to a second stroke or other cardiovascular conditions

Strength – Increases overall strength to make everyday tasks easier and assist in joint health.