Ask your doctor about your post-stroke limitations
BEFORE you start an exercise program!
IN-HOME EXERCISE TOOLS
Exercising at home is be a good choice if you have the right tools on hand for an effective workout and can stay motivated.
Here are tools we recommend:
AROUND THE HOUSE
•Your kitchen sink. Holding on to your kitchen sink is a good way to support yourself for squats and pushups. Use the stability of the sink to help you maintain good form for these exercises.
• Stairs. Walking up and down stairs is one of the best exercises for strengthening the leg muscles. Put the ball of your foot on a stair and allow the heel to lower below the plane of the riser for a calf stretch.
• Kitchen timer. Many exercises call for multiple repetitions. A timer can help keep track of how long you have been performing each move. A timer will also tell you long you have been holding a stretch. If you have aphasia and need practice speaking, forget the timer and count out loud or count by fives.
• Hand weights. A set of hand weights in different sizes is a great tool. Start with 1-2 pound weights for shoulder exercises. Add heavier (5-8 pound weights) for larger muscles like biceps. Strap-on weights, designed for adding resistance to leg exercises, are a good choice for working out a weak arm where the hand cannot hold a regular weight.
Hint: Soup cans or bottles of water are a good substitute for weights.
• Fitness tubes. These elastic tubes with handles are an economical and useful tool for exercising at home.
• Dyna band. These stretchy bands are similar to fitness tubes but are easier to tie around the legs to add resistance to leg exercises.
•Treadmill. Having a treadmill or exercise bike at home for your cardio workout means it's more convenient to use it on a regular basis. But make sure it doesn't turn into a clothes rack!
• Ballet bar. Installing a stable bar or railing is a great idea, if you have the space. Hold on to the bar for squats, pushups, leg exercises and balance challenges.
• Massage table. Exercises and stretches that are usually done on the floor, are easier to access on a higher surface like a massage table.
• Fitball. If you have the space, having a fit ball at home is an excellent idea. Many people sit on one regularly while they watch TV or work at a computer. Sitting and balancing on a fit ball engages core muscles for strengthening and improves balance.
• Yoga strap. Using a yoga strap when you stretch facilitates greater range of motion and helps isolate the target muscles.
• Foam roller. Foam rollers can be used as a balance training tool. They are also an excellent aid for self massage of the upper and lower back, calf, hamstring, glutes and quads.