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Engaging in exercise can have a very positive impact on your recovery after a stroke. Below are few exercises you can try at home to help improve your strength, flexibility and functioning. They are grouped by areas of the body, and type of exercise.23

Please consult your physician before trying any of these exercises.

1. Muscle strengthening:
  • Hold a small, full bottle in your hands.
  • Lift the bottle as high as you can.
  • Put the bottle back on the table.
  • Place your arm on a box with your hand hanging off.
  • Extend your hand as high as you can, keeping your forearm on the box.
  • Sit on a chair with your back straight.
  • Extend your knee and lift your foot as high as you can.
2. Stretching:
  • Sit in front of a table with 2 boxes on the table (or 1 box if too difficult with 2).
  • Place your elbow and forearm on top of the box.
  • Stay in this position.
  • Place your elbow on a towel placed on a table. Grab your wrist with your healthy hand.
  • Extend your elbow with the help of your other hand.
  • Stay in this position.
  • Stand on the stairs while holding on to the handrail.
  • Let your heel hang off the edge of the step.
  • Move your heel downwards while extending your knee. Stay in this position.
3. Functional exercises:
  • Place your elbow on a box with your hand hanging off, holding a small full bottle. Hold your elbow with your healthy hand.
  • Place your elbow and turn your forearm with the palm of your hand facing the table.
  • Place your elbow and turn your forearm with the palm of your hand facing the ceiling.
  • Place a bottle on a table.
  • Open and close the bottle with your affected (hemiplegic) hand. Hold the bottle with the other hand so that it does not turn.
  • Sit on a chair pushed against the wall.
  • Lift yourself out of the chair without using your hands, if possible.
  • Gently sit down again.

Trying to regain strength can feel daunting. You don’t have to go at it alone.

Talk to your doctor to get a referral to a Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist who can work with you to create a treatment plan.

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