Easy Exercises for Stroke to help with Depression

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You don’t need to sweat it out to receive the healing benefits of physical exercise. Research has shown that even a low intense exercise program can decrease symptoms of depression and boost physical therapy results in post stroke patients.

It appears the power of physical activity to raise the spirits of recovering stroke patients is stronger than anyone ever suspected says researchers at the Heart and Stroke Foundation at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

Easy Exercises for Stroke to help with Depression

Easy Exercises for Stroke to help with Depression

It is common that stroke survivors feel depression in the time after a stroke and this can interfere with the recovery process. Depression can lead to lack of motivation, increased fatigue, and trouble concentrating. Intense physical activity has a good positive effect on a majority of stroke patients. However, for some stroke patients the practicality of intense physical activity is not realistic. They are unable to reach the aerobic levels high enough to help alleviate the depressive symptoms.

This new study shows that these patients may still benefit and fight their depression with physical activity. The study followed approximately 100 recovering stroke patients, just over half the patients were enrolled in an additional, experimental program for upper limb recovery called Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP). The other half carried on with regular activities and treatment. The GRASP group spent an extra 35 minutes four times a week doing non-intense upper body arm exercises as part of rehab, these included pouring a glass of water, buttoning up a shirt or playing games of accuracy and speed.

The GRASP group improved stroke-affected arm and hand function by 33 per cent as well as the amount of time that the patient used their arm and hands. The also reported less depressive symptoms across the board on the Epidemiology Depression Rating Scale. The effects lasted for up to five months.

So it may be as easy as gardening, enjoying the grandchildren or going for a walk in the beautiful outdoors, there are many activities that can raise mood, alleviate depression and help your stroke recovery.

If you have been dealing with post stroke depression, please share any helpful tips in the comments below, that may help others.

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