Stroke is the leading cause of serious long term disability in the United States, affecting 795,000 people each year, or 15 million people worldwide*.
Strokes can occur at ANY age, with one fourth occurring in people under the age of 65. Disability after a stroke can often lead to decreased mobility and range of motion, increased risk for contractures, pain and depression- just to name just a few. Research has proven that regular exercise after a stroke helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improves circulation, enhances mood, prevents contractures and the list goes on! Newer research is also all about the idea of neuroplasticity.
Have you heard of neuroplasticity? It’s awesome! Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize or rewire itself by forming new neural connections in the brain. In easier terms, the brain can actually create new pathways by repetitive movements and experiences. After a stroke or injury to the brain, part of the brain tissues are damaged. We now know that the brain is “plastic” and capable of “finding a new way”. Thus, the more you practice a task oriented exercise, the stronger the new pathways become – leading to new movement!
The best way to do this is practicing not only exercise, but continuously using the affected part of the body and mind in everyday life, repeatedly.
That’s exactly why Amy and Lisa’s have developed a home exercise program to keep the exercises new and novel. More reps, please!