Building your strength after brain injury
Strength training – including simple tasks like carrying shopping - can help brain injury survivors to feel more in control of managing a health condition and able to reach goals.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has put together a guide called Stronger My Way, which delivers physio-approved advice to help maintain and improve strength.
It describes strengthening as any activity that makes your muscles work harder than they usually do - and over time the muscles become stronger.
The ‘workout’ can be as simple as climbing the stairs, standing up from sitting, carrying shopping bags or laundry, to overhead presses with a bag of flour.
The society has included a guide for people who have suffered a stroke, which takes into account specific challenges such as fatigue and physical condition.
Here are the tips:
Activity can battle fatigue, anxiety and depression. Set small goals, such as walking each day.
Standing up correctly and using your affected limbs can have a big impact. Complete exercises once a day to help with mood and achievement. Even doing household chores helps with recovery.
Walking is critical to strengthening. Try to walk a few minutes each hour. Work out while the kettle is boiling. You could do ten squats and build on that to increase it to three sets.
If you’re sitting in a wheelchair for most of the day, small movements such as bending or straightening knees or marching legs can help to stop joints becoming stiff.
If you have upper limb impairment, consider a hobby. Activities such as knitting, jigsaws and board games can help with hand-eye coordination.
Don’t give up. Think about your successes and how far you’ve come. Focus on the victories, no matter how small.
If you have any concerns, consult a healthcare professional first.
To see the full list and more advice on how to start, click here