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

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