Is Walking a Good Exercise for Stroke Survivors?

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If your senior loved one has experienced a stroke, his or her physician may recommend trying to exercise as much as possible. If your parent is still mobile and doesn’t exhibit extreme balance issues, walking may be an integral component of his or her therapeutic plan of care. Here are some reasons walking is a good exercise for stroke survivors. 

Lowers Blood Pressure

Stroke survivors often have high blood pressure, which is one of the most significant risk factors in the development of heart attacks and strokes. Because walking lowers blood pressure, your loved one’s risk for another stroke may be significantly lower. While walking is beneficial for stroke survivors, you should discuss a new walking regimen with a physician to make sure your parent is healthy enough to engage in mild exercise. 

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Reston, VA, in-home care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a home caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

Increases Muscle Strength

Cerebral vascular accidents often leave seniors weak and unsteady on their feet. Walking can increase muscle strength and make your loved one’s gait steadier. Your parent may find it challenging to adhere to a new walking program, so encourage him or her to keep going by reiterating the positive benefits of walking. Walking is beneficial after a stroke even if your loved one has sustained hemiparesis, or weakness on one side.

Older adults who need help remaining active should consider professional in-home care. Home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Enhances Mood

Many seniors become depressed after experiencing strokes. Walking promotes the release of endorphins, which are also known as feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote a positive mood and reduce the perception of pain. Your loved one may be able to discontinue some of his or her medications, such as antidepressants, anxiety drugs, and prescription pain relievers. While walking can have beneficial effects on mood and the perception of pain, don’t attempt to discontinue psychotropic medications and prescription analgesics without consulting with your parent’s physician first. 

Promotes Circulation

Walking is one of the best exercises for enhancing circulation so adequate blood flow can be sent to the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Good circulation can also speed the healing process if your loved one has sustained a physical disability. Walking also increases blood flow to the brain, which may help with cognitive deficits and memory loss. When circulation is optimal, your loved one may be at a lower risk of a second stroke or a heart attack. Because walking promotes circulation, it may also boost the effects of any anticoagulant medications your parent is taking. 

Older adults living with or recovering from serious health issues can benefit from professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior home care. Reston Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at 703-556-8983 today.