Stroke and disability fitness

Being experienced is different from being qualified

Part of my Exercise Referral work was dealing with stroke and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) clients. Some regained movement and independence and others had not. All were at different stages within their condition. My job was to collect base line health info via lifestyle screening during confidential consultations. Then establish a plan for them. An individual specific fitness programme to improve health, brighten thier outlook and encourage better mobility for independence. This was monitored during circuit and gym sessions. Modifications were made on the spot and the best options were put forward to make training feel rewarding and worth while for the client.

Part of my role in nursing and care homes is teaching mobility and circulatory exercises. This encourages better blood flow, breathing, posture, range of movement and coordination. It involves working with a diversity of clients with disabling injuries or life long conditions. In my perspective, when someone can communicate in any way that there are able to enjoy and experience movement that brings pleasure and a variety of stimulation either sensory or physical, then this is what counts. Breaking up the routine of inactivity and promoting a group socialising opportunity is key to a sense of wellbeing for us all.

The first thing I try to do when meeting someone is focus on what they CAN do, not what they can't

Most people think of running as the only form of cardiovascular exercise out there. In these cases, it's about finding ways to raise the heart rate using creative ideas. Like simple ball play, using bats and balloons or a large exercise ball for footy.

This applies to strength and flexibility ranges too. Regular easily achievable challenges do make the body and the mind feel better.

This applies to strength and flexibility ranges too. Regular easily achievable challenges do make the body and the mind feel better

For all fitness to be functional, it must be regular

Like, actually booked into the diary at the very minimum of twice weekly. This rule applies to everyone. If this isn't possible, my response to this is, some exercise is better than none. This won't have a measurable progressive or maintenance outcome.

Fitness fact

Regular physical and mental stimulation will offer gentle increased cardiac (heart) and pulmonary (lung) function, decreased anxiety and depression. Lots of feelings of well-being and some lowering cholesterol and blood pressure too. It will certainly offer a mental break and a natural hormone boost. Not to mention the social factor which we all look forward to. Simply just having a laugh and enjoying the session for the sheer fun of it!

'Take your kid to work day' at Eryl Fryn Care Home in Llandudno 2016