Setting yourself up for success and recovery
Physical Therapy can be incredibly beneficial in helping you achieve your goals. However, the real work begins once your physical therapy session ends. You come to see us 2-3 times a week: that’s 1-2 hours per week you’re in therapy. That leaves over 160 hours during the week in which you’re NOT here. The rest of the time it’s up to you to practice what we teach!
Research shows that:
- With stroke and brain injuries, the first 3-6 months are when your body and brain can make the most improvement.
- Exercise at 50-80% of your maximum heart rate for 20-40 minutes, 3-5 times per day is required to make cardiovascular gains.
- For every day spent on bed rest, it takes your body a week to regain its strength.
- The recommended dosage for exercise for patients with stroke is more than or equal to 3 days/week for 20-60 minutes.
Some tips to keeping up with your exercises at home:
- Start small – commit to just 10 minutes, 3 days a week to start.
- Commit to a time every day – most people find it beneficial to do their exercises right away in the morning before their day gets going. Some of the exercises we give patients can even be done in bed!
- Mix it up – you don’t have to do every exercise every day.
- Get moving – something is better than nothing. Even if you only do exercises for three minutes; three minutes of movement is better than zero minutes of movement every time!
- Don’t give up! Research says it takes 6 weeks to form a habit. Keep working on it!
- Get a buddy. Have a spouse/friend/child do your exercises with you. Everybody can benefit from more movement in their lives!
Ask questions! Your physical and occupational therapists are here to help. If you don’t understand an exercise, ask for clarification. If you want to know more about why we’re doing the activities we do in therapy – ask us! We’re always happy to explain more in-depth the reasoning behind the things we work on here and the way we approach them. Perhaps even more importantly, if there is something meaningful you would like to work on in therapy, please