More than 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year and most of these are first strokes. A stroke, the sudden loss of blood flow to a portion of the brain, can have long-lasting consequences. Just a few of the possible effects of a stroke include paralysis to a part or a side of the body, difficulty or inability to speak, cognitive difficulties, numbness and trouble eating.
According to the Center for Disease Control, recovering from a stroke can take weeks, months and even years. While every stroke patient's situation is unique, there are a number of things a patient and his or her family can do to encourage a quick recovery.
Things to do to promote stroke recovery
1. Eat a healthy diet. The majority of strokes are caused by blood clots blocking the flow of blood to a portion of the brain. Such clots are often the result of years of eating a high-fat diet and the accompanying plaque in the arteries. Eating a diet low in fat and rich in fresh vegetables and fruits can not only help prevent a second stroke, but can keep blood flowing smoothly, helping to promote better brain function.
2. Exercise. Exercising within the limits of your ability is also key to promoting recovery. Exercise helps to encourage good blood flow, which helps blood vessels find new avenues to the affected areas of the brain. Exercise can be walking down the driveway, going for an accompanied stroll or simply moving one's limbs while sitting in place if that's all a person can manage.
3. Reduce stress. The limitations of aftermath of a stroke can cause stress to the patient and to his or her family. There are likely things that the stroke patient can't do that he or she once enjoyed. There may also be financial pressures if the patient was a primary bread winner for the family. Whatever the circumstances, finding ways to reduce the natural stress of post-stroke living is important to promoting a speedy recovery. There are many social services that can help, from agencies that will bring in meals to day care centers like Project Walk where the stroke patient can interact with other people going through similar circumstances.
4. Make your home "fall-proof." Slips and falls are a particular danger to those recovering from a stroke, since most patients are at least somewhat unsteady on their feet. Reduce the risk of falls by removing throw rugs, keeping electrical cords out of the traffic pattern and making sure that steps are well-lighted and free from obstacles.
While there is no "magic pill" that will guarantee a complete recovery from a stroke, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and finding ways to reduce stress can go a long way towards promoting a quick and full stroke recovery.
Exercise can become a family fun time. If you get your entire family involved with an exercise regimen, not only can you get healthy as a family, but you can find the time you need to spend together. With schedules being as crazy as they are in many households, it can be hard to find the time to do anything more than say goodnight and good morning before taking off to take care of the day. My blog will provide you with several ideas that can help you get your entire family involved with an exercise plan that will fit in your schedule and be fun enough for everyone to enjoy.