By Deanna Cauthen
Strokes kill more than 130,000 people a year, according to facts obtained from the Center for Disease Control. A stroke, which is also called a brain attack, occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.
Recovery after a stroke can sometimes be a long, arduous process and many survivors don’t feel emotionally or physically ready to put on their running shoes and go jogging. However, exercise can be just what the doctor ordered and is very important for preventing a recurring stroke.
Such was the case with Doreen Ware who had a stroke in 2013 which rendered the left side of her body immobile. In 2014, after my stroke, I started walking at Northlake Mall,” said Ware. She explained that it was not too long after that when, Cosmic Energy Fitness Studio owner and personal trainer, Patrice Peters, started reaching out to her.
It’s always wonderful when you see people investing in their lives no matter what form of exercise they choose,” said Peters.
Ware shared about how she made the transition from walking in the mall to working out with Peters. “One day, Patrice said, ‘Come on in’, said Ware. I told her, ‘I can’t do what they can do’ and she said, ‘Don’t do what they can do, do what you can do’. She even let me come for free, one day, just to try it out,” said Ware.
Ware stated that she began working out at Cosmic Energy Fitness Studio about three months ago and that she and Peters concentrate mainly on exercises that will increase her strength and endurance.
“Patrice will modify the exercises and will even get up underneath my left arm to lift it. She’s shorter than me so she, sometimes, has to stand on a chair to help me execute certain exercises. She is very encouraging,” said Ware.
“We set goals and work together to accomplish them. I’ve received her records from her physical therapist and have incorporated some of those exercises into her workout,” said Peters.
According to information received from EverydayHealth.com, exercising and staying physically active will not only help stroke survivors recover quicker, but it can help prevent a second one, because it:
Controls cholesterol levels. Keeping your cholesterol level low is very important if you want to prevent another stroke. Exercise increases “good” cholesterol.
Fights high blood pressure. By keeping your blood vessels working well, you can fight high blood pressure.
Controls weight. Many stroke survivors need to lose weight to reduce their risk of another stroke. Even if you’re already at a healthy weight, exercise will help with weight management.
Fights depression. Depression is common after a stroke and can make it hard for you to find the motivation to do anything, let alone get moving. But being physically active fights stress and depression, which in turn reduces your additional heart disease and stroke risk.
Ware said that she knows first-hand how difficult things can be after a stroke, but she emphasized that stroke survivors must be willing to play an active role in their own recovery. “You have to get up and try,” said Ware.