Exercise post stroke

Hi everyone,

I am now 7 months post stroke and have been referred by my GP to Lifestyle Gym for excercise for health.  I don’t have any mobility problems, my problems are cognitive, I am a bit confused as to what classes I can do, I want to do yoga and Pilates and aquarobics, something I did pre stroke, but one trainer told me I couldn’t do anything which involved stretching over my head, or standing in a static position for too long.  I know you have to be very careful regarding your head, and can’t have a massage or facial, but not sure if they have given me the correct information, just wondered if anyone else knows exactly what you can do.

thank you, Lyn x







Hi Lyn, as stroke affects each person differently you should check with a professional like a physiotherapist or occupational therapist, you might want to double check with your GP again just to confirm. If necessary ask them to write it down for the trainer, so you're both clear on what you can do.

We have some good general guidance on exercise and stroke. You can have a look at this page:


Or our leaflet:


I hope this helps and you'll be enjoying the classes soon.

Annoyingly, we have to accept every stroke is different. I would urge you to keep your muscles and joints moving.

Something like yoga has to be good for you. Or relaxation/meditation/hypnotherapy etc.

I hadnt come across the notion we shouldnt stretch above head level. But I have no training. The experts should know what they are doing, assuming they have stroke knowledge and training.

You seem to be going well for 7 months. Keep up the recovery. 


Thank you for your reply Colin


Hi Lyn,

I am 5 years post-stroke. My right arm and leg were very badly affected, leaving me with limited use of my fingers and unable to walk very far. In those 5 years I have been given all types of conflicting advice from NHS staff, some of it (I now realise) was rubbish. I wonder if this advice about raising your arm above your head may be general concerns about straining weak shoulder/back muscles? I started at the gym 3 months post stroke. I also have swimming lessons (using only one arm at the moment), do aquarobics (repetitive exercises help with neuroplasticity) and have an ARNI personal trainer. All this helps my stamina levels and fights the depression I had in the first few months.

Find a stroke specialist and get their advice. Sometimes well-meaning people with very little specialist knowledge give duff info!


Thank you Sheila x

Thank you Colin