Peer support of Exercises for capability development

A topic in which to explore how we can form peer support groups that combine the ideas and resources of us all - for example zoom, exercise routines, text chat in the forum etc to not only provide the exercises we can do to improve our capabilities but also the motivation to follow those exercise programs that we design for ourselves.


Have a little Crimbo support from this wing of the woods

All the best mate

:writing_hand: :santa: :+1:


Santa or could that be my drawing of Bobbi or a self portrait? in old emoji

Discussions to be had :slight_smile:

with actions in the new year…

We’ll get your arm moving more, both our hands, @pando & others walking further with better balance, maybe some will try some SALT etc

At least there are possibilities When we pull in together in same direction :slight_smile:



I feel I’ve been on a plateau for a while now - exercises and trying to walk are as hard as ever and I’m getting nowhere, but afraid to stop in case I go backwards! Very frustrating. Feel I need a change in my routine - or my goals - maybe you can suggest some really good New Year Resolutions!

Cheers, Jean :woman_in_motorized_wheelchair: :woman_with_probing_cane: :mountain_snow:

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Hi jean @Jfitz
My observation is that a plateau is the term used by physiotherapists looking to discharge people from their care, launch pad to the next set of capabilities is my turn

Seems to be good to take a rest before launching. Seems to be a requirement that needs regime of exercise targets goals that are an extension.

Traditional wisdom says the goal comes first. That’s a useful strategy where you works and a frustration or useless when it doesn’t so a different strategy is to identify new exercises.

Perhaps you’d describe what the features of your resting place are? Any goals? Maybe the assembled wisdom and experience here can suggest something fruitful . What’s your routine too?


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Hi Simon, my current daily routine is: 3x10 sit to stands before breakfast, 1 walk of about 20-25 minutes (indoors, very slow, with quad stick), 3x10 sit to stands after lunch, a second walk after lunch, 3x10 sit to stands after tea.

Then 3 times a week I do a workout for about 40mins (holding onto a benchtop) consisting of 65 step-ups both legs, 35 lunges both legs, 3x10 standing on tip toes, and some hand/arm exercises. Sounds like a lot. The workouts are exhausting. They should make me stronger, but dont seem to!

I’m 84, 3yrs post-stroke, and fed up. Though reading what other people here have to put up with, I feel very, very lucky - and often humbled when I read them. Looking back, I really dont have much to complain about !

Thanks for taking an interest!

Jean :rosette:


Hi Jean, in the UK we have a charity organisation called AgeUK, I think you have Age Concern New Zealand. My local AgeUK run Strength & Balance class and I see on the internet and yours does too.

Do you do anything like that? You say you are in a retirement village, isn’t there any communal that facilitates any form physical/exercise activities? Is there gym near you that you could use?

The key to progress is to not become stagnant! And that is what your routine has done to you, it’s too routine, regimented. I can’t possibly tell you what I do to the extent you have posted above. I can tell you that I do 3 x 2hr sessions at my local, a 1hr strength & balance class once a week and hike for a couple hours about twice a week. What I do at the gym and s&b class varies greatly from day to day/week to week, including the number of sets and reps and even the speed can vary.
And…once a month I take a week off!

The beauty about the gym is that there is such a vast variety of equipment, seated weight machines, stationary bikes, treadmills, seated rowing machines to name but a few, the there are free weight activities and set classes to join in. The same goes for the S&B class, just about every exercise there can done either seated or standing.

Your muscles have reached a plateau just need waking up, shaken up a bit.

But, in saying all that, you’re doing bloomin marvellous for 84 with what you are doing!
My mother-in-law is 80 and recovered from two lung cancer ops earlier in the year and is back at Strength & Class with me each week, she has other physical interests she does with other friends too. So I’d say it’s about as much as you are doing. Don’t forget, you are no spring chicken anymore. It could just be you have reached your body’s genetic limit, particularly for your age group. I’m 23 years younger than you are and can only hope and pray I’m as fit and active when I get to your age! :smile:

A person’s ability to put on muscle mass is limited by their genetics . Through proper training, good nutrition and adequate rest, a person can maximize their genetic potential, but they cannot exceed their genetic limitations.


Thanks for your input Emerald Eyes - the place I am at does exercise classes for the residents but they are much less than what I do anyway, though I do go to one of them. They are only allowed to do seated exercises, and they are pretty basic. This is a very small village (think “boutique”!), attached to a rest home, so there is very little in the way of facilities.

There is a gym near here, I enquired about it, but when I told them I was in a wheelchair they went off the idea. And so did I. I might try again, though they are expensive, and I think I would have to have an individual trainer, as I think the classes they have for “elders” would be beyond me at the moment. Also I would have to arrange transport. Also I have a little difficulty speaking, which makes strangers think I am worse than I am, and I dont have anyone to come with me in the first instance…so, it really needs to be worth the effort!

I really just want to be able to walk a bit, with my quadstick, without having to concentrate on every step, and without fearing I wont make it back to my apartment!

Sorry to complain so much. Your m.i.l. has had much more to go through but is obviously still getting on with her life!

So I’ll just keep on keeping on, as Bobbi says!

Cheers, Jean :sunflower:


Hi Jean @Jfitz

That is an impressive routine from the point of view of sticking to it :slight_smile: and the amount​:grinning::+1:.

How about on your sit to stands you put the weak leg slightly behind the strong leg either for one or all sessions, maybe for one or all sit to stands. This will focus your weight on the weak leg. You can move it back half an inch to start or 3 in but that will be a challenge but it could be a goal .

How about you add-in standing next to a table or sofa or worktop or wall with rail you take two steps forwards and then two steps backwards? After a while try those two steps as three and or those two steps putting your feet in line rather than side by side - but have something to hang on to for the first month or six, think before you start about fall prevention

I continually look at the way my stronger and weak side behave, I continually look at what I need to do so for example coming through a door and pulling it to with my weak hand requires a compound movement of the shoulder elbow wrist that sort of rolls so I can let go the door handle has it passes to be behind me. I haven’t mastered it yet but 90% of times I go through my living room door I practise it

I have a quite different problem to you.
You have an admirable determination and it shows in your routine.
I can be creative with what I do but I don’t have the disciplined routine todo three sets of 10 of anything everyday or three times a day. I may be building during my day something that adds up to 30 repetitions in different contexts but I don’t take the time out as a session I’m jealous of you for having that focus.

Amongst your fellow residents is there anybody else who has a similar exercise regime or three people who match individually one of your sessions? Could you do your exercises as a pair and then comment on their exercises and ask them to comment on yours and that way might suggest different ideas .

Have you looked at the red exercise group in the videos in the menus here. Have you tried things like placing a ball under your foot when you are seated and then rolling the ball with your foot forwards and backwards left and right? Or if you are a little more able standing next to a sofa or work top and lifting your weak leg behind you and then out to the side and behind you?

The point here isn’t the actual movement I’m suggesting but the adding of variety. You might try each of these variations for a month or six and then look at adding something else. Do you have access to any equipment for example a balance board? That will obviously need adequate full prevention

Just a few ideas :slight_smile:



Ok so here’s a few more exercises you can mix in to your current repertoire that we do at S&B.

Side steps - two steps to the left, two to the right
Side step variation - when you step to the side, do it as though you are stepping over an imaginary obstacle.
Side steps with a kick - step to the left and kicking your butt with right leg. Step to the right kicking your butt with the left leg…well…trying to kick your butt.
A variation on that is just kick your butt right, left. Try touching your heal as you kick your leg up behind you.

Hip adduction seated - squeezing a pillow or medicine ball between your knees.
Hip abduction seated - wrap a resistance band around your thighs above the knees and stretch it outwards by pushing your knee out to the sides.
High knee - which is marching on the spot bringing your knees up to hip/waist hight.
These 3 exercises are good very good for activating the hips which you very much need for walking :wink:
These are resistance bands and belts and you can get a range of light/medium/heavy resistance to them and you can get either lengths of bands or belt form…or a mixture of both or get band form and tie one in a knot to form a belt if/when required:
These are great for loads of exercises you can find around the internet, you just have to key in resistance bank exercises and it can pick out the ones you are able for.
Here’s are few useful leg exercises you can do with (or without) the bands. The lying down/on hands and knees ones can even be done on your bed to spare your joints :wink:

All the above you can do to the same number of reps and sets as your other exercises.

Sorry this is a bit rushed, we’re off to my sister’s shortly for our second Christmas but I just wanted to get this off before I forgot :crazy_face:


Some of that sounds adventurous and all of it sounds exhausting :slight_smile:
:rofl: :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:


@SimonInEdinburgh @EmeraldEyes @Jfitz and whoever it may concern

a different take on all this

I have limited walking ability, though I can stand for a while.
When I came home I could only walk a step or two needing aid and support. Had limited standing ability too.

The game changer was a rollator. This let me walk until tired and provided a seat immediately I needed it. My confidence was greatly boosted and my range increased accordingly. Using the seat as a mobile platform I was able to fetch and carry items which was a further motivator to get about.

This allowed me to practice walking and soon I was walking with a stick on occasion too. I am not someone who thrives on repetitive exercise and found that simple practical moving about improved my ability and confidence a measurable amount quite satisfactorily.

I can now walk without a stick, though I find one gives me a secure feeling when I am tired.

A rollator at about £50 is relatively cheap when you look at costs for neurophysio and gymnasium sessions.

I hope you are all able to make good progress with recuperation.

I’d like to add a foot note.

When learning to swim I was always frightened when out of my depth. Eventually, one day, swimming suddenly became a pleasurable exercise when I learned how to lie back and simply float. There was no longer a fearful flight for ‘safety’. Soon I was taking life saving lessons and learning to scuba dive and eventually to teach the same.

I think the same principal applies to getting about on two legs.
Just learn to stand securely, no need to be moving about. This boosts confidence. You can always stop and stand if you feel a wobble coming on.
Standing at a sink doing the washing up is a great strengthener, gives a sense of achievement too. A seat or stool nearby as a perch allows a minute’s rest when needed.
While standing get a bowl and some ingredients together and make scones. Prep vegetables and so on. There is a way forward.

but enough of this

keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :grinning: :+1:



This is exactly (a way) that I meant (But can’t claim to have predicted) when I repeat the idea that peer support is how we rehab ourselves

We have different perspectives born from our different needs and experiences But a shared aim. By sharing strategies and ideas that identify things that contribute.

Makes perfect sense to me that you use your rollator to gain confidence. I did the laundry this morning, paired all the socks up when I hang them to dry. did 80% of it with my right hand. took three times longer if Id just done it left handed. Couldn’t do it at all the year ago .

Got out of the shower this morning dried my hair the right handed. I did half as good a job if Id done it left-handed. it took twice as long. Couldn’t have done it at all last year.

I too am bad at sticking to the nougatry “shift to tennis ball from box A to box b and then box them A” again. I did it in the early days, I did it as part of research projects.

I’ve got a more progress from adapting those regimes as I use them and more progress again by converting them into actions included in everyday living

I’m hoping that by sharing we are helping others, we are developing things that will help ourselves. extending beyond the textbook into things that are more applicable to more people more of the time .

Who knows where it will lead ?

There is one other dimension I can imagine at the moment - which is reporting our intentions and are sticking to them in front of everybody else could contribute to our own motivation to do that exercise that we intellectually know is good.

The Strokes pathways national guidelines currently recommends something like 3 hours per day. Doing 3 hours of scripted exercises is not something I think I’m equal to. Doing three times 3 hours of unscripted useful activity is something I do not have any difficulty imagining



@Jfitz My goodness Jean, at 84 that is a great workout. Keep at it and heed the advice from our wonderful members all the best. Derek


Many thanks to all of you for your helpful input! I will try lots of new things now, though some are beyond me at present. @EmeraldEyes, thanks for your suggestions for exercises I can do here without having to go to the gym - I will defo include some of those in my routine.

@SimonInEdinburgh, I know about sit to stand with the weak leg back - but I haven’t been doing it this way! :anguished: now I have no excuses! I do try to see the differences in the way my weak and strong legs move, to improve the weak one, and I do find this helps a bit, but it does take concentration! I will try some of your other suggestions too.

@Bobbi , I do actually have a rollator. It is one that you can use one-handed, and is very light.

It is made in Poland would you believe, and is about the only one-handed one you can buy here (NZ). I do use it a bit, but find it makes my good shoulder sore after a while, as I cant keep my weak hand on it properly. Yet. But it is a good little machine, and was invaluable when my wheelchair was out of action. And yes, I like things that are not “exercises”, like standing at the sink doing something! When I was first stroked I thought “at least I’ll never have to do housework again” and I was dismayed when they tried to get me to make some tea and toast - it seemed that my physiotherapy was simply designed to get me back in the kitchen! Now I think of the kitchen as my personal gym!

That has made me think of lunch, so I’ll go and get some soup now,

Cheers, Jean :bowl_with_spoon: