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Life is all about the little things making a vast difference. This can be done just by being in a green space.

There’s something soothing and rejuvenating about connecting back to nature. But did you know that getting outdoors can make a huge difference to preventing strokes as well as recovering from them? Here’s how enjoying green spaces achieves this…

It’s no secret that the greener an area, the fewer pollutants there are in the area.

Clean air helps to improve your stamina and endurance. This makes completing physical tasks easier no matter how simple or tough they may be, making you fitter and healthier in the long run.

It also helps stroke patients recover physical strength during their rehabilitation. Regular and basic exercise improves the body’s cardiovascular capabilities, giving them the chance to practice more each day. Just even this slight change makes a huge difference in their overall recovery.

Indeed, a 2014 Harvard University study showed that stroke patients residing in greener areas generally enjoyed a much longer lifespan than those who lived in dense, urban areas.

It’s not just a long-term physical edge that stroke patients may get either. Recovering in green spaces can also positively influence their approach towards recovery.

This was highlighted in a 2019 University of Edinburgh report that found that completing tasks in green areas gave patients a better chance physically and mentally to reach their goals.

By doing this in green areas – where studies have shown that stroke patients were more driven to reach their goals – the impact on someone’s recovery could increase significantly. The mental stimulation will also increase their determination to complete tough exercises when they are undergoing rehabilitation.

This is why just getting out and enjoying the greenery can make a huge difference especially compared to a damp and murky city street. However, do check that the temperature outside is not too high or low as exercising in extreme temperatures has been linked to increased death rates from strokes.

Having the drive and willingness to practice walking or moving makes a huge difference to someone’s overall recovery. It’s the reason the more a patient practices an exercise, the faster they regain their mobility.

It is worth consulting with a doctor and physical therapist to discuss how you can take you or your relative into the great outdoors and accelerate the recovery progress.

That way, you help keep your body and mind sharp at all times and reduce the overall risk of enduring a traumatic episode later on in life.

Green means go!

LEARN MORE

Stroke Exercises Guide eBook

Get detailed information on stroke recovery exercises for different parts of the body with various intensities and customisations to suit your needs,

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References:

1. Chen, R., et al. (2013). Both low and high temperature may increase the risk of stroke mortality. Neurology, 81(12), 1064–1070. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a4a43c

2. InventUM | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. (2021).

3. Mental Health Foundation. (2022).

4. Seo, S., et al. (2019). Association between urban green space and the risk of cardiovascular disease: A longitudinal study in seven Korean metropolitan areas. Environment international, 125, 51–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.01.038

5. University of Edinburgh Research Explorer. (2019).

6. Wilker, E. H., et al. (2014). Green space and mortality following ischemic stroke. Environmental research, 133, 42–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2014.05.005

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This document does not constitute the practice of medical consultation nor medical advice. Always seek the advice of your treating physician and/or specialist. if you suspect that you are experiencing symptoms of stroke, call for an ambulance immediately.

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