Squeeze Ball Exercises for Stroke Patients – I Need a Squeeze Ball

So you’ve had a stroke and one of your arms has lost some mobility. What are you going to do? Don’t forget the easySqueeze Ball things to start with that doesn’t cost much money. Ask someone to get a squeeze ball that will help you strengthen your hand.

This is so inexpensive but you will have all kinds of time when you can pull that little ball out and try to strangle it. I don’t mean to be sick but you may need some emotional support for you to focus your anger, out through your hands, on to that cute little ball.

Here are Some Squeeze Ball Exercises for Stroke Patients

I know that you are going to be getting or have already gotten advice, suggestions or orders for you to complete certain exercises on a regular basis and that is exactly what you need to do. Consult with your physician and/or physical therapist.

Now, just in case they haven’t told you about this adorable little smiley face that needs to have its face roughed up, here are some great hand exercises you can use right in the comfort of your own home.

Many of the exercise below were taken from an article in Flint Rehab.

  • Hold the squeeze ball in your palm and squeeze it as hard as you can. Hold for a few seconds then release. Repeat 10 toWorking the Ball 15 times on each hand. Do this exercise two to three times a week, but rest your hands for 48 hours in between sessions.
  • Squeeze the ball with your fingers and thumb but keep your fingers straight. Squeeze and release.
  • Pinch the ball with your fingers and keep the thumb extended.
  • Place your hands out flat with the ball in your palm and then press the ball with your thumb only.
  • Keep your hand flat and roll the ball up and down your palm by flexing and extending your thumb.
  • Place the ball on a table and place your hand on top of it. Then, while keeping the hand flat, roll the ball from the base of your palm to your fingertips.
  • Place the ball on a table and place your hand on top of it. Then, push your palm down on the squeeze ball and then let it back up.
  • Roll the ball between your fingers starting at your thumb and index finger then roll it between your fingers toward your pinkie then return it back to your thumb and index finger.
  • Lay your hand flat and keep your fingers straight. Use your thumb to roll the ball in a circle on your palm.
  • Place the ball in between two fingers (pick any two fingers), then squeeze and release.
  • Lay your hand flat and keep your fingers straight. Use your thumb to push the ball side to side across the width of your palm.
  • Hold the squeeze ball between your index finger and middle finger then press your thumb into the ball and release.
  • Place the squeeze ball on a table then push on the top of the squeeze ball with your thumb and all of your fingers and then release.

There are many other types of hand exercises for stroke patients but I’m going to attempt to keep these article focused on one topic. I will cover other exercise in a future article.

Keep the Squeeze Ball Close By

The squeeze ball is easy to carry with you and is convenient to use if you have some down time. Squeezing a ball can Weight Traineralso get your mind off your situation at times. You don’t even need a health problem to get great benefits from this.

I have heard many people say in my life that you need to give your muscles a chance to relax and re-build, which I don’t disagree with, but I also don’t think you need to wait 48 hours between exercises or any particular amount of time. You should be able to work your hands out any time you desire.

This next story is just one of personal experience and I just put it before you to get you to think about your exercises and all the opinions that will come at you.

I remember playing football when younger and all the times in the weight room. We worked out different body parts on different days and made sure we gave our muscles time to rest and grow or strengthen but I will never forget one little guy that everyone was afraid of.

This little guy ended up being the nose guard on defense. He was right in the middle of these huge guys with massive muscles, but this guy wasn’t afraid of anyone. This may have been partly his personality or the way he was raised but there was more to it than that.

Strong ManThis guy worked on a farm throwing bales of hay back before we had all the fancy round hay bailing machines. He worked all summer throwing thousands and thousands of bales and he evidently wasn’t listening to any sports trainers telling him to rest 48 hours before he threw some more hay.

This guy built the strongest, smallest looking muscles that were wirery and by gosh, STRONG. He was so strong he could beat any of the big guys in arm wrestling and many or them were almost twice his size. How could this little guy be so strong and so effective among giants?

The answer, in my humble, non-scholarly opinion, was repetition. He had no choice but to work hard every day without a break. Maybe he got one day off a week, and maybe his rest was sleeping at night but he built “real” strength by working his body, all the time.

Update: 02/06/2018

I would like to reiterate here that you should consult your physician or physical therapist before extensive use of hand therapy exercises. 

I bring this up for you to not be afraid of using that little squeeze ball to your hearts content. You may want to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about this, which doesn’t hurt my feelings, as I am not a doctor. I am just a stroke survivor who looks for any way possible to improve my life and those of you who choose to listen.

Beach Sunrise

Exercises for Stroke Victims – Should You be Doing That?

One of the common messages I have seen in my research is that stroke victims need to exercise. But what kind of Exerciseexercises for stroke victims?

That’s a difficult question to answer and actually not even possible for me to answer as every stroke victim is different. You may have fully recovered from your stroke and then others may have long term physical problems that limit their exercise options.

The primary thing you need to do is talk to your doctor, physical therapist or healthcare provider and follow their advice.

Slow and Steady or HIIT

For this article I am going to be speaking to people that have fully recovered physically from their stroke or mostly recovered.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. So, my question has to do with, is it better to take a long slow walk, for example, or spend 20 minutes doing interval sprints on a treadmill?

HIIT Training

One of the things I have already discovered in my research is that most recovering stroke victims do not get near the amount of exercise that we need. The other thing to consider is that most stroke patients are older and will not be as active as young people.

Another thing that keeps coming up to me in my personal life is that as I get older, I don’t want to workout as intense as I did when I was younger. But this is really the crux of my question here. Slow walk or intense speed walking or even more intense intervals of walking and running. This is just one example and this can be applied to any form of exercise.

I came across some research in NCBI called “High-intensity interval training in stroke rehabilitation.” There seems to be HIIT Trainingsome support for increasing our intensity in workouts over just taking it easy. This has led me farther down this path of HIIT training. I am well aware of HIIT training but mostly when it is used for younger folks, either athletes or those who are trying to drop weight quickly, but what about using it for people recovering from a stroke?

This is where I come back to personal observation and experience. There are many people more qualified than I am to research and present their findings on an academic level. My focus here is from a practical stand point. Does it make sense and does it fall in the category of common sense? To many times I think we look for some doctor or professor to write some scholarly article before we give our opinion but too often, experience and common sense gets left out of the picture when it should be front and center.

My Common Sense Approach to Exercise

Let’s start with a couple of ground rules. First, lets understand that I’m probably acting out similar to other stroke victims and let’s all agree that I am not the resident expert in this field.

WalkingMy exercise over the last four years has been more of the slow and steady type. I have found that I would rather take a long walk than go hit the gym hard or even just do interval training in the neighborhood with walking and running.

Now let’s all agree here that walking is a great form of exercise and if that’s all you’re doing than you are still doing better than most of the population.

The problem I have found is my energy levels are dropping and my metabolism also, among many other things. This is partly due to age but how much is due to the stroke and relegating myself to a slower, easier lifestyle.

This may be fine for you but again, I am bringing this back to my experience.

Walking regularly will help anyone lose weight who is also on a healthy eating plan so I don’t want to take away from that. But, there is something else I am noticing. I am not as strong, flexible or energetic as I used to be. Now, I can just blame it all on age but I’m not so sure that’s all there is to it. I am 52, presently and I have notice plenty of 50 year olds who are still extremely active. My point here is that I believe I am giving in too much to the age issue when I still have a lot of energy and ability to remain active.

So, what am I going to do?

Working Out Like a Healthy 50-Year Old

I believe to many times I will give into the stroke victim approach and say, “well I need to take it easy, as I have had a stroke and I am getting older.”

Nonsense! I’m 50 years old but I’m not dead!

Alive

It’s time for us to be sensible about our lives and what we are capable of. Don’t act like you’re 20 years old again and get stupid with exercise, but then don’t go to the other extreme and act like you’re in a nursing home and can’t go to fast or you’ll knock someone over.

The sensible thing to do is, first consult your doctor or health professional to get their advice on what activities you should be involved in and at what intensity. Second, go ahead and take some nice long walks, especially with the one you love, but don’t leave out the more intense training sessions where you really get your heart pumping.

It would sure be nice some day if someone would pick up your story and point to you as a great example of someone who stayed active, healthy and lived a long and rewarding life.

I haven’t given you a definitive answer here other than to consult with your medical professionals and stop thinking that you have to really take it easy. Your situation may require you to take it easy and if it does, then just be consistent with your exercising. However, if you can do more, than stop procrastinating, or thinking your too old.

Your most likely not to old. So be smart and consistent and go live a little.