Social and Leisure Matters after Stroke: Sports, Exercise and Physical Activity

Post stroke activities such as sports and exercises


Sports and exercise should remain important to you after a stroke. You may face numerous barriers such as physical disabilities, fatigue or depression that may restrict you from resuming an activity that you enjoy. This factsheet provides information about the benefits of participating in sports and physical activity after stroke and how you can embark on this active journey.

Why is engaging in sports and exercises beneficial?

Sports and physical activity have a positive influence for everyone. For stroke survivors, it is no different. Engaging in sports and exercise provides the opportunity to:

  • Reduce the risk of another stroke and other chronic diseases
  • Improve physical well-being and fitness
  • Control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • Build strength and stamina
  • Improve psychological well-being
  • Develop stronger self-esteem and sense of worth
  • Alleviate depression, stress and anxiety
  • Improve body image
  • Enhance social interaction
  • Build and strengthen relationships with family and friends
  • Learn to work as a team, communicate with people and problem-solving

How much exercise should you do?


You should consult your doctor for individualized advice. Generally, aim for at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week. 

Based on the Singapore Physical Activity Guidelines, this is how you can assess the intensity of exercise: 

  • Light intensity Can talk in full sentences and sing
  • Moderate intensity Can talk in phrases or short sentences but cannot sing
  • Vigorous intensity Have difficulty talking

How to get started?

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1. Get medical clearance

After recovering from a stroke, do check with your doctor or healthcare professional before starting any form of sports or exercise programme. This is especially so if you have not done any physical activity for some time.



2. Know how your stroke has affected you

If you were already active before a stroke, going back to exercising the way you did before your stroke will depend on how your stroke has affected you.



3. Choose an activity and get started

You may need to adapt or modify your sport/exercises, or try new activities. Start slowly with low intensity exercises, then build up gradually.

Speak to your physiotherapist or occupational therapist for advice on types of exercises and/or finding a new fitness activity you enjoy.

How to embark on this active journey?



  • Walking or home-based exercise programme could be recommended as a start to increasing activity
  • Try out near-home exercises e.g. outdoor fitness zones, exercise classes at community centres
  • Refer to stroke organisations such as Singapore National Stroke Association (SNSA) and Stroke Support Station (S3) for organized programmes and activities.

Article available in Chinese, Malay and Tamil


StrokeHub Video: 


Sports, exercise and physical activity (Extended Version)


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