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Play This One Game Every day To Help Speed Up Recovery From A Stroke

Play This One Game Every day To Help Speed Up Recovery From A Stroke

Have you or anybody in your family suffered a stroke? Then you would know how recovery from a stroke can be an uphill battle, marred with frustration and anxiety on the patient’s part and helplessness on others.

But there is always hope. Recovery from stroke is literally a lifelong process, but there is this one game you can play, that could really become a valuable aid in making you as mentally and physically fit as it possible.

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What is a stroke?

By definition, a brain or cerebral stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, and when the brain does not receive oxygen that the blood supplies, brain cells begin to die. A stroke affects motor functions and muscle control and patients also often have memory loss, mental fogginess and sometimes pain or tingling in the affected parts of the body.

Is recovery from a stroke possible?

Recovery from a stroke is a long process, but a possible one. Within weeks of a stroke, the brain begins to regenerate the dead or damaged cells – making new brain cells (neurons) as well as new blood vessels to connect to them.

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What can we do to fasten recovery from stroke?

You can play chess. It sounds flippant—it is anything but. Chess is a game long revered for mental strategy that is proven to have long term benefits on memory, IQ as well as reading. It enhances problem-solving skills, creativity, patience as well as planning and ends up exercising both the sides of the brain thereby increasing mental acuity.

How can chess help in physical recovery from a stroke?

When you play chess, you need to move the pieces around in a multidirectional but precision format. There’s a wide range of movement – forward, backward, diagonally forward or backward and of course, sideways. Hover each movement is precise in its range – the piece has to move according to the rules of the chess, and a set number of squares only; be it to play, defend or attack. This precision movement helps in regaining vital motor skills needed to live an independent life. There’s so much that our hands and arms do and when you lose part of this movement after a stroke, chess can help in this physical part of recovery from stroke.

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How can chess help in mental recovery from stroke?

When you play chess, you use both the hemispheres of the brain for chess marries logic with creativity in a power-packed mental game of skills. There’s a considerable mental effort required to play the game.

  • Memory improvement: You use your memory to remember how which piece moves, attacks or defends and this metal exercise helps you recover lost memories and help in further retention.
  • Mental clarity: Your strategy keeps changing and you have to think and rethink new moves the way your opponent continuously does too. You need to give full concentration to the game, else its checkmate for you. This mental exercise can improve communicative as well as cognitive abilities.
  • A state of calm: Chess is also a sort of a meditation – when you play chess, your concentration shrinks to just that board – this single-mindedness in a game that as fast or as slow as you want it to be, helps you in achieving a zen-like state of mind.
  • A happier state of mind: Win a game or lose one, chess is rather invigorating when played well. It may not have the same effect as physical exercise, but playing a game of chess can flush the system with adrenaline and make a depressed stroke victim feel so much better.

Remember that chess makes one cheerful for even if one loses a game, there’s always the next one to look forward to. There’s nothing like some good competition to revive the brain and the soul. And by doing that, chess inculcates hope and a new lease of life in a person bogged down by recovery from stroke.

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Featured photo credit: Deviantart via img04.deviantart.net

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Rima Pundir

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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