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Successfully Golfing After a Stroke for Fun and Fitness
There’s no denying that stroke survivors have a lot to do as they go through the rehabilitation process and learn to live with physical limitations. Unfortunately, far too many people take a stroke as a sign that they can no longer perform physical activities. For stroke survivors who enjoy playing golf, these so-called physical limitations are not as pronounced as one might imagine.
Playing golf again is a real possibility
Except in the worst case scenario, the one thing that keeps most stroke survivors from returning to the golf course is the assumption that they can’t. This assumption is wrong in many ways. Will their golf game be as effective as it was before the shot? Probably not, but everything in life changes after medical trauma. The reality is that golf courses go nowhere and any golfer who wants to play golf belongs to the golf course. This includes stoked victims who love the game.
It only takes three things to get there. First, the person affected by the stroke must believe that they can do it. Second, they must accept certain limitations and learn to play within themselves. Finally, the stroke victim should minimize their expectations and maximize the joy that comes from being on a golf course instead of lying in bed feeling disabled.
The benefits of golf for stroke survivors
The benefits of being able to return to the golf course will touch almost every aspect of a stroke survivor’s life. From a physical point of view, they benefit from the benefits of fresh air and exercise. Doctors often encourage stroke victims to exercise their muscles and get their hearts beating again. Walking and swinging a club helps get all the right muscles moving and restore balance and coordination.
When it comes to mental and emotional issues, there is nothing that revitalizes the mind and soul more than overcoming impossible obstacles to achieve something significant. If a golfer loves to play golf, learning to do it again under different circumstances is an accomplishment that should bring a great sense of pride to a golfer with a disability. In many cases, depression is actually a bigger threat to well-being than another stroke. By going out there on the golf course and proving that he is still a player, the afflicted individual will no longer feel so afflicted.
Finally, it is very helpful to participate in a social activity for a stroke survivor who has been hospitalized and/or homebound for a period of time. The chance to hang out with friends and golf buddies serves to make the person feel like they are still a part of life here on this planet.
Exercises designed to make golf easier for the stroke victim
While contemplating that first game of golf after a stroke, several exercises can help restore stamina, balance and coordination. Walking is a must. Even cart drivers will record distance during a round of golf. Going out for a walk every day will improve endurance on the golf course. For balance and coordination, doctors recommend sitting on a stability ball, but for those affected by a stroke, a physiotherapist should be nearby unless one has progressed. By doing this exercise for a few minutes each day, balance and the ability to control your arms and legs will improve markedly over time. A more sensible exercise at home would involve the use of a chair. While the person with the stroke stands in a corner of a room, they hold onto the back of the chair and practice moving their hips back and forth and side to side . This is also beneficial for strengthening the weakened side. If the survivor also has foot drop suffered by many stroke victims, a brace recommended by the person’s doctor for safety reasons. This can help immensely, even if a cart is used, as walking can sometimes tire the weakened leg quickly.
Making golf easier for stroke survivors
The golf world is well aware that some stroke victims enjoy playing golf. With this in mind, there are many custom equipment designers who are more than happy to help design golf equipment that complements a golfer’s handicaps. Another way to make golf easier for stroke victims is to make them feel normal. Golfers with disabilities are often reluctant to play golf with healthy people for fear of slowing down the group. First of all, golf is a courtesy game and golfers tend to be very patient with those who may not be as good as others in the group. That said, there are many golf courses that sponsor disabled groups. By playing golf with other disabled golfers, the individual does not feel pressured to perform, only to enjoy the outing.
Golf is a great sport and activity. If you or someone you know has had a stroke and would still like to click on the links, make it happen. With reasonable expectations, that first round of golf will feel like something of a rebirth, making the stroke victim stop feeling like a victim and more like a winning survivor.
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