Stroke Prevention Exercise Program (S-PEP) Lifestyle Change Steps
The Comprehensive Stroke and Rehabilitation Services programs at UW Hospital and Clinics have partnered to create a special exercise program for people who have had strokes. The Stroke Prevention Exercise Program or "S-PEP" has been designed to give you safe and fun exercise options to help prevent new strokes.
The steps below were created by the S-PEP team to help you successfully start and stick with an exercise program.
Step 1: Come up with a reason to want to exercise.
- To prevent a stroke or heart attack
- To increase energy
- To decrease depression
- To have a more active lifestyle
Step 2: Make a commitment to begin exercising.
Step 3: Ask your friends and family for their support. Or, ask them to exercise with you.
Step 4: Spot hurdles that might get in the way of exercising. Look at S-PEP's Frequently Asked Questions for answers to common questions about common hurdles.
Step 5: Make a plan and write it down. Look at S-PEP's Exercise Guidelines for help with making a plan.
- When will I start?
- What type of workout will I do?
- What equipment do I need to get started?
- What safeguards will I take?
- How often will I exercise?
- For how long?
- How will I progress my exercise?
Step 6: Accept that starting to exercise and sticking with it can be hard work.
Step 7: Set a realistic goal and reach it. This is the key to success and building confidence.
Step 8: When you reach your goal, set another realistic goal and reach it too. Repeat these steps over and over.
Step 9: If you have a hard time reaching a goal one week, rethink it. Was the goal too much or too bold? Set a new realistic goal and try again.
Step 10: Reward yourself for reaching your goals.
Step 11: Look at your Weekly Workout Log (pdf) to review progress you have made.
Step 12: Be aware of your mood. Feelings like depression can make it hard to start or stick with an exercise program. Talk to your doctor if you think you are feeling depressed.