Stroke Prevention Exercise Program (S-PEP) Home Workout

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 home workout below was created by the S-PEP team for your use at home, the gym, or in a safe space that works for you.


Man and woman walkingWalking

  • Briskly walk around your home while:
    • Picking your knees up high
    • Pumping your arms
  • Walk up and down stairs (use handrails)
  • To make walking harder:
    • Hold soup cans
    • Hold small weights (use one to two pounds at most)


  • March in place or around your home
    • Forward-and-backward
    • Side-to-side
  • To make marching harder:
    • Use a small step in your home
    • Use a two- to four-inch high platform (use a rubber mat underneath)


  • Start by sitting in a chair
  • Stand up and sit down without using your hands
  • Repeat the motion for your desired length of time

Workout Plans

  • Plan 1:Walk three laps around your home
    • For lap 1, walk briskly and pick your knees up high
    • For lap 2, walk briskly and pump your arms
    • For lap 3, walk briskly, pick your knees up high, and pump your arms
    • Make it harder by holding soup cans or weights
    • Repeat the laps for your desired length of time
  • Plan 2:Create a marching routine
    • March in place and pump your arms for three minutes
    • Step up and down a small platform or step for three minutes
    • First step forward-and-backward
    • Then step side-to-side
    • Walk up and down stairs in your home three times
    • Make it harder by holding soup cans or weights
    • Repeat the routine for your desired length of time
  • Plan 3: Combine the walking, marching, and sitting exercises to create your own home workout

Workout Tips

  • Tip 1: Play fast music you enjoy to make your workout more fun. Try marching and walking to the beat.
  • Tip 2:Do your workout while watching a TV show you enjoy:
    • Combine the marching and sitting workouts while the TV show is on
    • During the commercials (about three minutes):
      • Walk briskly around your home
      • Climb up and down stairs in your home
  • Tip 3:Videos and Games
    • Rent a low-impact exercise video or check out one from your local library
    • Look at S-PEP's Exercise Videos list for suggestions
    • If you have access to the popular video games Wii-Fit or Dance Dance Revolution, these can be great home workouts, too

Note: Review Signs of Exercising Too Hard and Exercise Safeguards before all workouts. Your goal range of effort is 13-14 (somewhat hard) on the Borg Scale.