Notes from the Neuro Café 8th September 2021 by Linda S.
Sarah opened the session, which was packed full of information about apps that may be useful in rehab.
We agreed we are all enjoying the hot weather though it doesn't always get you in the mood for absorbing a great deal of information.
91% adults are internet users. 78% have a smartphone. 57% of adults would be prepared to share their tracking data with the NHS.
Apps can be used during many stages of you rehabilitation and can be a way to improve self-management and motivation in particular. Apps are a good resource especially in a time of COVID-19.
The my-therappy website is run by the NHS and features app suggestions and reviews from specialists and patients. Sarah showed us how to use the website.
There are sections for different conditions e.g stroke, Parkinson's, MS. and you can choose what area you would like to work such as upper limb, cardio, cognition and many more. Once you have searched within the categories which are relevant to you, the website lists suitable apps for you to try.
It is a useful way of finding appropriate apps for your condition and goals. If you are ever unsure about whether an app is appropriate for your level just chat to one of the physiotherapists.
Apps for rehab
Designed by Australian physio, this app combines cognitive and physical challenges. The exercises take place in an imaginary clock face beneath your feet, there are 5 levels, with options to change speed, length of workout and theme. Workouts are no longer than 10mins.
Varying themes include animal names, colours, elements and options to combine upper and limb and lower limb exercises. To help with coordination, strength, power and balance.
If you are in doubt about your level, you can start at the bottom. Do ask LEGS staff for their advice.
Sarah played the Clock Yourself video. The activities are clear, evidence-based and with safety considerations. There is also cardio and balance too.
Largely for post-stroke population, however the TASK section could be applied to other conditions. Two sections within app:
TASK for practicing every day 'functional' tasks - such as sitting, standing, stepping.
PUSH for arm movements, appropriate for very weak arms with little movement available.
We were shown some examples of movements. It is easy, simple and clear. The exercises are similar to what we do in our LEGS Move classes.
Sarah played a video of one of our favorite(!) exercises, sit to stand. It looked as if the person being filmed was enjoying it as much as we do!
The app includes a description of mistakes and some tips to remember.
We felt it was good to see someone doing the exercise who has similar impairments to us.
If you would rather not have another app on your phone you can download and print the programme instead.
Seated based exercise app - 'Gentle overall exercise, fitness and stretching'
Simple, easy to peform, 3 stage programme - warm up, work out, cooldown.
Can also be done if you are on a long journey and spend a long time at an office desk.
Note: only available with with iphone not android
Mental health /mindfulness app.
There is music, meditations, masterclasses and scenes. You can follow a daily programme;
There is also a more physical aspect to it - stretches. You can ask the LEGS staff if particular exercises suit your ability. You could try Sleep Stories. Listen with a partner or family, or watch the mindfulness videos.
Their top breathing exercise:
Breathe in ‘I am calm’, breathe out ‘I am peaceful’. Try it!
Some participants have tried a similar app called Headspace which they have enjoyed but felt that the content did not change enough. Depending on your preference with these apps you may find some of the voices annoying!
Free trial then subscription - Note when your free trial is over, as it will just run into a paid subscription unless you cancel it. Headspace is a similar app, also with a free trial.
To log your distance, speed, routes and time during activities outdoors you might like to try:
They may depend on a GPS to work properly. Some participants have found activities have not logged due to this - check your connection before you embark to avoid disappointment!
You can get this on your iPhone/applewatch. It counts steps, and monitors your other activities too. You can use this to app to monitor your progress.
It also has other aspects such as mindfulness.
Activity, time, steps, calories, distance.
Tracks how much activity you should be doing every week. Get one heart point for each activity you do.
Can be accessed through google phone or android wear watches.
Use these if you want something that is away from your phone such as fitbit. Good if you just want a simple marker to count only one thing. You will not be overwhelmed with data!
There are many different apps, and doubtless an app for everyone! Do look at the NHS app website, which has some useful recommendations. Ask LEGS staff or your GP for more information or questions.
What are people doing? LEGS people are on the move! Including a trip abroad next week - will report back on travelling with a disability.
Did a train journey to Hertfordshire. There was no one to assist but there was a lift which was helpful. The journey out was an easy, stress free experience.
Walked to Holland Park for an hour! Everybody enjoyed the gratitude pictures on the Neuro Cafe group from last week.
Tired today and staying home to rest.
Off to Lymington. Going to a jazz festival in Christchurch. This is a relaxed festival in a field by Christchurch marina. It had been due to be in August but due to the virus it was postponed.
Enjoy your plans everybody!