Stroke Rehab: Changing Lives Through Water Therapy

This post was written by Kari B. Tue, 10/11/2022 - 12:28 in Fitness, Health & Wellness
Stroke Rehab Class

“Water is magical.  It changes people’s lives.” Judy B., Stoke Rehab instructor

Did you know almost 300,000 Canadians live with the after-effects of a stroke? That’s a pretty big number.  

To help local stroke survivors, North Vancouver Recreation and Culture has been offering a popular Stroke Rehab program in the community for over a decade.  The key to its success is water-based therapy. 

Here are a few remarkable benefits of the Stroke Rehabilitation program:

  1. Stroke Rehab uses the properties of water to help heal 
    For those recovering from a stroke, exercising in water can help empower and heal their bodies.  Buoyancy, the force that assists upward movements, reduces stress on the body and can improve movement and balance.  Water provides resistance, which is great for building muscle strength and toning.  As well, hydrostatic pressure acts as a compression bandage that can ease aches and swelling. 

    The participants in the Stroke Rehab program are in water therapy for one hour, three days a week.  Regular movements in water not only help improve body functioning, but it also prepares them for gravity.  

  2. Stroke Rehab offers a safe setting
    Aquatic therapy is low impact and much safer compared to most land-based exercising.  When participants are immersed in water, there is much less risk of falling and serious injury.  In fact, eliminating the fear of falling is a huge confidence boost for participants. With the help of buoyancy gear and volunteers, those who can’t stand on land can experience the freedom of striding in water.  

    And most notably, program participants who were told they will never walk again on land, have walked again. How amazing is that?

  3. Stroke Rehab helps improve overall well being
    Exercising in water opens up a new world for those who have difficulties moving on the ground.  And as with any work out, there are other advantages as well: it’s good for cardiovascular fitness, boosts energy, helps encourage a better sleep and can improve mood. 

Another important component of the program is connecting with others.  The group, with a broad range of ages, has regular weekly socials and even a holiday party. Because many stroke survivors often feel isolated, this program gives them the opportunity to mix with individuals in similar circumstances. 

The advantages of water therapy are incredible. Listen to our Stroke Rehab Instructor Judy talk about how the classes change lives:


For more information on the program, visit our Health Management page.



We have asked our employees and guest bloggers to contribute to our blog in their own voice and with their own opinions. As such, the opinions expressed in this blog entry are not necessarily shared by North Vancouver Recreation & Culture. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.