Fitness: Stroke won't stop Lucy Shaw as she tackles ST Virtual Run and Stepping Out for Stroke virtual walk

Stroke survivor Lucy Shaw cycles for one hour to 1½ hours almost every day.
Stroke survivor Lucy Shaw cycles for one hour to 1½ hours almost every day.PHOTO: COURTESY OF LUCY SHAW

SINGAPORE - When Ms Lucy Shaw suffered a stroke in October 2011, it was a blow to her as she was used to leading an active lifestyle.

The 64-year-old retiree used to play golf and tennis, and engaged in other activities like yoga and bowling as well.

She told The Straits Times: "I was very sad and would avoid the golf course and social dance nights at my club (Singapore Swimming Club).

"I do miss the super active lifestyle I had but I try not to think too much about it as I have to move on. I am in another phase of my life now."

After going through rehabilitation, Ms Shaw was able to resume some of these activities like yoga and line dancing.

She now also goes to the gym twice a week in addition to her physiotherapy sessions at Singapore General Hospital.

Ms Shaw also takes hour-long walks five times a week and cycles for 60 to 90 minutes occasionally.

"When I am active and busy, I forget my disability and focus on my abilities. Getting out and being active makes a huge difference to me. If not, I will feel sluggish and like I am wasting a beautiful day," said Ms Shaw, founder and former director of Shaws Preschool Group.

"I actually used to shy away from the gym but my physiotherapist gave me some confidence by encouraging me and we've been training with equipment such as the stationary bike and elliptical."

This year, she decided to take on another challenge by participating in the Singapore National Stroke Association's Stepping Out for Stroke virtual walk. She will also join more than 14,000 participants in the sold-out The Straits Times Virtual Run (STVR) next month.

"These walks are great activities with a challenge that you can do at your own pace. It is a good challenge to be consistent because you can't skip a day and say you will do it tomorrow instead," said Ms Shaw, who is aiming to complete 24km in a month for Stepping Out for Stroke 2020 and 17.5km in 10 days for the STVR.

 

"As long as I can move, I will do it. And if I can do it, so can fellow stroke survivors. I would like them to know that there is life after a stroke. You won't know if you don't try, so don't be shy, it is all about re-learning and you have all the time in the world."

For more information about the Singapore National Stroke Association's virtual walk and to sign up, go to this website.