Since opening its first inpatient unit in March 2017, the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI) of Hamad Medical Corporation has delivered specialist care to more than 1,000 inpatients through its stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, pain management, and paediatric rehabilitation programmes.

Dr Wafa Al Yazeedi, Chairperson of Rehabilitation at QRI said that the hospital’s rehabilitation teams place great emphasis on encouraging patients to incorporate physical exercise into daily activity as part of their recovery. Regular exercise, according to her, can improve the physical and mental effects of injury and disease.

Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of illnesses and health concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, arthritis, and many types of cancer. It can also help improve cognitive function. By encouraging patients to engage in regular physical activity while part of our inpatient programmes, we are helping them create healthy habits that we hope they will continue even after they leave the hospital.’

Dr Wafa Al Yazeed
Dr Wafa Al Yazeedi

Dr Al Yazeedi said that exercise can have dramatic impact on how well and how quickly patients recover from illnesses like stroke or heart disease, or from injuries caused by falls or motor vehicle accidents. However, she cautions that there is a fine line between supporting and rushing recovery, especially in the case of patients who have had prolonged bed rest and may have lost muscle mass or strength.

A stroke can impact how well an individual sits, moves, balances, stands, and walks. Exercise after a stroke can have a dramatic positive effect, improving the patient’s fitness and general health and also reducing their risk of having another stroke.’

She said that for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, regular exercise is one of the best way to prevent complications. However, it is important to check what level and type of exercise are right for you. The level, type, and amount of recommended exercises vary from person to person. Your care team can provide advice, modifications and even recommendations on activities you may not have considered.

Exercise can also improve mood, boost energy, and promote better sleep. It can stimulate brain chemicals that may leave an individual feeling happier, more relaxed, and less anxious. It can also boost confidence and improve self-esteem.

To reap the benefits of physical activity, Dr Al Yazeedi recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.

With their doctor’s consent, most individuals recovering from injury or illness can engage in physical activity for upwards of 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Every minute of moderate activity counts toward this goal so you should view everyday activities such as brisk walking, gardening and domestic chores, as a good opportunity to be active.’

Care at QRI is provided by more than 350 staff comprising of physicians, nurses and occupational, physical, paediatric, and speech therapists, many of whom hold advanced certifications in diverse clinical specialties ranging from orthopedics to geriatrics. Their facilities include a Seating and Mobility Clinic, seven hydrotherapy pools, eleven advanced gyms, a specialist Sensory Room, and an Assistive Living Unit in which patients can relearn simple daily tasks and readjust to life at home.

Visit for more information about the services at QRI.