Kelly-Marie Stewart is an actress who used to be in Hollyoaks. However, following a holiday to the Dominican Republic, she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and was paralysed as a result. Many years on and she’s still receiving treatment but is determined to walk again. She works hard at upper body strength and follows a fitness/diet plan to help build strength in her legs.
In Her Own Words
I would consider myself to be quite a healthy person. I see my physio once a week for my Guillain-Barre syndrome and I push myself further with my personal trainer, who I see in the gym twice a week. If I get any spare time, I enjoy swimming with my daughter which is also great for my recovery. My personal trainer works hard on setting me goals, so each week we try to do slightly more in our hour session than we managed last time. As a busy mum, I don't follow a strict diet plan. I eat what I want but in moderation. Trying my best to get as much fruit and veg in with my daily meals. One thing I am strict with however is making sure I drink plenty of water each day and I try to encourage this with my daughter too.
Increasing Upper Body Strength As A Wheelchair User
When using the wheelchair for the first time I realised that my arms had indeed become my legs and they were not cut out for the job. Getting up even small hills became a problem. I worked in my sessions concentrating on my upper body, with upper body weight training machine (short reps, little and often) and I also did a lot of swimming (yes my legs didn't work but the water was amazing for my upper body recovery!). When it came to strengthening my legs for my recovery I used the power plate a lot to kick my nervous system into action. Even standing still on the plate was great for waking up my muscles.
Plans For The Future
Although I'm a lot stronger than I was, I know how important health and fitness is and my new routine is not only something I believe that is heading me in the direction of walking again from paralysis. My routine is a new healthier me. I have more energy, my skins better and I don't seem to catch as many colds or bugs like I used to get. I believe if you look after your body, in return, it looks after you. Follow Kelly-Marie on Twitter here.