It has long been known that movement helps with speech production. It goes beyond hand gestures—physical movement can help you hold onto words as well as get those words flowing. We were excited on the last Aphasia Cafe chat when James told people about virtual races.

What Are Virtual Races?

Like real races, virtual races are running or walking competitions you complete on your own. You’re competing with others without being with others, making them a safe alternative during COVID-19.


James pointed out the benefits of running or walking, and how the structure of the race gives a person a goal and a shared experience. It’s one thing to say you went out and walked around the block a few times. It’s another to say that you walked a 5K.


It’s not just a way to release tension and get outside. Exercise can help with speech production and retention, an important fact James highlighted as a way to treat his primary progressive aphasia. We’ve spoken before about this idea through programs such as Stroke Survivor Fitness, which brings together exercise and speech: “Incorporating aphasia treatment activities into an exercise routine may help make new neural connections in the brain.”

Use Races to Spread Aphasia Awareness

Many years ago, we put together a two-part guide for hosting a charity race. Many of the ideas can still be used to create a virtual aphasia awareness walk, using exercise to help generate speech and spread aphasia awareness at the same time.


We’d love to hear from others who are using exercise to get the words flowing.


Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash