I mentioned in the last post that exercise is not bad for people with Epilepsy. Actually, studies have show that seizures happen less often when people exercise more. Seizures during exercise are also very rare. So, what are you waiting for? Get to exercising! Here are a list of some benefits to exercising with Epilepsy:
- Lowers the chance of a seizure.
- Increases control on oncoming seizures.
- Helps put you in a good mood.
- Lessens sleep problems and muscle pains.
- Improves self-esteem.
- Increases overall wellness.
Here is a great video below about Diane Van Deren. She learned she could manage her seizures through exercise. Though this is not always the case. It shows that exercise can really help some people with Epilepsy.
What do I need to remember before I start exercising?
Though exercise can help with Epilepsy and overall health, there are still some questions you should ask before you start. Some basic steps you should take to starting exercise after an Epilepsy diagnosis are:
- Consult your doctor. Your history with exercise and your specific type of seizures are important things to think about when choosing exercise. Your doctor can help you decide what will help you be healthier without putting you under too much stress.
- Do not push yourself too hard. If you feel any sort of pain, you will want to take a break. Your body may see this as stress and it could trigger a seizure.
- Drink lots of water and have snacks when needed. This is also to avoid overworking your body. You want to make sure your body is getting everything it needs. This goes for all people, not just people with epilepsy.
- Tell people when you are going to exercise. If you plan on working out alone, tell someone what you are doing and where you are going. If something happens, they will know where to find you.
- Have an emergency cell phone nearby.
photo taken from: http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/image.php?image=http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/wp-content/files_flutter/1374094720Screen-Shot-2013-01-09-at-9.36.21-PM.png&height=485
- Avoid contact sports or water sports. Alright, so the above picture may be a bit extreme, but it makes the point. You never know what will happen in a high contact sport. Sadly, high contact sports put a lot of strain on the body most of the time. So, it is best to stick to non-contact or low-contact sports.
photo taken from:http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fdwnloadwallpapers.com%2Fswimming-lake&h=0&w=0&tbnid=p7DahVpk9J3SzM&zoom=1&tbnh=183&tbnw=275&docid=YCYrkFS62sXEyM&tbm=isch&ei=zOSgU9qVA8GsyATUxIC4CA&ved=0CAUQsCUoAQ
- It is also dangerous to participate in water activities if not monitored properly. Seizures, at the end of the day, are not easily controlled. You will learn to know when you are having a seizure, but this will not stop them from happening. You may not be able to get to safety in time. You do not want to be in a place where people cannot get to you if a seizure happens. So, always wear a life vest and have several people nearby who can help if needed.
When does exercise become dangerous for my Epilepsy?
Exercise, in normal amounts, is helpful for overall health and seizure control. When you push yourself too hard, the stress your body experiences may see this as a trigger. Some examples of exercise triggers include:
- Little sleep
- Not enough water
- Very high body temperatures
- Low blood sugar
If you do not (in normal amounts or when needed) get sleep, drink water, take breaks, and eat small snacks, exercise will become a seizure trigger. Healthy habits equal a healthy body. A health body means you can play all the sports you want. Taking care of yourself will always come first.