Exertion (Exercise)

It is highly recommended that TBI patients try to keep light exertion while recovery. Please see buffalo concussion treadmill test

Patient Experiences

Not strenuous exercise (within reason)- bike machine, rowing machine, body weight strengthening stuff. Gradually increasing as I get better.

Olivia Geno 

 I did loads of reading and plenty of sources supported cardio to help with brain injuries. The blood flood to the brain is helpful with memory) I now walk about 1.5-2 miles a day

Jessica Brooks

This is a drag. Before my injury, I was used to being unrestricted. I trained as much as would be necessary, often pushing the envelope and my longest days would be up to 8h and my week loads, somewhere between 20-30h at best. I was an Ironman distance finisher and as soon as my head hit that sheet of ice, everything was wiped away.

I begged, kicked and screamed because I wanted to get back on the horse again. I know my body needs to sweat and I become totally insufferable when I don’t. What hit me like a ton of bricks was the first test my physiotherapist put me through: try to get 10 minutes done a stationary bike, max heart rate 120 bpm. I laughed and thought he was crazy. I made it to 9 minutes and 45 seconds. Then I almost fell off the bike, dead tired and all systems shouting for help. That day, if I had been healthy, I’d have done 5h on the bike.

I started out doing 10 minutes with a max heart rate of 120 bpm every other day. The neurological symptoms don’t hit you until 36-48 hours after your workout. If I experienced any symptoms, I had to stop immediately. If I didn’t experience any symptoms, we’d increase the time by 2 minutes every two weeks. No, I didn’t even work up a sweat the first few months. But it felt amazing. Two months into the program, I had to start all over again. It sucked. But it had to be done. Total honesty is the only way to go. My neck became so stiff, that all the symptoms rolled in. It took me a long time to get to 40 minutes and once I got there, we raised the heart rate to 130 bpm and started over, 10 minutes every other day. Or so I remember. When I got to 130 bpm for 30 minutes, we added an interval into the mix. I got to raise my heart rate to 145 bpm. My entire rehab history is on Movescount, I use a Suunto watch (Supporting the Finnish tech scene) and can be found behind this link: http://www.movescount.com/members/member133768-RobsonL      

As I write this, it kind of hits me how far I’ve come. This week, I’ve done 90 minutes on the trainer, 3,7k in the pool and 5,7k running. I started by running the distance between two light posts, swimming 100m and worked my way up from there. I felt so damn sick after these things that seemed like baby steps and meaningless non-workouts. But it’s all worth it.

If you want to fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. In plain English, include your team. Challenge them. Trust them. Listen to them.  

Robson Lindberg

Another beneficial activity I resumed after my injury was going back to the gym. Working out at the gym is a motivational booster and helps build your self-esteem. When I worked out, I felt good, so did the muscle ache felt the next day. Unfortunately, my stamina and patience had decreased and as a result, my workouts were quick. With the decrease of my patience, I had left early if the gym was extremely busy and if I felt lost in the gym because the exercise machines and benches were taken. My threshold of being in crowds had decreased as well and I would go in and out of the stores.

Ferdinand Ortiz Jr. (Tito)

HIGH Fitness is an emerging leader in group fitness, inspiring people from all walks of life to a lifestyle of better health and overall wellness. HIGH transforms old school aerobics into a highly addictive new fitness experience that combines simple, modern fitness techniques (i.e. HIIT, plyometrics, etc.) with music you know and love. This results in a high energy, INTENSE and crazy fun workout that leaves participants feeling HIGH and wanting more. Our formula alternates between cardio peaks and toning tracks that will take your heart rate to the sky and strength to the next level. Beyond the workout, the HIGH fitness culture embodies a lifestyle of empowering people to maximize their health and be the best version of themselves. HIGH T has helped tremedously for my emotional symptoms and provides energy for me. I do the work outs at my own pace. I do not jump much as I have a level 5 pleatue fracture of my Tib/Fib . The golden rule is "when in doubt squat it out," so I replace squats for the jumping/burpees basically the entire work out is modified. My coach Jenna McGill & Franki show us the modified version of all work outs as they progress. You have to listen to your mind and body. I started these work outs 2 months ago and its been over a year since my 3 head injuries . I slow down, water break, and rest as my body says so. Squats are part of my physical therapy for my leg, so having the modification to the work out is a huge plus for my leg situation. My back has now improved due to my leg regaining the muscle it lost. My neck and head feel better because my back and posture has improved. I am a former dancer gymnast and cheerleader so dancing is a outlet for me. I listen to the music and get lost in the words and often times ai sing along with tears in my eyes as I rip through the work outs and improve my body naturally. For me, to dance and work out is a gift. 

Kelsie Igasan/High Fitness

Our bodies need to move, just make sure to listen to your body and not over push it as you can trigger your symptoms.

Harley Rose Taich

I adored exercise during recovery. I think this helped me so much to limit the effects of issues brought on by overeating, I overate because I wasn't pleased with life at the worst stages. I know little about the effects on the brain, but I feel that changes were certainly helped during the process and it also kept my mind at ease with a feeling of slight achievement in the day to day chaos.

Paul McMahon