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7 Wonderful Exercises for Those Suffering From Epilepsy

By Dr. Mukesh Kumar in Neurosciences

Feb 12 , 2018 | 2 min read

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that leads to unprovoked and recurrent seizures. A seizure refers to a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. The feelings, actions, and thoughts of an individual are controlled by brain cells that message each other through consistent electrical impulses.

There exist two main types of seizures – generalised and partial seizures.

In generalised seizures, the whole brain is affected, whereas, in focal or partial seizures, just one part of the brain is affected. If the seizure is mild, it is often difficult to recognize. It is known to last for only a few seconds, during which the patient is unresponsive to surroundings.

On the other hand, stronger seizures can lead to rhythmic, synchronous tonic-clonic movement of the different parts of the body and may last for 30 seconds to 5 minutes, followed by postictal headache, vomiting, confusion, or psychoses lasting for 10 minutes to 24 hrs.

Best Exercises for Those Suffering From Epilepsy

Patients suffering from epilepsy are advised to exercise to achieve better health. Dr. Mukesh Kumar, Associate Director and Head, Comprehensive Epilepsy Services, Max Super Specialty Saket, the list below contain some brilliant exercises that work wonders for an epilepsy patient.

Walking

Walking is one physical activity which is easy and does not require any specialised equipment other than a good pair of shoes. Yet it helps a great deal in achieving good health. Brisk walking for 30 to 60 minutes regularly helps protect a patient’s lungs and heart and also controls the patient’s weight. People suffering from epilepsy have a higher risk of being obese and developing cardiovascular disease as well as emphysema. In this era of smartwatches and smartphones, it is suggested to walk for around 10 to 20 thousand steps daily.

Basketball

Active contact sports like basketball are a good workout for the heart and lungs. Patients suffering from well-controlled epilepsy should play this sport. However, it is advised that the patients seek the permission of their doctor before indulging in this activity. Also, it is crucial for patients to always wear protective headgear because head injuries tend to make seizures worse.

Volleyball and Tennis

Both these sports are great for the overall fitness and bone health of an epilepsy patient. Moreover, the risk of sustaining a concussion with such games is less. This is especially significant if a patient has had a history of head injuries caused by violent seizures.

Yoga

Yoga is a relaxing combination of physical poses and meditation. Doing yoga not only increases a person’s strength and flexibility but also brings down stress. Stress is a frequently informed trigger for seizures. Furthermore, yoga is also useful in maintaining a balanced metabolism in the body.

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercises increase muscle mass, which not only makes a person stronger but also helps them maintain a healthy body weight. Epilepsy patients can use weight machines, hand-held weights, and resistance bands to exercise. They can also practice strengthening exercises such as crunches, push-ups, and pull-ups. However, at the time of lifting heavy weights, it is essential for them to have someone around who can help in case of a seizure.

For epileptic patients, the key to a healthy life is to find the exercises that feel right for them. Neurologists guide patients towards the correct exercises which can be practised to improve their overall health.