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 recognise. It is known to last for only a few seconds during which the patient lacks awareness. On the other hand, stronger seizures can lead to uncontrollable muscle twitches and spasms and are known to last a few seconds to more than a few minutes. At the time of a strong seizure, some patients tend to lose consciousness and get confused. Afterwards, they may have no memory of its occurrence.
Patients suffering from epilepsy are advised to exercise to achieve better health. Dr. Vinod Puri, Senior Director and Head, Comprehensive Epilepsy Services, Max Super Specialty Saket, list below a list of some brilliant exercises that work wonders for an epilepsy patient.
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. Taking brisk walks 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. Patients are advised to choose safe locations for walking such as a park.
Active contact sports like basketball is 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 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 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 of the body.
Strengthening exercises increase muscle mass, which not only makes a person stronger but also helps them maintain 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.
There are many neurologists in Delhi who offer excellent epilepsy treatment. These neurologists guide patients towards the correct exercises which can be practised to improve their overall health. For an epileptic patient, the key to a healthy life is to find the exercises that feel right for them.