By: Northwestern Medicine Staff
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects an estimated 1.7 million Americans each year.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month; Brain Injury Awareness Month focuses on educating the general public about the prevalence of brain injuries in our nation as well as the needs of individuals and with TBI and their families. Commonly, people diagnosed with TBI tend to become sedentary resulting in potential secondary health ailments. Developing a personalized and well-rounded exercise regime for these individuals can drastically improve their coordination, balance, ability enabling them to continue performing their activities of daily living (ADLs) independently. Take a look at the following suggestions for exercising with a brain injury.*
Frequency: 3–5 days per week
Intensity: Moderate-to-high or 60–90 percent of maximum heart rate
Time: 20–60 minutes
Type: Walking, running, bicycling, swimming, rowing and aerobic classes
Frequency: 2–3 days per week
Intensity: 3 sets of 8–12 repetitions per exercise
Time: 3 sets, 8–12 repetitions per exercise
Type: Bodyweight, TRX®, free weights, circuit machines, kettlebells and resistance bands
Frequency: As often as possible
Intensity: Stretch until a point of tightness; remember, stretching is never meant to be painful.
Time: Hold each stretch for 10–30 seconds.
Type: Slow, static stretches for each muscle group
Frequency: 2–3 days per week (minimum)
Time: 60 minutes
Type: Pilates, yoga and tai ch
*Please, consult your physician before beginning any new exercise routine. Start with the minimum amount of frequency, intensity and time mentioned above with a gradual increase. For more information and supervision, please consult a center fitness specialist.
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