Research continues to support the importance of exercise in the rehabilitation of brain injury patients. 90% of patients can exercise after a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), but patients are sometimes hesitant to experience a worsening of symptoms. Yet, what they may not know is that, if patients do not exercise, it can lead to weight gain, depression, cardiovascular disease, or quit positive habits they used to enjoy.
An exercise program is an essential part of neurological rehabilitation. Exercise will help patients gain strength and movement while improving cognitive functioning. It will also help patients experience an improvement in their mood while increasing self-esteem.
This article will share the reasons why exercise contributes to the rehabilitation of brain injury patients.
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to repair itself. The brain does this by forming new synapses, or connections between neurons. How does exercise prompt neuroplasticity in brain injury patients?
New connections form when stimulated by performing tasks and skills. Participation in a program such as strength or even mild aerobic exercises that are repetitive will promote neuron connections and recovery.
TBI patients can accelerate their recovery by participating in simple rehabilitation exercises. Strength exercises help patients gain strength, coordination, and balance. The following are some exercises that can improve strength and movement in TBI patients:
- Seated hip internal and external rotation
- Quad exercises
- Hip abduction
- Oblique crunches
- Calf raises
- Core toe taps
- Bicep Curls
- Shoulder flexion
Furthermore, exercise increases blood flow to the brain. When you exercise, your heart pumps blood to all areas of the body, including the brain. The increase in blood flow carries essential nutrients to the brain, which promotes health and healing.
Development of New Skills and Hobbies
With participation in an exercise program, patients find they have an improvement in mood. Many want to continue exercising even after most of their symptoms have subsided.
Exercise affects neurotransmitters in the brain, which are the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons. Regular physical activity increases neurotransmitters, which helps brain injury patients process information faster and improves their mood! Because they feel well, patients want to continue exercising post-recovery.
Thus, patients often end up establishing a life-long exercise habit in post-acute rehabilitation. For a pattern to form, start by doing at least some of your brain rehabilitation exercises every day. Eventually, it will just become part of your routine!
Successful Brain Injury Residential Facilities Include Exercise Rehab- Including Neulife
Exercise is just one component of what we offer at Neulife to ensure a successful recovery from a brain injury. Neulife Rehabilitation is one of the largest brain injury rehabilitation centers located in Florida.
At our neurological rehabilitation center, we specialize in rehabilitating a wide range of injuries and focusing on quality care individualized to patients’ needs. We encourage you to reach out to learn more about our facility and programs.
If you have any questions, we are here for you! Call us or make a referral through our convenient online form. We look forward to being a part of your recovery!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.