Simple tips for brain injury … exercise Part 2 of 2

26 Apr

Exercise, that seems like work!  Even if you think you aren’t exercising, it’s likely you are.  Are you doing any of the following?

Household tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, mopping, or other chores.  Do you enjoy gardening, pulling weeds, mowing the yard, or taking the dog for a walk?  Do you play with your children, grandchildren, or the dog? Have you taken your elderly neighbor for a short walk?  Do you take bike rides with family, significant other, or a friend?  Have you tried swimming or water walking to keep active and joints free from pain and physical stress?

Joint pain and stiffness limits activity.  Heat compresses or warm bathing can help relax tense or chronic neurological and many medical conditions that affect muscles.  If you have difficulty moving about in the morning attempt a few minutes of exercise later in the day and vice-versa if mornings are best.  

Spc. Jlynn Johnson (right), U.S. Army Health C...

Spc. Jlynn Johnson (right), U.S. Army Health Center Vicenza physical therapy clinic technician, demonstrates an exercise geared to strengthening leg muscles to patient Spc. Tim Lucero. The new Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine center is located in the fitness center on U.S. Army garrison Vicenza, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deep breathing is also considered exercising.  Slow and deep breaths.  This can be performed while lying flat on your back or sitting upright.  Deep breathing is an exercise you can do most anytime of day, and anywhere (unless you are flat on your back).

If you find this difficult to focus while sitting up because it makes your neck muscles spasm or exaggerates any pre-existing conditions or symptoms … be good to yourself!  Don’t avoid exercise.  Exercise will keep your body functioning like it should, even if the exercise is minimal.

Try lying flat on your back and raise your arms above your head.  Deep breathing helps with circulation, improves oxygen to tissue, and promotes relaxation.  Take a deep breath in, hold it for a couple seconds and slowly breathe out on:  Deep breathe in on 2-3-4 and exhale out-2-3-4, then rest.  Repeat deep breathing at least 5 times.

This will help you become aware of your breathing, help you relax, and stay focused.  Simple exercises like this can easily become part of a routine.

Free exercise equipment is in your home.  You can use canned goods in your pantry can be used as weights.  Use a chair to help with safe balance and support while doing leg lifts, curls and stretches.  All these activities increase brain chemistry and improve health.

Are you thinking you can’t exercise because you are so fatigued.  Stop! You can stretch before getting out of bed in the morning.  A couple good stretches and deep breaths go a long way!

If you have limited physical mobility you need to consult a physical therapist and follow the exercises prescribed.  Physical therapy is for you, and only you can do the exercises prescribed.  Physical therapists make copies of exercises for you to follow.  You are in control.


fitness (Photo credit: The Survival Woman)

The exercises don’t work if you are just looking at the paper. Don’t be the person who throws away those prescribed exercises.  Be the person who does the exercises! You must do the exercises.  Think of exercises are a progression to your best health versus a difficult task that seems to be a burden.  If you have any questions consult your physical therapist or personal physician.

Exercise increases the feel “good” chemistry in the brain.  There are naturally many different sites about exercise but the following are three different sites that include: 1. How to get the best price for gym membership.  2. Planet Fitness advertised by The Biggest Loser Program as low as $10.00 per month.  3.  Mayo Clinic’s 7 benefits to exercise.

  • Free Gym Membership Blog-includes many suggestions such as:
  • Best time to buy gym memberships
  • Simple tips
  • Unbelievable deals
  • Demographics of region looking for gym
  • Convenience of gym
  • Higher economy level is pricer
  • Know about geography
  • Look at options and shop around
  • Know where all gyms are
  • Study marketing  and coupons & check out trends
  • Collect and take competitors stuff when checking out gym
  • Might match or even beat by a certain percentage
  • Take time to find good deals
  • Seasonal cycles
  • Time the market
  • Usually 2 times best deals: January is worse time
  • Best Discounted price: December and August

  • known for the Judgement Free Zone philosophy meaning you can have fun, relax and become healthy without pressure
  • $10.00 per month-$19.00 per month
  • Promoted by television’s reality show The Biggest Loser

  • Mayo Clinic:  7 benefits of regular physical activity
  • Controls weight
  • Combats health conditions & diseases
  • Improves mood
  • Boosts energy
  • Promotes sleep
  • Improves sex life
  • Social activity and fun!

***Check with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen

Overcome daily challenges one exercise at a time!  Caution: Weather with extremes of cold or hot can be hazardous to health.  In cold weather, keep warm and exercise good judgment while keeping safe.  In hot weather keep coolAlways keep yourself hydrated.  Drink plenty of water or drinks with potassium and other electrolytes.  Pace yourself.  Keep safe.  Stay healthy.

What would you like to share so others can enjoy exercise and the healthiest lifestyle possible?  Any suggestions for basic and simple tips … What to do or what to avoid?

**********All material presented on Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation (BISR) is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Edith E. Flickinger, BSN RN. 



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2 responses to “Simple tips for brain injury … exercise Part 2 of 2

  1. katie

    April 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    As you know my friend I love gardening and swimming. The last two days i’ve been trying to clean up flower beds and plant or transplant flowers. Since I live in Florida and its been in the high 80’s I knew I had to start early – when its cooler outside. Well the coolness wore off very quickly, I was drinking water like a sailor and my body is mad at me too. Those knees just don’t appreciate my efforts and I think I got a case of heat exhaustion too. The swimming pool is calling my name but I put it on ignore for now. This evening we will try again and will most likely answer the call of the pool. God Bless and stay safe.

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      May 6, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      Convenience of owning a pool must be nice, but I’m sure the upkeep is extensive and expensive! It’s the best exercise. Take care and stay safe.


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