Exercise and Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury

If you, like me, experience fluctuations of mood and often feel anxious or depressed, a vital key to managing this is through exercise. Exercise is anything that gets you moving, in whatever way you are capable. Increasing your heart rate, even for short periods of time, makes a real difference to your internal state.

Start simple

Increase your activity levels gradually to improve your self-confidence and build motivation for more energetic activities. Start with simple activities such as shopping, driving, gardening or small household tasks.

Do what is enjoyable

Exercise to assist with brain injury recovery
Make sure your exercise is enjoyable to help get the most out of your brain injury recovery

You may often lose interest and pleasure in doing things you once enjoyed. Plan activities that you used to find enjoyable, interesting, relaxing or satisfying with friends or family – with time the pleasure you feel from doing these activities will return.

Include other people

People with head injury, anxiety or depression often withdraw from others, but continuing to socialise is an important part of recovery. Staying connected with friends and family can help increase wellbeing, confidence and provide opportunities to socialise.

Make a plan

Planning a routine can help people become more active. Make sure some form of exercise is included each day. Try to stick to the plan as closely as possible, but be flexible.

Try to walk

…and to catch public transport if this is possible for you. Because after all, sometimes the best exercise is the type you don’t notice!