Epilepsy and Fitness

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Hey guys! How are you doing? I’m doing pretty well these days. Since I’ve been better, I’ve been more into exercising and aching to get back into my regular exercise routines.

I have always been into working out and exercising. It’s one of my passions, and I find that it helps me burn off my stress and its a guaranteed space where I’ll get to be alone and be ‘in the zone’. I also think it helped me with the epilepsy, because one of my main triggers for seizures is stress. So, I could go to the gym and burn it off and work hard and then when I left, I would have a peace of mind. Throughout high school and university, I was what you could call a ‘gym rat’. In my first year of university it was well known that if I wasn’t around in the residence I was either studying in the library or working out in the gym. Over the years I have picked up different exercises, such as when I took a boot camp (that was fun!) and I incorporated them into my own workouts.

My workouts usually consisted of this: I would start with a a warm up on the stair master (or laps around the track), and then I would use the weight machines, but I wouldn’t like to spend too much time on them because I prefer to use free weights and full body exercises, because I feel that’s the best way to build muscle, instead of just sitting on a machine. Then I would use free weights and do bicep curls, etc, with ten pound weights (my arms aren’t super strong, I have most of the strength in my legs). Then I would use a swiss ball and do a bunch of squats and other exercises on the mat. It was a really good workout! That was just a basic run down of my workout, but I don’t want to go over it in tiny little details, because trust me, I could. 😉 I usually left the gym covered in sweat, because I always gave it my all, and I wasn’t’ satisfied with myself if I only did a mediocre job. Let’s admit it: I am a bit of a perfectionist.

When my seizures became out of control, I stopped going to the gym because there was no way I could do any of those exercises with the amount of seizures that I was having. I could easily fall off the stair master, fall off a weight machine, drop a free weight on my foot, or collapse on a mat. It would be dangerous, not to mention embarrassing. So, needless to say, I am extremely out of my routine of going to the gym and I miss it terribly. So, ever since the Fall of 2012 I have gradually been losing a lot of muscle mass and I am anxious to gain it back. I have been doing little workouts at home with a mat and doing everything I can that doesn’t require equipment, plus daily walks, yet I am anxious to gain my muscle back!

If your seizures are uncontrolled, here are some tips to still maintain your fitness level:

1.Try to go for a walk a couple of times a week with a friend or family member
2.Do simple exercises, such as crunches on a mat at home
3Watch your portion sizes and avoid sweets so as to avoid putting on extra pounds
4. Remember to stay hydrated!

Even though my seizures are improving, I need to remember to take it slow with the workouts. I have the tendency to dive back in to things and then have repercussions as a result. I really want to be able to do things that I did before the breakthrough of seizures (such as going to the gym four times a week, Zumba, and  running) I need to take it easy. Does anyone have any suggestions or is in the same situation? Hope you’re having a good week! Love you all! xox

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5 thoughts on “Epilepsy and Fitness”

    1. Yes! You’re right John; I forgot to add getting enough sleep! Essential for keeping the stress levels down and keeping the body functioning in a well working order.

  1. Great suggestions…I used to work out with free weights 5days a week and would push myself pretty hard, then I would start having seizures, so I stopped working out. It’s been quite a few years since I last worked out. Sometimes I go for walks occasional run but very careful not to push it…I guess I am too afraid to have another seizure….love to get back into working out with weights again…

  2. Hi guys, just wanted to contribute my story. Since I started working out 10 months ago my seizures have dramatically decreased in frequency and I’m sure it has something to do with either the exercise, my improved diet, or a combination of the two. I used to have a day ofseizures every two to three weeks or so, whereas now, after committing to 5 days a week at the gym, I am going 6-8 weeks between my bouts of seizures. Not only this but I’ve put on about 25 lbs of muscle and look and feel great. Exercise is one of the few ways we as epileptics have control over our own health and wellbeing. Please, please, please, anyone reading this suffering from seizures, get off your ass and HIT THE GYM! We have the right to full, happy, and meaningful lives just like anyone else — don’t let epilepsy force you into “settling” for less than what you deserve

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