Exercise And Epilepsy

There are many positive reasons to be active in a general sense, or go to the gym. Depending on whether or not you are into health and fitness, the goals and intensities of your workouts may be much different. Positive reasons for staying active and working out include general health and fitness, and assisting with or even prevention of medical conditions. This assists the individual in maintaining a healthy weight which in turn may help with the prevention of different medical conditions. Many of the benefits include an increase in the health of the cardiovascular system. This requires being aerobically fit. The word aerobic means with oxygen which means oxygen is required. Some conditions that exercise and activity help include respiratory issues, cardiovascular, and the muscular system through the use of resistance training. Here we look at the relationship between exercise and epilepsy concerning any positive effects that it may have.

Physical activity whether it is general activity such as walking or running, or if it is going to the gym for a workout, has a positive benefit when it comes to our health and well-being. If you are being active or working out for general health you may not have any specific goals, but having some general goals are always good. Having goals for fitness gives you a way to gauge whether or not you are making any progress. Activity and working out benefits you in many ways. When most people hear the word exercise, they probably think of going to a gym and using a treadmill or elliptical machine, and working out with weights. Although this is one way to stay active, exercise and be active can also be done without having to go to the gym.

Running and walking

The activities of running or walking helps train your cardiovascular system, and your cardiorespritory system. This has to do with both your heart and lungs and their efficiency at doing work. Working out aerobically helps assist your heart and lung muscles at working more efficiently when providing the energy that is needed for activity. The heart and lungs work together as a system. As air is inhaled, your heart pumps blood to the lungs which then picks up the oxygen that it will use. As your workouts progress, the total amount of oxygen needed to do a specific amount of work will decrease. The amount of blood that the heart pumps per beat will increase, with the heart rate decreasing. This means that the heart is able to do the same amount of if not more work requiring a lower heart rate. This also means that the heart and lungs work more efficiently allowing the muscles to use the amount of oxygen that is provided. The decrease in number of heart beats will result in an increase in blood volume pumped per heart beat. Aerobic activity helps with decreasing the chance of a heart attack or heart disease occurring, and assisting with some respiratory issues.

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Resistance training

Resistance training being used as part of a workout is very important. Resistance training assist you in maintaining or increasing the amount of lean muscle mass that you have, and increasing your level of strength. As a person gets older from your mid twenties upward, a small amount of lean mass will be lost each year. Using weights for resistance training and staying active, along with a healthy diet and eating habits will assist in maintaining and even gaining some lean muscle mass. As you continue to get older, resistance training also helps in staying more independent through maintaining mobility. This allows you to continue doing everyday activities. Using resistance training as part of a workout can even possibly help with different conditions as well. Here we will look at the relationship between exercise and epilepsy and if exercise has any positive effect.

What is epilepsy ?

Epilepsy is a neurological condition in which the neurotransmitters of the brain do not always work efficiently. The overall root cause of the condition is unknown. Many times this can be a side effect from other conditions such as a brain tumor or stroke, and some genetic cases that have been seen. At times, depending on the cause, epilepsy may even be preventable. This causes the brain to receive mixed signals and it causes a confusion between the synapses of the brain. A seizure lessens one’s’ brain activity, resulting in a temporary time-lapse of unconsciousness. The amount of time that elapses during a seizure will depend on the type of seizure that the individual is having. This can be anywhere from thirty seconds up to a few minutes. Epilepsy is a combination of multiple types of seizures. If you have only one type of seizure, it is not considered to be epilepsy. With medication around seventy percent of cases are treatable. Here we look at whether activity and working out may be a good supplemental treatment for epilepsy and seizures.

Activity and working out that involves both resistance training, and aerobic type training may be an effective form of treatment for those with epilepsy both physically, and emotionally and mentally. This means that including activity may assist the individual both with the epilepsy, and even depression (1). Also, concerning one’s’ mental or emotional state, epilepsy may effect one’s level of self-esteem concerning appearance which may lead to possible eating issues, especially in the younger population (3). In some cases exercise and physical activity may not assist so much in the prevention of a seizure occurring, but more so as a treatment after one has a seizure (6,7). In one study, the long term effects of aerobic training exercise and epilepsy were looked at. A span of both thirty days and sixty days post seizure were looked at. The results showed that specifically for temporal lobe epilepsy, the activity of swimming may improve both emotional regulation and motor skills, regardless of the amount of time between the exercise and epilepsy. (5) The use of exercise as a therapy may also assist the individual when it comes to heart health as well, since it has been shown that epilepsy can be associated with having sudden cardiac arrest (2). The use of activity may also increase one’s’ overall quality of life for someone who has epilepsy when compared to having epilepsy but not maintaining an active lifestyle (4). Not only can aerobic training have a positive effect on epilepsy, but resistance training may be an effective tool for treatment as well. (8,9)

Overall, the use of exercise as a form of therapy for epilepsy may have a positive effect. This positive effect may not involve prevention of a seizure from occurring, but have more of a positive effect concerning post seizure conditions. This includes both physical and mental and emotional conditions. If you have epilepsy or seizures, mental and emotional side effects are common. It is suggested that exercise and epilepsy have a positive relationship. When adding exercise to your routine, whether it is aerobic activity or resistance training, it assists both in psychological and emotional side effects which are seen after a seizure. Therefore, exercise and epilepsy go together in a positive way and exercise should be considered being used as a therapy when dealing with epilepsy.

References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/eutils/elink.fcgi?dbfrom=pubmed&retmode=ref&cmd=prlinks&id=23933912

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3419243/#

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839308/#

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5517033/#

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893441/#

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198314/#

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3713448/#

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28078614#

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23103304#