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Exercise for Epilepsy
Epilepsy, or seizure disorder, is a chronic condition characterized by temporary changes in the brain's electrical function. These changes result in what we know as epileptic seizures. The cause of epilepsy is unknown in the majority of cases and may be genetic.
With common sense and a few restrictions, those with seizures can participate in most any sport or activity. The main factor is that seizure activity be kept under control. The concern is that the person is not doing something that could risk bodily harm at the time thay may have a seizure. Some activities not recommended are soccer (due to heading), swimming under water, boxing and anything requiring special monitoring or the use of a height.
Seizures seldom occur during or after exercise. It is believed that regular exercise may prevent seizures. This could be in part to the release of our bodies natural pain killers (endorphins) during exercise, or the increased attention placed on the activity.
Because people with epilepsy are often overprotected, they frequently do not get much physical activity and are not very fit. Poor cardiorespiratory fitness has been noted in those with seizures. Despite this, the response to training is the same as for a normal person. A person with epilepsy can be as fit as an otherwise healthy individual as long as they get out and exercise.
If seizures are controlled, the American Medical Association is even in favor of allowing epileptics to participate in collision and contact sports. If you are epileptic remember that nearly all fitness activities are safe and that exercise can actually prevent seizures from happening.
About the Author: Dr. Lanny Schaffer, Ph.D is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge fitness information go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com