Seizure Free and Loving Life
Author: CMneti

Chapter 8
Strategies For Exercise and Relaxation

Benefits of Regular Exercise
Whether you want better health, more energy, or a longer and more productive life, you need to get enough exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity apparent to most of us. Still, we often do not get the exercise our bodies crave. When you consider the many benefits of a regular exercise program, it makes sense to find a program that fits your lifestyle, and stick with it. I have listed some benefits of exercise below.
In the first place ,exercise controls weight. It can prevent the gaining of additional weight, help to maintain current weight, and if needed, assist in the loss of excess weight. This is done through the burning of calories. As your body uses energy, calories are burned. To increase the number of calories you burn through exercise, increase the intensity of the exercise program. It can be as simple as taking a walk after meals, or using the stairs at work.
Another thing that exercise is good for, is helping the body resist health problems. If you want to prevent heart disease, or lower your blood pressure, the simplest thing to do is to increase the amount of daily exercise you get. By doing this, you will be preventing other conditions, such as diabetes, stokes, and depression. You will be gaining strength in your muscles, which will reduce the risk of falls as you age.
Exercise also helps to improve the mood. I cannot tell you how often I have begun my fitness program in a foul mood, and ended up in a much improved mood after thirty minutes of cardio. It helps to improve a personís sense of well-being and self-esteem. Exercise increases energy, so put down the energy drink and take a brisk walk.
Types of Exercise
The following elements should be included in the exercise plan:
Stretching: This is important at the beginning of your program, and at the end. You need to warm up the body through stretching exercises, and then cool down using stretches at the end.
Strength training: This should be done 3 times a week. Alternate the muscles worked on, giving them recovery time. Use weights, belts. And your own body weight.
Aerobic exercise: ("cardio"): It is important to get the heart rate up. Your cardio routine should last thirty minutes. Donít push yourself so hard you hurt yourself. A brisk walk is just as good as running. For those of us with a seizure disorder, it is critical to not over exert the body. It is self-defeating and could be harmful.
Epilepsy and water sports
I grew up around the water. I learned to swim at the YMCA as a child, and took a course in boat safety as a teenager. We had a pool when I was growing up, and also at the apartment complex where I lived in Virginia. Most of my family are beach lovers, especially my mother. Given my fair complexion, and the caution against prolonged exposure to direct sun found on my medicine bottle, I enjoy the beach only in small doses. I do enjoy a walk on the beach at evening time, or collecting seashells., but lying out is not my thing.
There are all sorts of water sports to enjoy, if a person with seizures is up for it. All that is needed is a little common sense and a few strategies for safety The first thing to do before beginning a new exercise program is discuss it with the doctor. Exercise is healthful for all of us, and those with Epilepsy are no exception. The important thing to remember is to be careful. Do not strain or overexert your body. Be sure to get enough water during exercise, so that dehydration does not occur.
When a person with a seizure disorder goes into the water, whether to swim or enjoy a different type of water sport, the person should use the buddy system. We often use this approach to child water safety, and I see no reason to disband the approach as adults. Having a water buddy ensures that there will always be at least one other person nearby in case of an emergency. The only difference in the case of someone with seizures is that the buddy should be a strong swimmer who is familiar with the seizures and will recognize one beginning. This person should know about the medicines used, and how to respond in case of a seizure.

Techniques for Relaxation
It is very important that we learn to take time to develop relaxation in our lives. It has been said that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. There is a time to be busy, and there is a time to relax.
A relaxation technique is a method designed to help a person to relax. It serves to help with anxiety, pain, and can lessen negative emotions. Walking for exercise is also effective for relaxation benefits. A fifteen minute relaxation period will help you regain focus and calm your senses. It should be pleasant. A soothing bath of lavender with gentle music works wonders for me.
Some people enjoy meditation. This can reduce anxiety for many people. It actually may help reset the brain. My preferred method of meditation is over a piece of Scripture from the Bible with hymns playing softly in the background.
When you meditate, remember to breathe deeply. This is important for everyone, I think, but especially for we who suffer seizures. Perhaps you have noticed the thing that I have noticed. At the beginning of a seizure, I tend to hyperventilate. So, controlling the breathing may reduce seizures. Doing so has stopped many seizures that I was going to have. Perhaps it will do the same for you, Dear Reader.
Do something right now. Take about five minutes right now, and focus on your breathing. Find a relaxed position. Some may sit, but I often stand. Now, place one hand on your abdomen. I want you to inhale slowly through your nose, letting the air fill your belly. Count to five, then exhale slowly to a count of five. Do this twice more. I trust you are feeling a bit more relaxed. Do this every day, for a set of three. Build up to three sets of three. Then, try to lengthen the count. Begin with the count of five as you inhale, and again as you exhale. Increase the count until you reach a count of eight. Now, the next time you feel a seizure coming, do not panic. Breathe. After that, you can take control of the situation, yes? It has to be said that panic does not ever help matters at all. And if the breathing does not stop the seizure, you will likely find that your recovery time is shorter, and that is fantastic!


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