After going through a traumatic event like a brain injury, patients strive to return to a sense of normalcy. Life falls out of routine and is certainly not normal for the victim or immediate family of the victim for an extended period of time. Striving for life to return to the way it was prior to a brain injury is expected for patients, and one of the ways to ease them back into everyday life is to incorporate an exercise routine. Even if exercise was not a regular addition to the daily schedule before the brain injury, there are reasons that it should be following the recovery process.
After going through any sort of trauma, an individual is likely to struggle with some form of depression, and a brain injury is no exception. Questioning whether or not things will ever be the way they were before and feeling down thinking of life before trauma are normal reactions to unplanned situations. Exercise has been proven to enhance mood within 5 minutes of the activity, and consistent exercise is known to alleviate long-term depression.
Patients who participated in a post-trauma aerobic exercise program also saw an increase in self-esteem. After being limited for an extended period of time with their injury, the increase in activity and the normalcy of the exercise led the patients to feel like they fit in again and were not different from the people around them. It is certain that weight loss occurred during the exercise program as well, and that almost always leads to a little boost in self-esteem and positive self-views.
Brain injury patients have a long road following their trauma, and exercise is not a cut and dry method of reintroducing them to the world. There are precautions that should be taken when starting an exercise routine following brain injury, and doctors should be consulted to make sure there is no danger involved in the chosen activity.