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Brain Injury: Physical Activity Following a Brain Injury

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Physical Activity

Not exercising may lead to the loss of muscle strength and endurance. The damaged areas of your brain may further worsen and take a longer time to recover.

Benefits of Physical Activity After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Improves Physical Abilities:

  • Fitness, muscle strength, energy level, balance and mobility

Improves Cognitive Functions:

  • Learning ability, speed of thinking and problem-solving ability

Improves Psychosocial Well-being:

  • Mood, self-esteem and social participation

Dos and Don’ts of Exercising After TBI


  • Get your doctor’s approval to start exercising and continue taking all your medications
  • Start with short periods of exercise and gradually increase the duration
  • Pace yourself
  • If you feel that you may have overexerted yourself, rest for a short period. Resume exercise just below the threshold (when you start to feel overexerted) the next time and for a shorter period


  • Do not do anything that will put you at risk of another concussion
  • Avoid activities that cause your head or body to jerk, such as contact sports, running and jumping

Important to note:

Consult your doctor or healthcare professional if you experience dizziness, chest pain, breathlessness, or feel unwell during exercise and if it does not resolve with rest.

Examples of Physical Activity


150 mins of moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity per week (E.g. Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing)


Two sessions of moderate or high intensity strength training per week (E.g. Squats, lunges, resistance bands, machines, free weights)


Two sessions of balance training per week (E.g. Standing on one foot, tandem stance, tandem walking, standing on an unstable surface)


At least three to four times of flexibility training per week (E.g. Stretching, Tai Chi, Yoga)

Simple daily activities such as doing housework, walking your pet, taking the stairs (instead of the lift) all count as exercise!

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