What If I Have a Seizure While I Exercise?

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about exercise below.

It may happen. But, you may also have a seizure walking down the street, sitting at your desk, or just meeting friends. The benefits of adding exercise into your life may include having fewer seizures or feeling better. Use the steps in "How do I Start Exercising?" to set yourself up for the best chance of success possible.

  • Even safety measures, you could still have a seizure while exercising.
  • Make sure that people around you know what to do if you have a seizure. Share your seizure response plan and seizure first aid tips so they will know what to do.
  • If you do have a seizure, reassess your exercise plan and talk with your health care team. It may be necessary to dial back the exercise intensity or choose a different form of exercise.

This takes some self-assessment. The first step is to figure out why you are tired.

  • Did you not sleep well the night before?
  • Are you doing too much?
  • Has your nutrition been off?
  • Are you dehydrated and not drinking enough fluids?
  • Is it a side effect from your medication?
  • Did you have a seizure in the last couple of days?

All of these things can make you tired. Some are a sign to take the day off to just relax and others are a sign that maybe doing something active will increase your energy. For example, lack of sleep, stress, and poor diet are all signs that maybe resting and focusing on fixing those problem areas is a better idea. On the other hand, if your medication is making you tired or you are recovering from a seizure, you may want to try light exercise and see if it helps.

Being overtired can be a seizure trigger for some people. Use your best judgment and if you decide to exercise, make sure you take all the necessary safety measures.

First of all, intensity is relative. For some, walking a mile may be high intensity, but for others that is just a warmup. So it's important that you not compare yourself to someone else, rather listen to your body and what intensity is right for you.

With that said, high intensity exercise is very helpful to improve fitness, increase muscle, and help hormone balance. It also can be done in a shorter amount of time.

  • Low intensity exercise means working out for a longer length of time at a rate that doesn't stress the body. Take a walk, practice yoga if that is easy for you, or ride your bike around the block.
  • High intensity exercise is brief and intense. Think of these as big efforts rather than light cruising. This generally comes in the form of sprint type cardio or heavy lifting.

It is important to have both types of training in a program, but remember the most important thing is that you're keeping yourself safe.

Authored By:

Jenny LaBaw

Reviewed By:

David Taplinger MD

on Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Resources

Epilepsy Centers

Epilepsy centers provide you with a team of specialists to help you diagnose your epilepsy and explore treatment options.

Epilepsy Medication

Find in-depth information on anti-seizure medications so you know what to ask your doctor.

Epilepsy and Seizures 24/7 Helpline

Call our Epilepsy and Seizures 24/7 Helpline and talk with an epilepsy information specialist or submit a question online.

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