Updated: Nov 20
Sometimes, I still find it weird. One day, you can feel on top of the world, the next day, you want to lay down in bed covered with a blanket over your head.
But today, I feel great, and one of the reasons I feel like this is because I started doing interval training on a consistent basis. Let me dive deeper into the question: Is it OK to exercise with a concussion? Over the past few weeks, I received a lot of questions from followers and members about my 2-week interval course. Questions like: - Which exact steps do you take when you do interval training? - Is it OK to exercise with a concussion? - How long should you wait to exercise after a mild concussion? - How do I know when it’s safe to return to training after a concussion?
- Why are you focusing on interval training and not on normal exercise? - How long after a concussion can you work out?
- When did you feel any improvements?
Well... there are two reasons why interval training is so effective, and I would love to tell you more about my experience in this blog.
Download my free eBook to learn 7 things that have helped me to reduce my symptoms: click here.
Is it OK to exercise with a concussion?
How long after a concussion can you workout?
How long should you wait to exercise after a mild concussion?
There are so many different opinions about this. I will share my vision and what I learned during my journey.
I learned when you’ve just sustained a concussion, it's better to rest for the first few days.
After those first few days (48 hours / 72 hours), rest isn't the only thing you need. Your brain needs exercise (more oxygen) to heal. Exercise is medicine.
This is a common mistake many doctors make; they send you home to rest and don't tell you about the benefits of exercise.
How do I know when it’s safe to return to training after a concussion?
I do agree it’s better to start slowly with exercise in the beginning and build it up over time. So light aerobic exercise would be the best to start with. This can be a walk, jogging, spinning, a swim, you name it!
After those first few days, try to increase your heart rate a bit more and take frequent breaks (every 20 minutes).
It doesn't have to be a long workout. But your brain will benefit from the increased heart rate. Why? Read further!
How I found out about interval training?
Let me start by telling you a little bit about how I found out about intervals and my story. I sustained a whiplash and concussion in May 2017 and during my first two years, I felt so lost and alone. It was like no doctor could help me, and they always send me home with a note to rest or a referral to a psychologist.
I barely felt improvements during these first two years and tried so many things, but almost nothing seemed to help me. But then after the 2-year mark, I did find a doctor who started talking about intervals and cognitive exercises. I hadn't tried that yet, and he got my interest. I thought I had nothing to lose (except money, of course ;)) so I gave it a try. It did help! All the motivation I lost was back, I was moving forward again, and I felt ready (4 years after the scooter accident) to create this concussion community and courses to help others.
Interval training helped me to:
- Get more energy - Reduce my headaches - Reduce my fatigue - Don't need to nap anymore - Feel happier and more positive
I don't give medical advice as I am not a doctor, but I believe there isn't enough knowledge out there (or even wrong knowledge that could make things worse) that is really helping. In the end, I learned more from other concussion survivors than from my own doctor. So that's why I created a 2-week interval course, and I hope it will help you too. I don't want anyone else to feel the same as I did, getting information that's not helping at all and feeling lost and alone.
What are intervals and 2 reasons why it's so effective!
So, what are intervals? You can also call them high-intensity training. Interval training are short bursts of intense exercise alternated with recovery periods. In our case, the breathing exercise that you will learn more about in my 2-week interval training.
Why is interval training so effective? These exercises elevate a protein in the brain that helps keep brain cells healthy. These high-intensity workouts help reduce inflammation affecting the brain and prevent cognitive problems. Studies show that interval training benefits our brain more than "normal" training because it stimulates neuroplasticity even more, and the heart and lungs can better deliver oxygen to working muscles and your brain. Better improvements in less time. Reason 1: Every time you do interval training, you get a boost of essential neurotransmitters and proteins along with improved blood flow (more oxygen) in the brain. All those neurochemicals are helpful, but there is one that is most helpful for people with brain trauma: Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). The brain can adapt, grow, and change. This ability is known as neuroplasticity, and BDNF is a key player in this process. It can promote the growth of nerve cells, as well as stimulate communication between cells in the brain. This can alter the neural function and modify thoughts, feelings, cognition, and even behavior. Interval training is by far the fastest and most efficient way to maximize a BDNF boost. You always get a BDNF boost after doing a session.
Reason 2: It also helps to regulate the autonomic nervous system.
This is another important reason why interval training is so effective.
The sympathetic nervous system (also called the “fight or flight” system) is a quickly responding system that mobilizes the body for action by releasing the stress hormone cortisol and increasing heart rate. On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system is often considered the “rest and digest” system. It can dampen responses, such as slowing down heart rate and returning to normal levels after a stressful episode. In a healthy person, these two systems balance each other throughout the day. For example, the sympathetic system dominates while you’re running, but when it’s time to calm down, you need the parasympathetic system. These adjustments are key to your wellbeing.
However, after a brain injury, the first one (the sympathetic nervous system/fight-flight response) is often stuck in a state of overreacting. To encourage the parasympathetic (rest system) to become active, we will do the intervals and the breathing exercises. These exercises retrain the brain so that eventually, both the fight-flight system and rest system respond to the needs of the moment rather than being “stuck” and out of balance. It also strengthens the connection between the heart and lungs, which is closely connected to the autonomic nervous system.
However, simply engaging in 'some' cardio exercises or doing ‘some’ puzzles won't bring about a massive change.
More is simply needed if you truly want to overcome your symptoms.
That's why I invested $10k in a comprehensive treatment (cognitive FX in Utah) that brought significant results.
As a result, I launched this 3-month program to guide you through intervals and cognitive exercises in the most beneficial way to reduce your concussion symptoms.
This way, you won't need to spend $10k as I did.
Click here to learn more about the 3-month program and how it has helped over 500 other concussion survivors.
What do other people say about this Program?
Ready to feel the benefits yourself?
So now you know the two reasons why interval training is so effective for people with a concussion.
Are you willing to give it a try? You don't need to purchase my course to start doing the intervals. Just make sure you do them in the correct way to achieve the best results!
More to gain than to lose right ;).
Download my free e-book and learn 7 things that have helped me to reduce my symptoms.
In this e-book, you will learn how to reduce your headache and fatigue, increase your energy, improve your sleep, feel less stressed, and return to exercising.
Receive it right away in your inbox: