The use of supervised exercise after a sports-related concussion can lead to an earlier return to sports, according to a recent retrospective study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.A team of researchers from the University of Michigan (UMich) found that exercising after a sports-related concussion helped patients recover in under a month. These findings suggest that exercise helps encourage the natural healing process, leading to an earlier clearance for return to sport and other activities. Lead author Dr. Michael Popovich, a sports neurologist for UMich’s NeuroSport Program, also noted that their findings debunk the long-standing myth that rest can help treat sports-related concussions.
Cool off without a beer. Don’t eat carbohydrates for at least an hour after exercise. This will force your body to break down body fat, rather than using the food you ingest. Stick to fruit and fluids during that hour, but avoid beer.
Late exercise reduces chances of an earlier return to sports
Participating in tough sports like football and soccer can sometimes lead to injuries like ankle sprains, shin splints, knee tears and concussions. (: Soccer players who score using their head are more likely to suffer from cognitive impairments.)
While most of these injuries have specific treatments, there isn’t a prescribed treatment for concussions outside of rest. This entails limiting activities that require thinking and moving and, in some cases, avoiding all stimuli that can trigger stress and necessitate movement.But recent studies found that this treatment protocol might be doing more harm than good. Popovich noted that months of rest and prolonged periods of idleness can be detrimental to both professional and amateur athletes recovering from a sports-related concussion.
Set boundaries and stick to them. I find that most people know they “should” incorporate more self-care, but their lives are moving so fast that it’s challenging to slow down. Carve out an hour of alone time to make two lists: things in your life that give you energy and are life-giving and things in your life that drain you. Figure out which draining activities you have control over and start making an action plan of how you will reduce time spent on these activities — set boundaries, say NO.
A prior study, published in the PLOS One in 2018, already found that the earlier initiation of aerobic exercise after a sports-related concussion leads to a faster full return to sports.In this study, a team of researchers from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto in Canada looked to determine if aerobic exercise (jogging, running, cycling and the like) had greater restorative effects if done earlier after an acute concussion. To do this, they studied the data of 253 acute diagnosed concussions from an academic sports medicine clinic.
The researchers in this older study found that exercising as late as three days post-concussion reduced the chances of an earlier return to sport. In contrast, patients that exercised after just one day post-concussion had a greater chance of returning to sports, school and other activities much faster.
Spend Time Outside. During the summer months, it is particularly enjoyable to spend time outside. This is great because spending time in the sun will allow us to soak up all the benefits of its warm rays. The UV rays created by the sun are wonderful in helping us to regulate our internal clock. Sunlight increases our production of melanin, a hormone that helps improve our mood and sleep. We recommend that you take a break in your busy day and go for a little walk in the sun, if possible.
These findings suggested that exercising as soon as possible post-concussion is safe for the patient and beneficial for their healing process.
Supervised exercise results in an earlier return to sport
Building on the University of Torontostudy’s findings, Popovich and his team assessed the influence of supervised exercise on patients recovering from an acute, sports-related concussion.For their research, the team studied 126 patients who had been enrolled in the UMich’s NeuroSport Program within a month of sustaining a concussion. The program is the first academic medical program in the U.S. designed to provide solutions – including supervised exercise – that can be used for the prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and their potential health complications in athletes.
Deep heat. Sun rays can burn even through thick glass, and under water. Up to 35% of UVB rays and 85% of UVA rays penetrate thick glass, while 50% of UVB rays and 75% of UVA rays penetrate a meter of water and wet cotton clothing. Which means you’ll need sunscreen while driving your car on holiday, and water resistant block if you’re swimming.
Certified athletic trainers and healthcare professionals then determined the appropriate exercises for each participant, adjusting them as needed depending on the symptoms present. Some of the equipment used for the experiment included an elliptical machine, medicine balls and exercise bikes.
The team found that patients who exercised within 16 days of their concussion returned to their sport 26.5 days after sustaining the concussion. In contrast, patients who did not exercise within the same period returned to their sport after 35.1 days.
salad2Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits contain lots of vitamins and minerals. As much as possible, you should consume your vitamins and minerals via your daily diet. Satisfy your palate with these nutritious fruits: Watermelon, Apricots, Avocado (yes, avocado is technically a fruit!), Apple, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Guava, Papaya, Strawberries.
The team also reported no serious side effects or health complications occurring among the exercise group. In addition, older patients had an earlier return to their sport, suggesting that age is a significant factor.
Based on their findings, the team concluded that supervised exercise is a safe treatment for sports-related concussions. It also leads to an earlier return to sport.
Popovich also noted that the restorative effects of supervised exercise might also be related to its beneficial effects on the brain, including healthier neurons (brain cells), stronger neural connections and enhanced cognition.
Save room for two more bites. Practicing this simple habit has two great benefits: It’s a completely painless way to save calories from the extra food you’re not eating, which can lead to slow, steady weight loss over time. It also teaches you to pay more attention and listen to your body, which is one of the best ways to stay healthy and feel your best long term!
Getting the timing right
Despite these findings, there is still some uncertainty over whether the optimal timing for athletes who’ve suffered concussions to return to activity.During the 2017 International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Berlin, experts came to a consensus giving a green light on a return to exercise after only 24 to 46 hours after physical and cognitive rest. A gray area still remains, however, on the correct timing, mode, duration, intensity and frequency of activity that is beneficial for athletes recovering from a concussion.
A for Away. This vitamin, and beta carotene, help to boost immunity against disease. It also assists in the healing process of diseases such as measles and is recommended by the WHO. Good natural sources of vitamin A are kidneys, liver, dairy products, green and yellow vegetables, pawpaw, mangoes, chilli pepper, red sorrel and red palm oil.
With this in mind, anyone who’s suffered from a concussion should immediately consult their healthcare professional to treat it before undertaking any physical activity.
Read more articles about the healing effects of exercise Healing.news.