Brain injuries can have a serious impact on an individual’s ability to take part in physical activities. Thankfully, Headway groups & branches are doing their part to make exercise accessible for those living with a brain injury.
Through the organisation’s special groups and branches, people with brain injuries can find support and guidance to help them stay physically active.
Why exercise is important for brain injury survivors
Exercise is crucial for anyone’s overall health and well-being, but for those with brain injuries, it can have even more significant benefits. A brain injury can affect various bodily functions, including balance, coordination, and cognitive abilities. Exercise has been shown to help improve these functions, reduce depression and anxiety, and increase overall physical and mental health.
Studies have found that regular exercise can lead to improved brain function and increased blood flow to the brain. It can also promote the production of neurotrophic factors, which help with the growth and repair of brain cells.
Additionally, exercise can help reduce inflammation, which is known to contribute to brain injury complications.
Exercise can come in many forms, including walking, swimming, yoga, or even gardening. The important thing is to find an activity that is safe and enjoyable for the individual. Brain injury survivors may require additional support or adaptations to participate in exercise safely, but with the right approach, it can be a significant contributor to their recovery and overall well-being.
Challenges faced by brain injury survivors in accessing exercise
For brain injury survivors, exercise is essential to support their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. However, access to regular exercise can often be challenging. There are various physical, cognitive and emotional challenges that brain injury survivors face which make it difficult for them to participate in typical exercise routines.
Physical challenges include limitations in mobility, coordination and balance, as well as issues with pain management. Cognitive challenges can make it hard for brain injury survivors to process instructions, remember exercises and develop routines. Emotional challenges like depression, anxiety and self-esteem issues can further exacerbate the physical and cognitive challenges.
Moreover, many individuals with brain injuries struggle to find accessible and inclusive exercise programs in their communities. Regular gyms and fitness classes are not always equipped to cater to the unique needs of brain injury survivors. Additionally, the cost of specialised equipment and adaptive exercise programs can be prohibitively expensive.
Recognising these challenges, Headway are taking a proactive approach to make exercise accessible for brain injury survivors. Through innovative exercise programs that cater to diverse needs, Headway branches are helping individuals with brain injuries to participate in physical activity and enjoy its benefits.
Headway’s approach to making exercise accessible
Headway understands that for brain injury survivors, regular exercise can be difficult to access due to physical, cognitive, and financial challenges. ‘That’s why Headway have developed programmes and initiatives across the UK, which make exercise more accessible for those with brain injuries.
Firstly, Headway acknowledges that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to exercise for brain injury survivors. That’s why they encourage the development of personalised exercise plans that cater to an individual’s specific needs and limitations.
In addition, Headway organise group exercise classes that allow individuals to exercise in a supportive environment, surrounded by others who understand the unique challenges of living with a brain injury. These group classes are tailored to different levels of ability, ensuring that everyone can participate and enjoy the benefits of regular exercise.
Overall, Headway’s approach to making exercise accessible for those with brain injuries is inclusive and personalised, recognising that exercise can be a vital component of recovery and quality of life for survivors.
That’s why Headway have developed programmes and initiatives across the UK, which make exercise accessible to individuals living with brain injuries. Some of these programs include:
1. Nordic Walking
2. Yoga and Pilates
4. Inclusive Fitness Initiative
These are just a few examples of the many exercise programs offered by Headway branches across the UK. These programs not only improve physical health but also help build confidence and social connections, which are vital for overall wellbeing.
Find a sport / fitness group to aid your recovery
Incorporating regular exercise into the routine of a brain injury survivor can have numerous positive effects on both physical and cognitive function. Headway are helping to make this possible for brain injury survivors through their exercise programs and support.
INPA supports organisations such as Headway, in providing support, guidance and better access to the community for those living with a brain injury. The independent sector continues to provide care to so many brain injury survivors throughout the UK. Find out more about INPA’s role within the independent sector, or enquire with us to find out more and become a valued member.