For those of my readers who are traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients, I thought you might benefit from hearing about what my exercise routine is. Keep in mind, that it has been over a year since my accident.
For me, this is a strenuous exercise routine. When I first started PT, I could hardly hold myself up by myself, let alone do anything for 2 minutes! I have come a long way in a year and being able to exercise like this is really an accomplishment.
Standing Holding Onto The Walker
2 Minute Intervals For Each Exercise
- Practice going from standing on my toes to rolling back to my heels
- Marching in place
- Side Stepping back and forth from left leg to right leg
- Butt Kickers- Literally trying to kick back and kick my own butt!
- Stand/Touch-Standing at the walker, I try and loosen my grip on the walker, seeing if I can balance with just my palms or a few fingers touching the handles of the walker.
Sitting Using A Resistance Band
I’m using a black resistance band, which is one of the harder ones. I have had to work up to black over the last year and have only been using black for two weeks now.
2 Minute Intervals Each Exercise
- Putting the band around my ankles, kicking my legs out and straightening them one at a time
- With the band under my feet, marching in place lifting my knees as high as possible
- Move the band up around my thighs, opening and closing my thighs.
I ride what I call the “bike to nowhere”, 2 times a day for 20 minutes. This is the hardest part of the workout for me. Sometimes it helps to distract me with television or reading my kindle. Other times I just have to close my eyes and keep on keepin’ on.
I walk with my walker a 1/4 of a mile. There is a trail around the perimeter of our property. I take my little dog, Ziva and we go for a walk. It is challenging negotiating the uneven terrain. There is also a gradual downhill at one point and a rather steep uphill in another place.
I have a book of word find pages. Every day I do one of them. I set the timer on my phone and time how long it takes me to find it all. The times on this are totally random it seems. I have found all the words in as little as 7 minutes. Other times I have to take a break after a half hour because my eyes starting to act up. Just depends on the day!
Deck Of Cards Matching
I use a whole deck of cards. Laying them all out face down and then trying to find the matches. This is super challenging for my poor injured memory. I only worry about matching numbers. I guess if I got too good at it I could make it hard by adding that the suits have to match or the colors. Who knows, I’m a long way from having to make this one more difficult. On a good day, I can get it done under 10 minutes.
2 Minutes Brock String
I use the brock string with the beads on it for two minutes. You practice moving your eye down the string and bringing each bead into focus as you go. When you get a bead in focus it looks clear, but like the string is making an x. Weird, but that is how it is supposed to be.
1 Minute Each Way Stirrer Into Straw
So holding a straw in one hand and a stirrer in the other, I try to move my hands toward each other and see if I can get the stirrer in the straw. I do it one time with the stirrer in the left and then one time with it in the right.
Next, I hold the straw up and down as if I were using it to drink. I hold it out in front of me and take my hand up and back with the stirrer. Trying to come down and get the stirrer in the straw.
This is super hard. Doesn’t sound like it, but it is!
If I’m having a bad day, I definitely don’t do the eye exercises. On a bad day, they worsen my headache and make me nauseous.
Otherwise, depending on how I feel I modify the day’s exercises so I can still get something done. For example, if I’m feeling light-headed or dizzy I will just do exercises sitting down. Same thing if I’m nauseous.
Some days I get through everything. Other days not even close! Bad days come and go during TBI recovery so you just have to roll with it and not give up.
I always feel accomplished no matter how much I get done.
I don’t work out at home on the days that I go to PT. Otherwise, I try and workout every day. If it is a bad day, I just do the best I can.
When I add anything new or increase time intervals I will update my readers on my workouts. Hopefully, if you are a TBI patient, this gives you something to compare to. You are not alone! The TBI tribe sticks together!