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  • Level Up Physical Therapy

When can I start exercising after a concussion?




You can start becoming more active 1 – 2 days after your concussion.


In the beginning, the exercise you choose should be at a low intensity – like walking or a stationary bike. BUT pay attention to your symptoms.

If your symptoms are quite severe like an 8 or 9 out of 10 then extra caution is advised.


Choice of exercise after concussion:

Your choice of exercise should also avoid another injury to the head.

So something like light skating might pose a risk of a fall or a collision with another person. Walking on a treadmill might be chosen over walking on icy sidewalks.


Exercise Intensity after concussion:

Your pace should be light and comfortable. Early on it’s not about high intensity training, it’s about starting to get your brain and body back on track to being more and more active over time.


Symptom Monitoring:

You may experience an increase in symptoms even with light exercise.

We typically rate symptoms on a 10 point scale with zero being without symptoms and 10 being the most severe symptoms.

When returning to exercise, it’s acceptable that symptoms increase by 1 or 2 points on a 10 point scale.

Your symptoms should settle within an hour after discontinuing the exercise.


Exercise duration after concussion:

In the beginning, you might try even a short 10 minute walk to see how you feel.

Then you can increase the time gradually toward 30 minutes.


Understanding your appropriate training level after concussion:

The two concepts mentioned above about symptom severity during exercise, and symptoms settling after exercise are key to understanding your appropriate training level.


When can I start exercising after a concussion?

Building your best recovery:

If you live in a place with access to specialized testing for aerobic exertion after concussion, you should take advantage of it because testing can provide a more clear and appropriate training schedule to maximize your recovery. Contact us to learn more.


So, when can I start exercising after a concussion? Probably now.


At Level Up Physical Therapy in Edmonton, we’d love to help you get on track for a successful recovery if you’ve experienced a concussion.

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