When I was ten years old I started trampolining and did it for eight years. I really enjoyed this and only left because no one was my age. The challenges I faced when doing this was it took me longer to learn how to correctly do a move,remembering routines took lots of repetition to remember, struggled with staying in the centre of trampoline due to poor spacial awareness and dyspraxia. This was great for fitness.
After I stopped trampolining at eighteen I joined the gym training 3-4 times a week 1-2 of these sessions was with a personal trainer. At the gym I enjoyed using all cardio equipment especially the bike and rowing machines I also enjoyed using the weight machines which I mainly did with a PT or when someone else was there to spot me as due to my challenges with coordination I struggle to bring the machine down smoothly with both arms working to come down simultaneously also I sometimes don’t position myself correctly eg. My hands are to far apart or too close together so movement would be incorrect and work the wrong muscles which could potentially have caused injury. I enjoyed training at the gym as it was social,gets me out of the house, is a great stress relieve,made me feel healthier and better about myself! I did this for six years.
I then wanted to take up martial arts at heartfordshire martial arts in Barnet. This was because I had applied for a voluntary course as a special constable in the Police and thought it would be beneficial to that. I didn’t get the role but still continued as I enjoyed it so much. I did MMA, Thai Boxing, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and Jeet Kune Do. I did this for two years and i loved it as I made friends and got a great workout and learned self defence skills at the same time. Even though the first night I went in it was a little intimidating, as I was the only girl in all classes for the first 6-9 months, all the guys were really friendly and welcoming and were great at taking things slowly and teaching me kicks, combinations on passes, blocks escaping choke holds etc.
I left as due to me not holding the pads firm enough I damaged muscles in my shoulders which is intermittently painful I also have minor back problems and when I did MMA and Brazilian Ju-jitsu my hip got knocked out regularly which cases back pain so I decided it was better to stop as I was struggling to complete classes due to pain caused by injuries.
I then went back to training at the gym and train four times a week one session with a PT with the goal to lose another 9-12 pounds to my at my ideal weight. I have also done a mixture of classes which were enjoyable and a good variety of classes are on daily which I recommend doing if you don’t like training by yourself particularly as trainers are very motivating! I mainly do HITT training now when I’m training myself which is great for wight loss and getting the heart rate up. Make sure you have warmed up before doing this!!!
The best machines to use for this type of training are bike, rowing machine and the treadmill. To do this training on the machines you need to for example:30 sec cycling as fast as you can on a challenging gradient for you then go slowly for 40 sec and do this for min of 5 minutes and gradually build up to longer period.
I struggle with free weights and weight machines still due to my co-ordination and spacial awareness but I am working on improving this with an occupational therapist. I have also recently taken up Pilates and I find this very beneficial and has improved my core stability and strengthenened my back. This is enjoyable and very beneficial and I would recommend it to anyone with back problems. I currently do two sessions at home with a Pilates instructor. The benefits of this I find are it can be catered to your own abilities, the Teacher can explain things slowly if required or repeat instructions verbally or demonstrate to you if you don’t quite get it.
In general exercise is beneficial for everyone for health, wellbeing and general fitness. Exercise for people with acquired brain injuries can be done as on going rehabilitation after injury. Exercise can increase serotonin levels which are the “happy” hormones and this may be especially beneficial for those who suffer from depression as it may improve the chance of having more positive days than negative days!!