Cycling with a neurological condition or after a brain injury may sound like it could be a challenge, but with some care and consideration it can be a great way to stay in shape and get some confidence back. As with any kind of exercise, it is important to speak with your doctor or specialist about starting cycling and they may have some suggestions to help you improve your fitness, balance, or co-ordination before you begin.
You may be interested in John Nicholson’s inspirational story about getting back on a bike after a subarachnoid haemorrhage here on our own website).
Wearing appropriate safety gear and road safety is important for all cyclists. The following links are good sources of information on road safety for cyclists:
The Get Cycling website features some very helpful tips on buying a bike that is tailored to you and your needs if you are unable to ride a standard road bike with your condition. They also feature some case stories about people who have had strokes and have gotten back into cycling.
Some local councils have cycling schemes that may offer support for cyclists who are registered disabled and for those who just want to regain confidence. Please contact your local council for more information.
Walking can be an enjoyable way to get around, and is a simple and easy way to stay active and improve your health. However, following an injury or illness, or for people with long term neurological conditions, walking longer distances can be difficult and sometimes very tiring.
It may be that you cannot avoid walking due to limitations with local transport, or that you are not yet able to return to driving. If you are unsteady on your feet, afraid of falling, or cannot walk for very long or very far, then this can be daunting at first. With the right support and approach however, you can ensure that walking places is safe and enjoyable.
Walking with a friend or relative can ensure someone is nearby in case you feel unwell and need to stop for a moment, and they can assist you in carrying shopping or luggage should you get weary.
If you are walking on your own, carrying a mobile phone is a good idea in case you need to get in contact with someone whilst you are out. If you do not have a mobile phone, then letting someone know when you are leaving, where you are going, and when you should be returning, can help you to feel more confident and ensure your safety.
Depending on the distance you need to walk, you may want to consider places to rest or stop for a break. You may want to walk shorter distances at first and build up slowly.
Staying hydrated by drinking water can be important on longer walks.
Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothing. This may seem obvious, but it is important to adjust to the weather and to make sure you have good, sturdy shoes on, regardless of how far you walk.