Benefits of Exercise After Brain Injuries

New data shows that aerobic exercise after a traumatic brain injury may result in a wide range of physical and cognitive benefits.

A recent report indicates that aerobic exercise following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may yield various improvements in terms of cognition, mood, and cardiovascular fitness. Traumatic brain injuries can often have negative effects on a person’s brain functioning, personality, emotions, and other aspects of life. Thus, this is good news for patients who may be recovering from a brain injury.

After a brain injury, the injured person may be facing mounting hospital debts, an inability to work or earn wages, and other financial hardships. Medical treatment and follow-up methods like physical therapy or exercise may be difficult to obtain when dealing with such debt. However, compensation from a lawsuit can help pay for therapy, rehabilitation, and other long-term healing measures. 

Full compensation in a lawsuit depends on many factors, including the severity of the injuries and even the skill and capability of the lawyer handling the case. An experienced attorney is needed to fully maximize the remedies available under the law. At the Brain Injury Law Center, our team has proven experience delivering substantial results for TBI patients.

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, we can help you pursue legal action for damages. Contact us at (757) 244-7000 to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.

Read on to learn more about the connections between exercise and recovery from a brain injury.

TBI and Exercise Benefits

Research data shows that aerobic exercise may yield benefits after a brain injury in the areas of cardiorespiratory fitness, cognition, and mood:

Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Participants in a study engaged in supervised exercise on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day, three times per week at 70-80% of their heart rate reserve. At the end of the 12-week training period, participants demonstrated significant improvements in peak oxygen consumption, peak work rate, and time to fatigue.

In addition, the participants also reported notably lower fatigue levels overall. These results are promising, as injury victims often report greater fatigue following a TBI. Increased sedentary behavior is also common among TBI patients, so regular aerobic exercise is recommended to counteract such patterns.

Physical activity may also be of interest for TBI cases involving anoxia or hypoxia, where oxygen deprivation was a factor in the brain injury.


Besides cardiovascular improvements, aerobic exercise after a TBI may promote benefits in terms of cognition, particularly when it comes to attention and cognitive flexibility. Specifically, aerobic exercise may increase cognitive recovery through mechanisms such as:

  • Increased neural repair
  • Improved neuroplasticity
  • Modulated neurotransmitter systems
  • Decreased neuroinflammation

Cognition is extremely important for TBI patients, as any impact on cognition can affect a person’s ability to work and perform day-to-day tasks, and may have long-term effects. As such, treatments that improve cognition after a TBI will be highly valuable. Monetary compensation from a TBI lawsuit can help the injured party gain access to such rehabilitation.


Many individuals with TBI report increased levels of anxiety and depression after their injury. Participants in the study who engaged in the aerobic exercise program reported significantly lower Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) scores. Significant changes were also noted in Fatigue-Inertia and Anger-Hostility measurements.

Additional data from a 12-week exercise program also noted a decrease from moderate-to-severe and severe levels of depression to mild-to-moderate level or no symptoms at the end of the program, using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD).

Lastly, aerobic exercise also yielded improvements in perceived self-esteem, as well as an overall lower heart rate (especially important in connection with stress and anxiety).

As with cognitive effects after a TBI, changes in mood after an injury can present extreme challenges and difficulties for the injured person. Mood and personality changes can strain relationships with friends and family, and can make it difficult to work. As such, rehabilitative programs that provide benefits in terms of mood and depression will be crucial for a long-term strategy for recovery from TBI.

Do Damages in a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit Cover Post-Accident Therapy and Physical Exercise?

This depends on the specific case. In many cases, financial compensation from a traumatic brain injury lawsuit or settlement can cover medical bills, hospital visits, costs of prescription medications, and other expenses. Additional treatments such as a post-injury exercise program may depend on each individual case as well as the person’s needs.

In many instances, a TBI patient may attempt to rely on insurance to help cover their medical costs and hospital bills. However, insurance policies may not always cover specialized treatments like an aerobic exercise program and its associated tests. Sometimes, the strongest way to access financial help for such programs is through a lawsuit. 

It is important for a person who has suffered a brain injury to consider all the available options in terms of recovery and financial assistance.

Aerobic exercise programs may help a person recover after a traumatic brain injury. However, such treatment might not be available without the assistance of a damages award from a lawsuit.

At the Brain Injury Law Center, we have the experience and skills needed to help clients obtain the proper compensation that is owed to them under the law. Contact us at (757) 244-7000 to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal rights.

Should I Engage in Aerobic Exercise After a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Safety First — Always Consult a Physician Before Beginning an Exercise Program

Studies show an overall positive correlation between aerobic exercise and recovery from a traumatic brain injury. However, as with any exercise regimen, especially after a brain injury, you should consult with your physician first before beginning.

Your physician will be able to tell you whether you are ready for physical exercise after a concussion, traumatic brain injury, or other similar injury. In many instances, a period of rest and recuperation is needed before engaging in or resuming physical activity and aerobic exercise.

Contact a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

Individuals who have been affected by a brain injury should understand the various treatment options that are available to them. New information shows that aerobic exercise can yield important benefits after a brain injury.

However, such exercise should be done with the proper care and guidance of a trained medical professional and in the context of a monitored program. Such treatment can be costly, but compensation from a lawsuit can help provide access to such medical programs.

Why Hire the Brain Injury Law Center

Our law firm has decades of experience in handling brain injury cases and assessing one’s right to recovery. Our victories include a $60.26 million verdict from a brain injury case involving a train accident, one of our landmark cases. Your health, recovery, and quality of life are our priorities, and we want to ensure that you have access to the best medical care available.

If you or a loved one have suffered a TBI or other brain injury, contact us at (757) 244-7000 to get the process started. We are on hand to provide you with compassionate legal guidance from start to finish. 

Related Resources

If you found this content about traumatic brain injuries helpful, please view the related topics below:

Contact us at (757) 244-7000 if you have specific questions on the matter or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation.

Contact Us

Free Case Review

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Brain Injury Lawyer