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Exercise and sport

To live full and active lives, and look after our physical and emotional wellbeing, we all need time to rest, relax and exercise. How we spend our leisure time is important and individual to us all, whether or not we have epilepsy.

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What's the risk and how your epilepsy might affect you.

This section looks at exercise and sport and suggests how they might be made safer for people with epilepsy. These are only suggestions, and any decisions about leisure activities need to be made on an individual basis.

You need to consider what risk the activity involves as well as how your epilepsy affects you. For example, If you have seizures where you lose consciousness this needs to be factored into any exercise or sport you take part in.

Making choices about exercise and sport

Epilepsy is a very individual condition. How it affects you may be very different to how it affects someone else. Most people with epilepsy live full and active lives, and do the leisure activities that they want to.

If your seizures are controlled, you may not feel you need to put any safety measures in place. If your seizures are not  controlled, there may be some simple measures to make an activity safer. For example, having someone with you who knows  how to help if a seizure happens. 

One way to think about safety is to do a risk assessment. This looks at what the possible risks are for anyone doing the  activity, what the risks may be for you, and what can be done to make the activity safer. 

Understanding your own epilepsy can help you decide what type of exercise or sport suits you. This includes knowing what  happens during your seizures, whether there is anything that triggers your seizures, and telling other people how they can help you if a seizure happens.

Equality Act 2010

Under the Equality Act 2010 people with a disability have rights to use leisure facilities. Epilepsy is a physical, long-term condition and people with epilepsy are protected under the Equality Act even if their seizures are controlled or if they don't consider themselves to be 'disabled'. Leisure providers may need to make adjustments to make a service more user-friendly. If you have specific needs you may want to talk to the organisation to see how they can help. Visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission website for more information.

Taken from our Exercise and sport factsheet. Download a pdf of the factsheet below.

Information updated: May 2022

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Exercise and epilepsy

Exercise improves fitness, energy and mood can help to relieve stress. Improving overall health and wellbeing in this way can help reduce seizures and the impact of epilepsy for some people.

Relationships and sex

Many people with epilepsy have fulfilling relationships with a partner. However, epilepsy may affect relationships for some people, and problems with sex are common for both men and women with epilepsy. There are various ways to manage these problems and find support.

Want to know more?

Download our Exercise and sport factsheet.

Download the PDF (pdf652 KB)

Information updated: May 2022

For printed copies, please call our Helpline on 01494 601 400.