Pacing Strategy for Concussions

Have you ever felt like you try an activity, and then you are absolutely wiped out for the rest of the day and maybe even the next day? A common activity pattern is to do too much, for too long and run out of your useable energy for the day. It is important to pace your activities so you can accomplish more through the day, while slowing and gradually building your tolerance to activities.

Sometimes it is helpful for people to think of their energy levels as a cup of water. Some days your cup may be more full than others, and that is okay! As long as you keep that in mind and use a helpful pacing strategy, you can get through your day, as well as accomplishing tasks.

Learn more from our video featured on YouTube. The video is presented by our concussion therapist, Miles.

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What exercise can I do if i have a concussion?

One of the most common questions that is asked is what exercise can i do if I have a concussion?

There are a few reasons why one may experience increased concussion symptoms during or after exercising.

When you’re exercising, your brain needs more blood. If your autonomic response incorrectly sends your brain too little or too much blood, then you will feel significant symptoms.

Another reason for symptoms during exercise may be due to neck function. If you’re doing a High Intensity Interval Training with lots of head movement, then your neck muscles may be causing headache or dizziness.

What exercise can you do with a concussion?

Aerobic exercise, either on a bike or a treadmill, at a level below your symptoms can help your recovery. It is important exercises at a level called sub-symptoms threshold. This is usually measured via your heart rate.

It’s important to seek concussion treatment. The number #1 predictor of recovery time was how quickly after a concussion injury you were in to see a health care professional trained in concussion management.

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Shoulder Exercise – Wall Angel Glide

Once you have mastered the floor angel glide exercise, you can progress the wall angel glide, then the seated angel glide.

The shoulders and arms position are the same as floor angel glide. However, you will likely to notice that wall angel glide is bit more challenging than the floor glide. The seated angel glide is more challenging then the standing wall angel glide.

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Shoulder Exercise – Floor Angel Glide

Many people with shoulder injury because there is a postural imbalance in the shoulder girdle including the shoulder blade (scapula). In order to truly strength the shoulder and prevent further injuries, retraining the scapula is very important.

Here is the first and the most simple exercise. Floor Angel Glide. This exercise can be performed as pre-work out warm.

Key points:

  • Keep the shoulder blades, elbows and wrists on the floor during the entire movement. So the arms will be gliding on the floor like snow angel.
  • Only perform the range of motion within the range where you can keep the arms flat against the floor
  • Start with 10 reps upto 40 reps. Should be done slowly. Do not rush through this.


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Exercise Principles

Many people like to go to the gym to get stronger. However, some people ended up injuries while exercises. We have patients with injuries are trying to get back into regular exercises too soon. So when we should do what? Here are 4 basic principles that I apply in my practice.

  1. Flexibility. Depending on your exercises, your sport and your activities, you must have sufficient flexibility of your joint and muscle to perform. Performing activities with insufficient flexibility will lead to compensation in other body parts.
  2. Stabilization. Once you have gained sufficient flexibility, you would want to have sufficient strength to stabilize the joint. Otherwise, it would lead to impingement injuries or other repetitive strain injuries overtime.
  3. Strength. Once you have stabilized the joint, you can begin to increase your intensity and load to improve strength.
  4. Power. This may not be needed for everyone. Once you have sufficient strength, you can attempt to increase load and speed.

Follow these rules, it will help to decrease the risk of injury in many different activities.


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Calf Stretching

This video demonstrates a few various of calf stretching.

  • Stretching the inside calf (medial Gastrocnemius)
  • Stretching the outside calf (lateral Gastrocnemius)
  • Deep layer of the calf (Soleus)

These stretches can benefit for those who suffers from plantar faciitis, calf injuries (non-acute), achilles injuries or calf tightness.

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Bird-Dog Exercise

This is a very popular exercise prescribed by your physio, chiro or trainer. Bird-dog. I love the use of a stick to ensure a proper setup and posture. Make sure you have also  mastered the basic core exercises.

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Inner Core-Part 2

If you have mastered the basic muscle recruitment of the inner core as demonstrated in Inner Core-Part 1, please go ahead to try the more advance exercises with more dynamic movements as demonstrated in this video. Once you have mastered the inner core trunk core, the trunk muscle is now truly stabilized. It will help to decrease low back injuries due to weakness. You would find other abdominal exercises to be easier as well.


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Inner Core Exercise-Part 1

Weak core trunk muscle can certainly contribute to recurrent low back pain. Many people would try to strengthen the core by doing a bunch of sit ups. While sit ups and plank exercises are great to shape that 6 packs exterior, the inner core will remain weak unless you target that specifically. Here is a video to demonstrate how to activate the inner core muscle.

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Fall is here. Use food to maximize your energy.

Kids are settling back into their school routines and resuming their extra-curricular activities. They’ll need lots of nourishing foods to provide them with the energy for staying active and alert all day long. We’re also into the peak of the harvest season, the best time of year to serve fresh vegetables and fruits from local farms to your meals.

When preparing meals for your family each day, use food to maximize your energy!

Starting with breakfast the most crucial meal of the day, apply foods that will energize your cells, muscles and brain to function at its best. Those are proteins, healthy fats, fresh green vegetables and fruits. • Try a smoothie bowl loaded with greens, fruit, nuts and seeds or granola. High in vitamin C, Vitamin B’s and healthy fats.

Foods like sweet potato, kale, swiss chard and mixed green lettuce, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, coloured peppers, corn, peaches, apples and plums.

variety of fruits

Photo by Oleg Magni on

  • Have an egg on a bowl of grains or multigrain toast with avocado, greens and sliced peaches.
  • Have a bowl of soup with pieces of chicken or fish with a spoonful of rice or grain and fresh chopped greens on top.
  • If you’re stuck on oatmeal or cereals eat it in smaller amounts with a protein food and a healthy fat such as an egg, dollop of yogurt, chia seeds or hemp.
  • 3 tablespoons of Hemp equal one protein. Quinoa is also an excellent protein.
  • Breakfast is a great time to add your fibre for the day.

For lunch, it doesn’t have to be a major meal.

Add fresh cut vegetables or salad type foods with protein for maintaining energy. Include smaller portions of complex carbohydrate foods so you don’t feel sleepy after eating.

  • Enjoy hearty soups for lunch, vegetarian or chicken burgers, cauliflower crust pizza with assorted toppings and lots of fresh vegetables. Add in cut vegetables of carrots, celery, coloured peppers and cucumber.
  • Use this meal to eat raw vegetables as much as possible. Raw vegetables and fruit contain the highest density of phytonutrients, antioxidants and live enzymes.

When you mix colourful foods together you are getting that perfect mix of vitamins and minerals!

abundance agriculture bananas batch

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• Include quality proteins such as tofu, tempeh, feta (goat or sheep) cheese, tuna fish (use Rainforest brand, no chemicals or heavy metals), chicken (non-antibiotic and hormone free) and other meats that are grass fed or from free range sources.

Snacks are ideal for maintaining activity throughout the day boost your energy and not feel sluggish. Select fresh whole foods of fruit, vegetables and protein dips to get you through those lulls.

Dinner is the relaxing meal of the day where complex carbohydrate of grains or starchier vegetables (sweet potatoes or corn) are the reward for calming down from the day’s events. Proteins maybe in smaller portions and buy quality proteins with your whole foods.

Enjoy these recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner and two delicious snacks:
Breakfast:                                                                                                                                Blueberry Smoothie Bowl with Granola
Lunch or Dinner:
Everything Soup
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers                                                         Best Cauliflower Pizza Crust and Toppings
Hummus 3 ways
Apricot Squares

Eat the best food of the fall season loaded with colourful variety of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Questions, comments or ideas, please contact Rani at
Rani Glick is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, (CNP) and Registered
Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (ROHP). She has followed her love of food to nutrition and applies its healing properties with better health.

Her mission is to inspire 5,000 people to choose real food and enjoy a healthier happier life every day. Food, physical activity, and relaxation unite the mind and body to create long-term health.

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