Healthy Minds: Epilepsy and Sports Unleashed

Unleash! Let’s inspire P.W.E. to get into sports for endurance, a healthy body, and to build confidence. There are sports that are not risky to oneself and to others. With guidance from the doctor and cheers from loved ones, P.W.E. can engage in sports.

Is sports a “No-No” for persons with epilepsy (P.W.E.)?

“I am a P.W.E. and I play basketball. I agreed to be careful to avoid injury and they allowed me to play.”

Checklist to discuss with the doctor:

running sport for healthy minds
  • Type of sports I want to get into
  • Type and severity of my seizure
  • Risks of having a seizure while playing
  • Known triggers of seizure if any
  • Any feeling that warns me of a seizure attack
  • My companions during sports activities
  • Benefits against the risks


stretching unleash

Unleash with friends and loved ones

  • Sports encourage social interaction and self-expression.
  • Sports promote physical and mental wellness at all ages

Unleash from fear and lack of knowledge

  • Seizures are rarely triggered by physical activity
  • Seizures are unlikely to occur during exercises of increasing effort

Unleash from overprotection. Know the benefits of sports for P.W.E.

  • Sports lessen frequency and severity of seizures
  • Aerobic exercises were observed to delay seizure occurrence.
  • Fatigue after exercise is not linked to more frequent seizures.

Caution: The following may trigger seizures during sports and exercises. Make sure to avoid these situations:

caution avoid during sport and exercise
  • Low oxygen (sports in high altitude)
  • Excess water in the body (too much drinking)
  • High body temperature (poor ventilation)
  • Low sugar, low sodium (not eating properly)

“Now I can be guided by how much I can push myself when doing sports.”

This guide to Sports and P.W.E.s addresses the question:

Should a seizure occur, is there a risk for me and for people (other athletes, referees, spectators) around me?

Sports where there is NO significant risk to me and to others should a seizure occur (Group 1)

sport playing tennis

– Dancing

– Bowling

– Golf

– Tennis, Table Tennis

– Basketball, Volleyball

– Athletics except pole vault

Sports where there is moderate risk to me and to others should a seizure occur (Group 2)

sport cycling

– Archery

– Trialthon

– Cycling

– Fencing

– Gymnastics

– Skateboarding

– Weightlifting

– Karate

Sports where there is a high risk to me and to others, should a seizure occur. (Group 3)

sport climbing

– Climbing (platform, springboard)

– Diving (competitive)

– Horse Racing

– Motor sports (and similar sports)

– Parachuting

– Rodeo

– Scuba Diving

– Surfing, wind-surfing