"Having a chronic condition such as epilepsy consistently prevents individuals from participating in sport. For someone with epilepsy the fear of making the condition worse, sustaining injury or even dying (Kale, 1997) are regularly quoted as reasons for very low participation levels, known to be as low as half that of the general population (Han, Choi-Kwon and Lee, 2011).”
Ian Johnston was a very active football coach and runner before he started having seizures. Then he became one of the 80% of people with epilepsy who are sedentary.
But such a dramatic change in lifestyle prompted Ian to go to university. He wanted to study the reasons why he, and others like him, stop doing exercise when they start having seizures. We spoke about his path towards a Masters in Clinical Exercise Physiology, his research and findings. We also talked about how studying the psychology of epilepsy and exercise helped Ian get back to exercise himself.
In today's episode we talk about:
Ian's life-long love of football
Doing the Great North Run when he was 12 years old
Being a football coach
Having his first seizure when his was 48
The physical effects of epilepsy and medication
The psychological problems returning to sports after seizures
Deciding to do a Clinical Sports Physiology Masters when he was 49 years old
The difficulties doing a clinical course with a sports background
How his degree helped him understand his own epilepsy
Learning to take blood samples and EEGs
Why 80% of people with epilepsy are sedentary
Developing an exercise programme for someone with epilepsy
The results of his dissertation: "CAN A COACH INFLUENCE A RETURN TO EXERCISE FOR THOSE WITH CHRONIC CONDITIONS?"
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