Do you move every day? Are you looking to improve your health? Doing so can increase your lifespan, improve your mood, help you maintain a healthy weight, increase your strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance, and help you manage chronic pain and other health conditions.
Regular physical activity is so important that our physical therapy team is always looking for tips to offer our patients that will help them get moving. Here are seven suggestions to keep in mind!
1. Schedule a PT consultation
A lot of people don’t get enough physical activity every day because they’re dealing with chronic pain that can make it difficult, uncomfortable, and sometimes unsafe to move.
One of the biggest benefits of working with a physical therapist is that he or she can provide services that alleviate your pain, improve your balance, function, and strength, and increase your confidence and self-efficacy so daily exercise is manageable.
2. Exercise with hobbies you enjoy
It doesn’t really matter what type of physical activity you do—what matters most is whether you’re consistent with it!
So, figure out which types of exercises you love and focus on these.
3. Workout during commercial breaks
Commercial breaks are annoying. But instead of flipping the channel or scrolling through your phone the next time an ad comes on, you can use it as an opportunity to stand up and get a little activity in.
Whether you choose a quick yoga flow, some simple chair stretches, or even your physical therapy exercises, there’s plenty you can do right in the comfort of your own living room.
4. Make sure you have a routine
Whether you love to work out in the morning, take a midday brisk walk during lunch, or hit the gym after work, it’s helpful to do your workout close to the same time every day. This helps you establish a consistent routine so you can get the most benefits out of your exercise over the long-term.
In addition, consider adding your workouts into your weekly planner, just like you would do with any other appointment. Knowing when you’re going to workout ahead of time helps you stick to your plan.
5. Have a good support system
In our experience, our patients do better when they have other people in their lives who support their efforts to get more active. So, encourage your loved ones to join you in your commitment to get moving, or sign up for a group workout class—whatever you need to help you stay more accountable.
Are you currently living with a chronic health problem? Connect with an online or in-person support group in your area so you can interact with other people living with your condition and motivate each other to stay more active.
6. Exercise in short breaks
While a good goal is to get at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity, you don’t necessarily have to do all 30 minutes at once.
It’s still possible to benefit from doing several shorter bouts of exercise throughout the day—perfect if you have a packed schedule and only short windows of time to get moving.
7. Walk, walk, walk
No need to overcomplicate things. Even just standing and walking more throughout your day can help you stay physically active!
To get your steps in, be sure to take the stairs, stand at your desk, go for walks with your loved ones or co-workers, and avoid sitting for more than an hour at a time.
Additional tip: prioritize a pain-free life
The top reason most people give for not staying active is that they are in pain. According to the National Institute of Health, most Americans experience chronic pain on a daily basis.
Nearly 40 million adults report suffering from moderate to severe pain, which is pretty concerning and also points to underlying health issues.
There is good news though! Physical therapy is an effective and easy way to get rid of a majority of your pain.
Manual therapy from a licensed physical therapist, or ultrasound treatments can drastically improve a person’s condition, help alleviate pain, and restore joint and muscle function.
Need more assistance? Physical therapy has proven successes!
Clinical studies support the benefits of physical therapy for health conditions like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is one of the ten most common illnesses. “Patients were recruited from the osteoporosis outpatient clinics of Klinikum Südstadt hospital and the University hospital of Rostock to engage in physical therapy for osteoporosis.
Over a period of 3 months, 44 patients with osteoporosis completed a twice-weekly 30-minute intensive exercise program. The conclusion was that physical therapy reduced pain and improved function, with the sling exercise patients benefiting most.
The combination of functional improvement and pain mitigation resulted in improved health. This study is just one of the many proving the health benefits of physical therapy.