The Active Problem
One of the primary difficulties for Physical Therapy patients right now is staying active during the current widespread isolation necessitated by "Stay Home - Stay Healthy" legislation restrictions (given in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic). In this effort to slow the spread of illness, fitness centers are closed, parks and beaches are off-limits, and our lives are being lived predominantly within the narrow confines of our homes, with the occasional trip to the grocery store. Exercise has to be done at home, walking around the neighborhood, or getting steps in at the weekly grocery shopping trip.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans put out by the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes or more of physical activity per week for adults and older adults (USDHHS 2018, 8-9).
How Can You Stay Active?
There is a multitude of online resources for those motivated to stay healthy and active at home. There are innovations being made popular like using canned goods or water bottles as weights in home exercises, doing hand-strengthening exercises with tennis or raquet balls, and using ordinary wooden chairs for resistance and/or balance exercises. The basic advice is to find new ways to add even small physical movements to your everyday activities. Do some gentle squats or wall push-ups while you watch TV, practice your balance by standing on one foot with something sturdy nearby to hold onto if necessary, get some arm curls in with your canned goods on the way from the cupboard to the kitchen, spend time in your garden, go for a walk, and things of that kind. Be creative! Keep a log of your movements throughout the day to get a good idea of just how much physical movement you're engaging in, and aim to increase it.
Keeping Up with Assigned Exercises
Of utmost importance for Physical Therapy patients: keep up with your assigned exercises! For our patients specifically here at Active Life Physical Therapy, we want you all to know that our providers are here to help. If you have difficulties with your exercises and are seeking advice, please call the clinic. Some soreness is expected, but significant pain is a sign you may need to discuss your routine with your Physical Therapy provider.
The National Institute on Aging recommends a combination of four types of exercise here: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/four-types-exercise-can-improve-your-health-and-physical-ability, and also provides tips to stay motivated at https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/staying-motivated-exercise-tips-older-adults
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2018. "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans." Accessed April 13, 2020. https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf
At Active Life, we are proud to be your FAMILY Physical Therapy team. Our goal is to get you to be your BEST. By providing a quality one-on-one experience, you have plenty of undivided time with your therapist.