Exercise can do wonders for your health. It can reduce the risk of some cancers, sharpen your mind, help you lose weight, and so much more. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t get enough physical activity. There is good news, though. You can become more active at any age. Although it’s easy to think of plenty of reasons why you can’t start exercising, physical therapy will help you get moving safely and confidently. Learn how you can get active with physical therapy and overcome these common barriers that can come your way.
You Think You’re Too Old To Start
If you remember one thing, remember that it’s never too late to get moving. Likewise, it’s never too late to get the benefits that come from physical activity too. Physical therapists create exercise plans for people of all ages. They make them specific to each person’s needs, goals, and challenges. The therapist can design a safe and effective exercise program for you. They will guide you on your form, and adjust your exercises as you become stronger and more confident.
You Don’t Have Time
You’re probably thinking how you have a pretty busy schedule. You have work, family, social obligations, errands, and appointments. You have responsibilities that take time and effort. But it’s important to make yourself a priority too. Just because you don’t have an extra 3+ hours each day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise at all.
Try to find ways to incorporate short bursts of movement into your day. Your goal is to increase your heart rate for a total of 30 minutes. This is especially important for those in caretaker roles. You need to maintain your health in order to provide for the ones you love. Decide when it makes the most amount of sense to fit a bit of activity into your daily routine. Finding what works best for you and your schedule may need a little adjusting, but it’ll be worth it.
The “I Hurt When I…” Excuse
Your ability to move impacts your health, independence, and even quality of life. Unfortunately, pain can make it challenging to move sometimes. As a matter of fact, pain is the #1 reason people seek medical treatment and health care. Physical therapy is no exception (and rightfully so!) Physical therapists can examine your injury or condition and determine the best way to help. They will help you move better while safely managing your pain.
You Don’t Have Gym Equipment
A lot of people believe that they need fancy gym equipment to really experience physical activity. Luckily, that’s not the case. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can get moving in the comfort of your own home. Dance in your living room. Climb the stairs in your basement. Do laps walking around the backyard. Use soup cans and milk cartons as weights. There are opportunities all around you.
You can even get lean while you clean. In addition, your physical therapist will also give you a specialized home exercise program you can do at home as well. These are safe exercises designed to strengthen the muscles that support your body. They will also help improve your flexibility and balance.
You Can’t Get Motivated
Group fitness classes and competitive sports aren’t for everyone. And that’s fine. Being active doesn’t have to mean you’re doing things you don’t like in order to be effective. Look for activities that you enjoy and make them part of your daily routine. Take it a step further and give yourself a small reward every time you are active. Use this as a motivator until your routine becomes a habit.
Do things that will make things easier and set yourself up for success. For example, keep your walking shoes and pedometer easily accessible near the front door. Schedule a set time for your exercises and set reminders in your phone or calendar. Making it as convenient as possible for yourself will help you reach your goals.
You Don’t Want To Hurt Yourself
It’s normal to be apprehensive when starting to get physically active. You don’t want to do anything to hurt yourself. Not all exercises are ideal for everyone. They depend on your age, abilities, and individual goals. So it’s important to choose the right activities.
Your physical therapist can create a custom exercise plan specifically designed for you. They will choose safe activities and work with you to feel comfortable performing them. They’ll help you maximize your movement. But, more importantly, they will empower you to actively participate in your own care and well-being.
You’re Too Tired
Deciding to get moving is one thing, but actually doing it is another. If you’re not used to being active, taking that first step may seem difficult. Your body is used to its normal everyday routine. So noticeably, you will feel more tired when you first start exercising. Stick with it, though. Studies show that exercise actually boosts energy levels. It pushes oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. It also helps you function better as well.
Make sure to ease into your new lifestyle. Aim to be active for 15 minutes a day at first. This can be something as simple as doing your home exercises during commercial breaks of your favorite TV show. Slowly adjust your activity as your body gets used to them. Try adding more time to your exercises, or increase the frequency and difficulty of your workout.
Physical therapists are experts in movement. They use their hands-on care to help you move safely. Not only will they improve your quality of life, but they’ll help you manage stress, avoid diseases, and more.