Isaac Newton had it right when he discovered the Law of Inertia. In short, a body at rest remains at rest and a body in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an external force. The same law of physics applies to our bodies as we age. If we already have a habit of being physically active on a regular basis, we will continue to be active. If we don’t, developing that habit will take more and more work. Fortunately, a physical therapist can show you how to start a new fitness routine or keep you active for years to come. Call Essential Physical Therapy in Eugene, OR today to find out if physical therapy is right for you. In the meantime, these tips can help you stay healthy and active, even as you age.
1. Sit Less, Stretch More
The technological age has had our work more sedentary. Streaming services, on-demand shopping and grocery delivery have made modern life more convenient, but such advances have also made it less likely we will stand and move throughout the course of the day. Taking periodic breaks from sitting to stretch and move can improve your posture as well as your overall fitness.
Don’t know where to start? Even though most people associate physical therapy with post-surgical recovery, a physical therapist can craft a stretching and exercise routine that is right for your current abilities and fitness goals.
2. Schedule Exercise
Just like we schedule appointments with friends, family and professionals, it is vital that we schedule exercise into our daily routine. Just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can help you control your weight, improve your cardiovascular health and reduce the likelihood of stroke. Adding strength training to your routine also lowers your risk for developing osteoporosis.
However, if you have not had a consistent fitness routine up to this point in your life, you are also more likely to use poor form or develop overuse injuries. Again, a physical therapist can create a scaled exercise plan that helps you develop the form and strength you will need to reap the health benefits of consistent exercise, without injury.
3. Address Old Injuries
One of the biggest hurdles people face when it comes to staying active are old injuries that flare up. Whether you were injured playing soccer in high school or developed a back problem at work 20 years ago, old injuries can keep you from exercising regularly, stretching often or even trying to get back into shape. Fortunately, surgery is not the only answer for treating these problems. Physical therapy may be the answer to getting rid of those aches and pains once and for all.
A physical therapist is an expert in the way the body moves. Not only can they diagnose problems with the way you walk, run, lift, bend, or stretch, they can prescribe specific exercises to target problem areas. If you are experiencing back pain when you lift weights, they can help correct your form, strengthen stabilizing core muscles, stretch tight tendons and ligaments, and relieve pain as it flares up. The same goes for any old injury that you are nursing as you pursue your activity goals.
Whether you are already physically active, or want to become more active in the name of better health, a physical therapist can be the outside force that helps you reach your full potential.