One of the main things I enjoy about being a PT is being able to see people progress and improve their lives, and being able to play a role in that process. I have the privilege of working with some pretty amazing people. People that work incredibly hard to achieve their maximal physical potential, despite some pretty difficult circumstances. From the devastating effects of a tragic car accident, to rehabilitation following major surgery. From the weekend warrior with Achilles tendonitis, to those struggling with the debilitating effects of progressive neuromuscular disorders, we see a broad spectrum of injuries and physical limitations at the Fit Stop Physical Therapy. One of the questions that we inevitably get asked by patients who are approaching discharge from our care is “what now?”. “What’s the next step?” They’ve started down a path to health and wellness and want to continue to take better care of their bodies. Today Toby Bluth, PT, DPT shares his thoughts on taking the next step in transitioning from PT patient to attaining healthy fitness and exercise goals. Keep reading for more…
At Fit Stop Physical Therapy, we therapists are here to help each of our patients through the challenging rehabilitation process. In addition to this, we are also here to help make the often difficult transition from rehab to wellness. Working closely with skilled trainers in state of the art fitness facilities, we help build comprehensive fitness plans to address all your fitness goals, in a safe way. In my one-on-one discussions with my patients that are contemplating this transition, I usually start with something called the MyActivity Pyramid developed by the University of Missouri (available for free download at http://extension.missouri.edu/p/N388). I love this concise and clear summary of what each of us should be shooting for on a weekly basis regarding exercise.
Essentially the breakdown is as follows:
Lifestyle activities: pick an activity that is active and that you enjoy doing everyday. Walking, yard work, hiking, cycling… make it fun and make it something you can do a lot of (maybe try 2-3 activities!).
Aerobic activities: the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following:
At least 150 minutes moderate intensity activity (can still talk while doing it) each week OR
75 minutes of vigorous intensity (unable to talk while doing it) activity each week
or a combination of both!
Strength and flexibility training: our bread and butter in physical therapy! The recommendation calls for 2 days/week, but the majority of people we encounter could benefit from even more than that! Try incorporating strength training into your “aerobic activities” to cut down on the amount of exercise you’re required to do weekly. (Looking for some great strength-training ideas? Click here for 5 key exercises everyone should be doing!)
Inactivity: you’ll notice it’s the peak of the pyramid for a reason. You want to limit your inactivity time as much as possible. Try to decrease time in front of screens including computer, tablet, phone and TV. We also recommend that you get up and move at least once an hour (one of the biggest problems we see in patients with desk jobs).
I think most of us get overwhelmed when thinking about starting an exercise routine, and as a result, end up doing nothing. The error most of us make is that we think we need to do way more exercise than what the guidelines actually recommend in order to reap the health benefits of exercise. However, the goals suggested in this pyramid are not only moderate, but totally achievable! You can do it! If you have any concerns about starting a routine such as this or if you haven’t exercised in some time, make sure to check in with your physician or your therapist at the Fit Stop before getting started.
Talk to your physical therapist today about making the transition from physical therapy patient to healthy and active individual! If you have any questions or to set up a consultation with one of our physical therapists, click on the links below to be taken to our contact information: