As many of you who have completed, or are currently participating, in a physical therapy program know, exercise is a main component of the rehab process. In fact, one of the many reasons why you may be in physical therapy is because of the need to build strength in some of your weaker muscles. In most cases, this will eventually help cure the pain that ails you.
However, it is an all too common truth that once a patient becomes discharged, he or she will cut down on, or even stop completely, with the exercises that were prescribed to them by the physical therapist. In nearly all cases, the reason is: “I’m not in pain anymore, and so I do not need to perform the exercises”.
Unfortunately, it is all too common that these same patients wind up back in our office with the same pain. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t any other underlying problems going on with these ailments, but quite often, it happens because they didn’t keep up with their exercises. Although things felt better, they still weren’t completely healed yet.
Exercise is important for many reasons, even more so than just to rehabilitate your injuries. It has health benefits that can help you live pain free, become more functional as you age, live healthier and decrease your medical bills.
Below is a variety of reasons why you need to be exercising every single day, whether you are in a physical therapy program or not!
Exercise Minimizes the Chances of a Recurring Injury
It’s important to keep every muscle in your body performing at optimum strength levels. When muscles become weak, other muscles are forced to compensate for those weak muscles. This causes muscular dysfunction. One can live with muscular dysfunction for a while before noticing any problems, and then nine times out of ten it will show up in the form of pain.
If we are able to keep each of our muscles strong, especially the muscles that surround our major joints, we are much less likely to reach the point where muscular dysfunction turns to pain and weakness, and you will be able to move forward through your life pain free and happy!
Improves Your Overall Functionality
Let’s face it, we are all getting older. And as we age, so do our muscles. In fact, studies have shown that the older you get, the quicker your muscles diminish and atrophy. And if you are skipping out on exercise, your muscles will atrophy even quicker than your exercising counterparts.
However, not just any type of exercise is going to help you regain your muscular strength and functionality. Taking on some strength training will really be beneficial. In fact, there are hundreds of studies that have been performed that link functional strength training with improved abilities to perform normal activities of daily living.
Exercise Wards Off Disease
In today’s day and age, obesity and obesity-related diseases, such as Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease, are running rampant in our country. This is due to two main reasons: lack of exercise in general, and lack of knowledge on how to consume a proper diet.
Due to the fact that the likelihood of contracting one of these potentially deadly diseases increases as you age, it is more important now than ever to get started on a proper diet and exercise program. Not only can this diminish your chances of getting sick, it will help to keep your medical bills much lower than they would be if you did have diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer. And don’t worry, it’s never too late to start, it is possible with some of these diseases that you may be able to lessen, or maybe even completely get rid of the disease!
You’re on the Right Path, Keep Going!
So, you’ve already decided to start on the path of feeling better. You made it to physical therapy; you’re working on feeling better and creating better health in your muscles and your joints. And if you are one of the 90% of people who are feeling better because of your physical therapy, why stop? Why not continue on the path of good health?
Sure your injuries might feel better, but you can do so much more with exercise! Exercise gives you energy. It gives you the ability to perform normal, everyday activities with greater ease, and it gives you the ability to potentially get rid of most, if not all of your medications!
Did you know that we have a fitness and wellness program that is designed to help you continue on your health journey? Give us a call today or learn more about our fitness at wellness programs here!
– Mike Zimmer, Wellness and Fitness Director