Do you suffer from a lack of physical activity but can’t afford a gym membership? Even if you have a gym membership, perhaps your gym was closed or is closed due to COVID-19. Fortunately, many people have found new ways to increase their activity level while at home. Here’s how you can become more physically active without going to the gym and how physical therapy can help.
What is Exercise?
Put simply, exercise is a planned, structured physical activity done repetitively and frequently. The purpose of exercise is to condition various parts of the body. Besides improving health, exercise helps in maintaining physical fitness and is an essential means of physical rehabilitation. It can also make you more flexible.
3 Effects of Immobility On Physical and Mental Health
Being immobile can significantly lead to poor physical and mental health.
- For instance, people who are less mobile are more susceptible to heart disease than those who are physically active. A lack of exercise can make you more likely to develop problems, such as specific cancers, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.
- A decrease in mobility can mean you no longer enjoy simple activities, such as walking in the park or playing with your kids or grandchildren. You’re more prone to suffer from fatigue and weakness. Furthermore, your body can become stiff and sore. There’s also the possibility of gaining weight.
- Immobility is not only bad for your physical health; it can also affect your mental wellbeing. Not being physically active can lead to anxiety. A lack of exercise can result in several symptoms of depression and feelings of anger, tension, or fatigue.
At-Home Activities For Increasing Mobility
Walk at Home
Each day, make it a goal to walk in or around your house frequently. Instead of walking to the refrigerator for food, walk solely to exercise. Of course, it’s more fun to walk outdoors, but if the weather is bad, you could also walk inside your house. Another reason for walking inside your home is if you live in the mountains or hills.
Invest in an Activity Tracker
Many people try to walk at least 10,000 steps per day, which is almost four miles. If you’re not used to walking, start slowly and gradually increase your steps.
Take Up a New Hobby
When you’re doing something you love to do, you may not even consider it exercise. One of the main at-home hobbies involving a lot of physical activity is gardening. If you enjoy spending time in the garden but are concerned about sustaining an injury, see our Four Tips for Gardening When You Have Back Pain.
Walk Your Dog
Even if you have a fenced-in yard, it’s still ideal to take your dog on a daily walk for the health benefits.
How Physical Therapy Can Help Increase Activity
If you feel that you’re unable to exercise, physical therapy can be an ideal solution. Here’s how physical therapy can help.
- Specialized evaluation for activity tolerance and strength: Before starting an exercise program, your physical therapist in Lackawanna County can assess how much activity you can tolerate. This evaluation also determines your strength level.
- Development of personalized goals: Because each client is unique, your physical therapist devises personalized goals.
- Strengthening programs: These include simple exercises, such as leg lifts, toe raises, and arm rotations for improving endurance and muscle strengthening. Physical therapy can also involve light weights, resistance bands, and other ways to make muscles stronger.
- Home exercise program: Your physical therapist can show you specific exercises you can do at home.
- Personalized education on exercise: Another considerable part of physical therapy is educating clients on the importance of exercise.
Considerations and Warnings
- For most people, the best time to exercise is usually early in the day. In addition to staying motivated, exercising in the morning can help you avoid becoming distracted.
- Plan your workouts. In other words, write out your workouts on an appointment planner, and if something comes up, reschedule it.
- Rather than parking your car close to a store, look for a parking spot that’s further away as this can increase your steps.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Limit your TV time. However, you can easily watch television or enjoy Netflix while walking instead of sitting.
- Realize that immobility tends to increase as you age.
- On the other hand, older people who are more physically active can lower their risk of falls. Moreover, with the help of geriatric physical therapy in NEPA, they can increase their ability to perform daily activities.
Contact the Leading Physical Therapy & Rehab Centers in NEPA
Questions? For more information on how physical therapy can help you become healthier, contact us at 570-208-2787.