When it comes to exercise, one size doesn’t fit all. The exercise you choose is influenced by your health, lifestyle, work hours, responsibilities and more. While we’ve all come to understand how important it is to exercise, having a strong sense of what your choices are, is helpful. Here are the basics on the 4 types:
Endurance: Walking, jogging, yard work and dancing, are all considered endurance, or aerobic, exercises. They have a positive impact on your heart, lungs and circulatory system. Not only do they improve your cardiovascular system and reduce your risk of many diseases, they also help you build stamina.
Strength: Strength training makes your muscles stronger and help you stay independent. Strength exercises like lifting weights, using resistance bands, and doing isometric exercises (where muscles are held in place with minimal movement) can make quite a difference in your ability to do things like carry groceries, lift up a child, and other such everyday activities.
Balance: Many lower-body strength exercises that are a part of balance training can make a world of difference in the quality of life for seniors. Exercises like, standing on one foot, doing a heel-to-toe walk, and Tai Chi, strengthen the lower body and help to prevent falls.
Flexibility: Being flexible will naturally give you more freedom in your movement and the benefits are obvious when it comes to everyday activities like getting dressed and driving. Flexibility exercises intentionally stretch your muscles and help your body stay limber. Yoga is a great flexibility exercise along with doing things like calf-stretches and shoulder and upper-arm stretches.
When you think about these exercises and what works best for you, it is helpful to contemplate ways that you can incorporate all 4 types of exercise into your life. Doing just one exercise, such as focusing only on weight-lifting for strength, can help you get stronger, but reduce your flexibility. Walking without stretching can lead to muscle injuries.
While we encourage you to exercise, we also encourage you to mix it up. Remember that physical therapy isn’t just for rehabilitating from an injury. We set up exercise programs regularly for patients who are of all different ages with many different goals. Exercise is a key component to injury prevention and optimal performance.
When you choose, choose wisely and know that we are here to help you, too.
Whether you’re hurting because of an injury, an accident, an illness, or the normal wear and tear that comes with aging, one thing is for sure; when you’ve got hip pain, you just want it to stop. While hip pain has a number of different causes, determining the cause is key to receiving the most appropriate treatment. Today, we would like to look at the two most common causes of hip pain, explore ways to prevent it and learn how physical therapy can help.
Most Common Cause # 1: Arthritis in the hip region results in pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion. The most common type is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is the excessive wearing of cartilage between the ball and socket, and the bone-on-bone contact causes significant pain and loss of motion.
Most Common Cause # 2: Injuries. The most common hip injuries include tendonitis, bursitis, contusions and sprains. These can be caused by a particular activity, repetitive stress, overuse injuries or some type of trauma. All result in inflammation of the tendons and ligaments causing painful movements, swelling, discomfort while resting at night, or possibly a dull ache and stiffness. The joint cannot function properly and without pain when there is swelling or inflammation associated with these injuries.
While there are factors that you may not be able to control, here are 4 powerful steps you can take to reduce or prevent the hip pain:
Physical therapy aims to reduce pain and help you regain mobility by building strength and increasing flexibility. It’s all about reducing the amount of stress placed on the joints. By strengthening the muscles around the hips, the joints get extra support and absorb less stress. Increasing and maintaining flexibility avoids any abnormal and unnecessary stress on your joints that often goes hand in hand with the loss of elasticity.
To learn more about how physical therapy, we encourage you to contact us with your questions.
Why is good balance so important?
The reason can be summed up in one word: CONTROL.
Think about it… we balance our checkbook – or lose control of our finances, we balance our diets – or lose control of our good health, we balance our schedules – or lose control of our time, we balance our bodies – or risk injuries and accidents. To maintain control of our bodies is foundational to our ability to maintain control of our lives. To move safely and comfortably in our lives, we need to maintain a solid awareness of where our bodies are in relation to the things around us.
Do you know what causes balance problems?
While balance problems are common with aging, there are other factors and events that can impact your physical balance. Among these are medications, head injuries, bacterial and viral infections, blood circulation disorders, arthritis, and more.
Do you know how to prevent balance problems?
Here are 4 things you can do:
1. Get your vision and hearing tested annually.
2. Monitor your medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if your medications can affect your balance.
3. Manage chronic diseases, like diabetes, carefully.
4. If you fall, let your doctor or physical therapist know about it.
Do you know how Physical Therapy helps with balance problems?
First, your Physical Therapist can help reduce your fear of falling by addressing the specific problems that have been discovered.
Using an individualized treatment and exercise program, you can improve your mobility, and regain your ability to move with more ease, coordination and confidence.
As you work with your Physical Therapist, you will see an improvement in your strength, a reduction in muscle weakness, especially in those muscles most important to your balance (your trunk, hip and core muscles).
You will be able to increase your activity, as you learn how to identify muscles that are tight and learn to stretch them properly, resulting in an overall improvement in your flexibility and posture.
Physical Therapy is highly successful in helping you improve both static balance (standing or sitting) and dynamic balance (keeping your balance while moving).
Considering how important good balance is to our overall well-being, we encourage you to check your balance regularly and seek out help if you feel unable to sit or stand upright comfortably.