Physical activity means moving your body and using your muscles and energy more than you do when resting. Daily physical activity will benefit your physical, psychological, and social health. It is also one of the best ways that everyone, meaning children, adults, and people with disabilities can prevent or improve many chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Other important benefits may include:
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Increased energy
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved mood and mental health
- Maintained healthy weight
- Improved sleep
- Improved concentration
- Improved memory
- Improved learning ability
- Decreased stress
- Reduced aging and menopause symptoms
- Improved ability to perform daily activities
- Diminished risk of accidental falls
There are some simple guidelines to help you determine your physical activity. According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity (30 minutes/day for 5 days), or 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic activity. Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily.
You may be wondering whether or not you should still be performing physical activity if you have a medical condition. The answer in most cases is yes, you should still do physical activity even if you have an existing chronic disease or condition. Make sure you check with your Physical Therapist or physician first to make sure that you are healthy enough for exercise, and find out what physical activities are safe for you. Remember that Physical Therapists are experts in physical activity for people of any age and condition, so you can count on them to help get you moving safely.
What about people with disabilities? Absolutely! Everyone can benefit and have fun from being physically active, including children and adults with disabilities. It is just as important for people with disabilities to do physical activity just as it is for nondisabled individuals. Anyone with a disability, whether physical, mental, or developmental, should be physically active!
You may be wondering specifically how Physical Therapy can help. Physical Therapists have extensive training and knowledge of physical activities and medical conditions, so they are truly the experts at creating safe and effective physical activity programs for individuals with virtually any medical condition or physical limitation. Physical Therapists also help healthy people learn physical activity to prevent injuries and chronic medical diseases.
Your Physical Therapist will most likely begin by testing your mobility and strength, reviewing your past medical history, and discussing your goals and favorite activities. As your fitness levels improve, your Physical Therapist will help you to expand and advance your physical activities in a safe and fun way. The goal is to perform physical activities that you enjoy so that you will look forward to doing it every day!
And as always, if you or someone you know needs some guidance in how to start an exercise program, progress one to stay active, or just where to begin to get physical activity into your daily routine, call me at (302)691-9055 or visit my website at www.wildermanphysicaltherapy.com to schedule your FREE 30 minute Discovery Visit to see how Physical Therapy can help. Don’t delay–schedule now!