Today is World Physiotherapy Day and it has inspired me to give you my thoughts on the importance of exercise for everybody!
The importance and benefits of being physically active and engaged in exercise have been well documented for those with and without disabilities. Now, it is even more essential to get your heart pumping and your body moving.
Reduced Access to Gyms & Swimming Pools
COVID 19 lockdowns have greatly reduced our access to gyms, sports programs, swimming pools and other forms of recreation. Human beings were designed to move! Being confined to our homes with minimal social contact and reduced access to our usual therapies and recreation has affected the mental and physical wellbeing of people all over the world. For a lot of us, physical exercise has simply dropped off our priority list – but it should be near the top! This current lockdown has taken its toll on our motivation too, which greatly affects our desire to ‘get up and go’.
No Movement Can Reduce Muscle Mass by 2% Per day!
In the world of those suffering with chronic health conditions and disabilities, this effect is perhaps even more concerning with physical deterioration, the loss of routine and deconditioning contributing to an increased incidence of depression, anxiety and loss of muscle strength, endurance, and cardiorespiratory function.
It has also affected the health of those caring for and supporting people with disabilities. Resting in bed with no movement can cause a decrease in muscle mass by 2% a day! Loss in strength and deconditioning can cause further issues with mobility, falls and balance, respiratory health and function, transfers, energy and overall mood and ability to participate in leisure and social activities.
Aerobic Exercise Can Reduce Depression!
Research shows that aerobic exercise (where our heart rates rise significantly) is associated with reduction in depressive symptoms. This can easily be accomplished in the home, or when exercising in a park or on a daily walk. There are lots of activities that increase heart rate and breathing rate and can help our endurance and aerobic system.
Strength Training Can Reduce Anxiety!
Strength training has been shown to have significantly reduce anxiety as well as improving balance, bone density, muscle strength and power and endurance. There are so many things around the house that can assist with strength training and some amazingly creative ways to move your body! You certainly don’t need fancy equipment – just some creativity and a good program from your Physiotherapist.
Child and Adolescent Exercise is Important it Improves Concentration!
In children and adolescents, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and exercise during the day are associated with elevations in self-esteem, improved concentration, reductions in depressive symptoms, and improvements in sleep. Good bursts of physical activity and fun physical games can be wonderful for home schooling to help improve attention and concentration when sitting in front of a screen.
Exercise is Important for Our Immune System
Regular exercise, as we all know, also helps our immune system, and reduces the risk of serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes. It’s an important part of our overall health, wellbeing, and management. For people with disabilities, it has an even more important job in falls prevention, bone density, muscle strength and endurance and maintaining function.
A Hearth Physiotherapist Can Help!
As Physiotherapists, we are trained to be able to provide assistance, education, and advice around exercise for people with many different disabilities from Cerebral Palsy to intellectual disabilities and work across the age spectrum. There are many creative and fun ways to be engaged in physical activity and improve health, wellbeing and maintain your physical and mental function.
I have extensive experience across a broad spectrum of areas including Hydrotherapy for adults and children with a disability, Bike Riding and Learning to Swim for children with disabilities. To learn more about my skill set please click here.
We can create individual exercise programs that are tailored to suit your goals, lifestyle, and interests to help improve strength, mood, and overall fitness. Programs can be provided after a face-to-face assessment to determine your goals and current concerns and easily followed up, modified, and supported via telehealth during lockdowns.
It also worth mentioning that we are currently working with several clients on post lockdown planning when hopefully pools and gymnasiums will reopen!
If you would like to talk to me to learn more about how exercise can help you achieve your goals, maintain your health, and support you through these difficult periods of isolation and lockdowns during covid, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can fill out a service request form here
Happy World Physio Day 2021!
Stay Safe & Warm Regards