The work to continue to change the narrative about the importance of exercise continues.
Right now it is even more important than ever.
The focus of the aesthetic effects of exercise and physical fitness are simply superficial. Maybe this type of communication around exercise can be a barrier to accessing and beginning an exercise journey. It may seem that you are so far away from becoming that advertised “goal body” that it’s hard to begin.
There is an awesome commercial right now that takes us through the journey of an older man lifting his kettlebell. The end of the commercial give us some insight into reaching his end goal. Click here to take a peak.
We as Physiotherapists, and health care professionals need to continue to educate our communities on the importance of exercise for:
- Bone density
- Aging well
- Fall prevention
- Controlling blood sugar levels in type II diabetes
- Managing high blood pressure
- Mental health
- Slowing disease progression – Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Osteoarthritis (OA), Alzheimer Disease…..
- General Quality of life (for ALL bodies) – individuals with cancer, individuals with disabilities, in children and adolescents ….
- Lessening chances of experiencing cancer (prevention) and reoccurrence of certain cancers
- Recovering well after surgeries and hospital stays
- Chronic pain
As Physiotherapists we are able to get people started and encourage them to keep going with even a basic exercise program. As a profession we are often under-utilized in the facet.
Every person that walks into ANY health professionals office with high blood pressure, diabetes, a lack of balance, progressive weakness, obesity, osteoporosis, osteopenia, after a hospital stay, after surgeries, with Parkinson’s disease, etc. should be asked about their levels of fitness / activity. They can be coached and educated on self-empowerment and small steps to begin to exercise sufficiently to meet their health goals. They can also be encouraged that they are worth these changes.
Basic level of function can be observed through a quick visual scan of things like:
How is a person walking?
How easy / difficulty is it to et in and out of a chair?
How are they able to move positions on a treatment / assessment table?
How are they able to take off and put on their shoes?
When medications are provided for blood pressure and such, so too should there be exercise prescription. If this is something they are not comfortable with, they should be referred to Physiotherapy, or even a sports medicine physician.
It is not enough to tell someone they need to exercise.
Everyone’s idea of exercise is different. Many people believe (wrongly) that they are active enough by doing their laundry, vacuuming and moving around the home a bit.
This is like telling someone they should simply take antibiotics for something…..
For how long?
Should it ever change?
Exercise can do wonderful things in allowing individuals to take an active role in their treatment. After diagnosis of certain conditions there can be feelings of hopelessness that the issue will inevitably progress in a negative way. There is so much that individuals can do which provide empowerment and self-efficacy.
At North Oakville’s Palermo Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre our Physiotherapists are happy to help get you started with a plan and program. We are also happy to point you in the right direction if you require more / different services. We are currently providing both in-person and virtual physiotherapy and yoga therapy sessions. We are able to treat anyone virtually throughout Ontario if you are unable to see us in clinic.
Contact us for more information or to book in with one of our Physiotherapists.