Many people resolve to exercise as a driver to help them lose weight or change their body habitus (shape).
While this can indeed contribute to that….
from the perspective of a Physiotherapist, there are so many other VITAL reasons to exercise.
Welcome to Part 1 of a multiple part series. If you haven’t resolved to exercise you should!
To be better at life!
Whatever your baseline level of fitness and abilities are, adding in specific strength based exercise can help improve your quality of life. When you are stronger and have better endurance it carries over to an enhanced ability to participate in life.
We see many patients at our Oakville Physiotherapy clinic who injure themselves simply from increasing the intensity of daily tasks. When your bay is stronger and has more endurance, it is more able to face these daily challenges and feel good during and after them!
Stairs – going up and down the stairs should not feel like a chore for able-bodied people people. Are you extremely winded after one or two flights? This should not be the case. Some people who do not have stairs in their homes / apartments are surprised when faced with a set that they need to take a break. Having stringer legs and hips will help with this as well as practicing! Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever you can.
Groceries – lifting bags of groceries out of a trunk and then carrying them into your home should be a quick and efficient exercise. Again, this is a task that should not cause pain or significant fatigue. Keeping your whole body strong including your legs, hips, sore and grip strength can make this task easier. Some of my favourite “physio” exercises I give to people replicates these tasks! I love giving people suitcase squats as well as farmer carries (walking and holding dumbbells in one for both hands).
Shovelling – Our Oakville Physio and Massage Therapists often see people after a big snowfall due to back and shoulder pains and strains. Shovelling snow can be a heavy and repetitive task. Even if you are somewhat active this can be a challenge. Doing some heavier strength based training can be helpful in this activity. Exercises such as deadlifting from the ground, kettlebell swings, and some sled pushes are a great place to start or build up to a couple times a week.
Gardening – Gardening can also be a heavier and repetitive task. Our Oakville Physiotherapists often see people after they have done a big day of gardening. picking weeds, shovelling and wheelbarrow pushing who may have some low back aches and pains, elbow pain or even hamstring pain. Increasing exercises and movements that replicate these tasks during the winter can prepare us for success in heavy and long spring gardening sessions. Exercises like deadlifts, single leg deadlifts, squats, farmer carries, sled pushes, shoulder presses, rows etc can all help prepare the body.
Toiletting – This is one one of life important skills, to be able to get up and down off of the toilet. It can be a lower surface so when we lose strength in our legs and hips, we collapse down onto the toilet and need to grab and pull to get back up. Toileting shouldn’t be an ordeal. Maintaining strength in the legs and gluten with bridges, squats and even doing theses activities with weights can keep us independent with this daily task.
Bathtub – Having a bath can be one of life basic pleasures. It can be an amazing relaxation activity. Don’t be surprised and get stuck in the tub. It’s important to be safe getting in and out of the tub as well. Doing exercises the work on balance and reaction time, as well as exercises that help us get up and down from the ground can be helpful. Upper body exercises like dips and push-ups can also keep us strong.
Play time – Play time with your children, friends, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren. Can you get up and down from the ground? One of my favourite memories is when my great grandmother would get down to the ground and play marbles with us. She came down to our level and we had a great time. Not only is this fun activity, it can also be lifesaving to be able to get up from the ground. Can you do this with no hands? Being comfortable with your balance and baseline level of strength to go to the park, kick a ball around, go for a hike or even an activity like bowling can be what amazing memories are made of. Don’t sit on the sidelines while people around you are playing. Staying strip and fit can ensure this can keep happening and is still enjoyable!
If you have concerns with any of the above tasks or would like to get started with some basic strengthening exercise and don’t know how, our Oakville Physiotherapists are here able to get you started safely. If you are eager to get back to activity whether it be the gym, a sport or another hobby you enjoy, our Physiotherapists are able to help you get moving and feel stronger! CONTACT US NOW!