Importance of physical therapy exercises and stretches for a healthy lifestyle and how that will help us improve our immune system and our overall health against newly discovered diseases and viruses like COVID19!
Yes, it stinks being inside all the time due to circumstances out of one’s control. But that doesn’t mean that people can’t take care of themselves. This goes beyond just diet and sleep. They need to do stretching and exercises… even without a gym.
Here are some good reasons why people should think of doing physical therapy exercises and stretches for their overall health. There are also some suggested ones that people can do, but it is far from a comprehensive list.
Home-Based Exercises For Strength
Why should people think about doing home exercises and stretches? It’s simple – fighting inertia. The biggest problem that people have with working at a desk is the cumulative effects of sitting with poor posture has on the body. These exercises can help target areas that would be affected and make them able to partially or fully negate the extended periods of inactivity.
It’s amazing the results that one can get with just using their bodies as the instrument for exercise – the only cost could be a yoga mat. That’s great for those who need to be able to save their money for other things instead of costly gym equipment. Yes, the social aspect might be a bit lacking, but taking care of one’s body should be the biggest priority.
There are several parts where one can reap the benefits of simple physical therapy exercises:
- Abdominals – A good exercise is to do straight leg raises. It involves lying on one’s back and then with one leg bent and planted on the ground, lift the other leg up with it remaining straight, and get it up to about a 45 degree angle. Lower the leg slowly and do this about 10-20 times each leg.
- Shoulders – Shoulders bear a LOT. There’s a condition called frozen shoulder that can occur for reasons ranging from diabetes to a thyroid condition. This can affect one’s ability to work even at a desk. Exercises like finger-walking (those of a certain age might think of the phone book) where one walks their fingers up a wall, can help.
- Spine– This is a crucial area since it supports SO much. Poor posture can lead to spinal problems. It’s important to make it as strong as possible so that sitting for a long time does not wind up being painful. Planks, where one props themselves into a semi-pushup position but props themselves with their elbows, can be an excellent exercise.
Home-Based Stretching For Overall Aches and Pains
While the exercises can help, there is another part to all this – stretching. People are now working from home thanks to the pandemic and that time spent at the desk and not moving around very much can lead to tight muscles. That can then lead to a chain reaction where once simple movements can result in things like pulled back muscles and other limbs. What happens then? They become even MORE sedentary as they recover from the injuries.
Enter the stretching routines. It’s very important to maintain flexibility in one’s body, since it can affect far more than just the muscles. One’s circulatory, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and respiratory systems can all benefit. Flexible tissues then result in the proper blood flow and one’s lymphatic fluids then can circulate around the body much more easily. All of this makes for a much better oxygenated body.
Although sports and other activities are restricted now, there are still people who like to go out and do things like outdoor running (within proper guidelines, of course) and they also do at-home exercises – like the previously mentioned physical therapy ones. Stretching after that is important to prevent muscle soreness from happening later. Anyone who has experienced delayed onset muscle soreness can attest to that.
Some areas to target:
- Hamstrings – The hamstrings, if they are too tight, can cause a LOT of discomfort, since they pull on the back. One should lie on their back and then grab the back of a knee and bring it toward their chest while keeping the leg slightly bent. They should do this for each leg.
- Hip Flexors – This is another problem area. It’s an easy fix – just stand up and put a foot on the bench while keeping the other left straight. Lean forward and hold the position for 30-45 seconds.
- Press-Ups – Having a bad back affects many people. This can help alleviate the stress on the back muscles. Lie down and get the hands into a push-up position. Instead of doing a push-up, the upper body goes up while the pelvis stays on the floor. This helps the spine.
Getting Optimal Tissue Health
When people go to a sporting event, like a baseball game, and they arrive early, they often see the players out stretching with trainers. This is not just idle time for them – they are preparing their bodies for the upcoming rigors that they will be asking of it. They will be running, diving, and sliding, after all, and a warmed-up and loose body has much less chance of suffering injuries.
No, it’s not 100% ironclad that they will be able to prevent themselves from getting hurt, but it’s still a good precaution for them to take. The stretches are also generally not taxing on the body and doing them can also help get one into a mental frame of mind to get them ready for the event. They should also stretch after the game or whatever physical activity they did, since they risk getting stiff if they don’t.
Chronic pain can play a big part in the quality of people’s lives. Stretching can greatly improve that. If someone is suffering from, let’s say, osteoarthritis, then they are generally not going to move around that much since it hurts to do so. Stretching can take that discomfort out of the equation. People should do the stretching in conjunction with other parts of physical therapy, including exercise, heat therapy, or massage therapy.
All of this is just a taste of what one can do to improve their strength and flexibility with physical therapy exercises and stretches. A physical therapist can put together an individualized plan for people of all types of sizes and physical fitness levels. It’s important to stay healthy during these trying times… and devoting only a fraction of each day can help tremendously!
The staff at Phoenix Physical Therapy Rehabilitation PLLC are very knowledgeable about what people’s bodies need to stay in peak shape. They will gladly work with you to get you where you need to be – even if you are at home the majority of the time. There are three locations for you to choose from – Brooklyn and Rosedale – and there are a lot of different slots available to work with your own schedule. Call today to see what they can do for you – 347-733-1916.
Phoenix Physical Therapy
23520 147th Avenue, Suite 1,
Rosedale, NY, 11422