If you have been inactive for so long that you can’t figure out how to start an active lifestyle, let us offer some suggestions on how to begin. Making changes is difficult, especially when you are going from comfort to something that seems daunting, but overcoming a sedentary pattern to one of movement will help you feel better and improve your quality of life.
Start small. The phrase baby steps can be applied here. If you are accustomed to mostly sitting, start by doing simple movements and with fewer repetitions that you can build upon.
Sit to Stands. While sitting in a firm chair, stand up without using arm rests. To accomplish this, cross your arms across your chest with elbows bent. Your right hand should rest near your left chest (like pledge of allegiance) and the left hand to the right chest. Then stand up from sitting. Repeat as many times as you can for 60 seconds. Record the number that you have completed for reference and improvement. This exercise helps with balance, leg strength and concentration.
Walk. Walking is the best form of exercise for any age. Again, if you have led a mostly sedentary lifestyle to this point, then walking up and down the hallway may be challenging. If that is the case, set your timer and walk up and down your hallway about 5 times back and forth every 20 or 30 minutes. Increase the number of times you walk back and forth as it becomes easier. You could do this during your evening television show or while watching a football game. Take those commercial breaks to walk!
If you have already accomplished the above and are ready to move to the next level, try walking at the mall or in your neighborhood. Set a schedule with a friend so you are held accountable and enjoy the socialization while you are walking.
Get involved. When you are involved in your community, you become active through involvement and socialization. Finding a church you enjoy will get you out at least once a week and even more as you become more active. Set up a social schedule with friends to walk or join an organization where you have an interest, such as an art association or a dance group or helping others.
Hold yourself accountable. Whether you have that friend who you will ensure you are meeting at the scheduled day and time to walk or go to church or to that social activity, or you have set a calendar that you would like to follow to stay on track –just make sure you are holding yourself accountable so you stick with it.
Reap the benefits: Once you start moving again, the activity will become easier and you may be surprised at how much better you feel! A sedentary lifestyle can surprisingly make you more tired while an active lifestyle gives you more energy!
If you are at the point where you are in pain and even the easiest form of activity is difficult, let Peak Physical Therapy help you get to the point where you feel better and can take on an active lifestyle with enjoyment! Through physical therapy, you will get a long-term solution to put you on the path to a more active life.
Please call us to schedule an appointment: 918-876-3898. We offer prompt scheduling for initial appointments and we have extended clinic hours to accommodate busy schedules.