How Staying Active and Mobile Can Prevent Injuries Down the Line

The last year has really been life changing: from increased time with
close family, to frequent frozen pizzas and Netflix binges. We’ve all witnessed
the world around us changing at an alarming pace and, if we’re brutally honest,
most of us have been doing so from the comfort of our sofas. No blame, just fact.

As the world has seen unprecedented changes, we’ve also seen changes to our
bodies. Yeah, you guessed it – all that sitting has led to some pretty stiff
muscles and achingly sparse fitness routines. So, I think you’ve probably
guessed by now that this post is all about how staying active and healthy can not
only help you achieve optimum health, right now, but can also prevent injuries
down the line. Think of our upcoming advice as a friendly reminder to turn that
TV off, get those trainers on, and to go outside and smell the daisies!

So, let’s start with the very real consequences of leading a largely sedentary life.

First off, extended periods of immobility cause muscles to start deteriorating.
EEK!  And, in many ways, this is as bad as it sounds. Deteriorated muscles not
only fail to bolster metabolism, thereby causing unwanted and unexpected
weight gain, they also invite injuries your way in the future. Why? Well, weak
muscles are incapable of offering real, meaningful support, thereby leaving your
body exposed to injury in a very real way. And no – lifting that pizza box and can
of cola doesn’t really support muscle growth – give quarantine a make-over.

Let’s chat about how you can get out of extended time at home induced funk and back into a healthy, mobile lifestyle. Eventually, the extended periods of staying at
home will catch up with you, so it’s important to tackle sedentary behaviors head
on before it’s too late.

I know you’re thinking you may have to do a 60-minute fat burner workout in day
one, but the truth is, you just may not be ready! In fact, you may have been
Dwayne Johnson before lockdown, but that doesn’t mean you’re now able to do
the same activities as before. Long periods of being sedentary would have
affected your body in such a way so as to weaken muscles and throw your
strength off. It is, therefore, very important to start at a point where you feel
comfortable. Don’t push yourself beyond your current limits – don’t think you’re
able to jump straight back in where you left off before the shut down – because the
truth is, you could seriously injure yourself. Take it easy, give yourself a break,
and get back on the horse using the stirrups.

Why are we continuously telling you do be active, though? Isn’t walking the dog
and making a few trips up the stairs enough? Well – no. It may be alright for a
weekend, but long-term it can wreak absolute havoc on your body. Fitness and
mobility should never be underestimated, as you are only as young as you keep
your body. Stretching, exercising, and eating the proper nutrition is absolutely
essential when it comes to dodging injuries and illness. The longer you remain
sedentary, the more likely you are to experience injury and potential chronic,
debilitating pain. Keeping your body mobile, limber, and active, means you have
a much better chance of reaching an older age without physical problems.

Why not start small – take a walk, do a 15 minute home workout session, try
Pilates or yoga, or how about going for a swim? Make small changes to ensure
big rewards. You can push yourself harder as you progress, but make sure to
train your muscles from the beginning in order to prevent injury.

Granted, it’s not always easy to know how where start, though. It may be that
your inactivity has caused you to be more immobile than you imagined, thereby
ruling out exercises you may previously have done. It may even be that
quarantine has given you the time to think about your life and you now want to
jumpstart your health by getting into a fitness routine, yet you have no idea
where to start. Alternately, you may even have been injured during this time and
you just long to be able to move without pain as you once could – you just don’t
know where to begin. All of these motivations are valid, and the trepidation you
may be feeling is normal. Knowing where to start can be incredibly daunting, but
luckily that’s where we come in!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: how can physical therapy possibly help me
become active? Well, that’s a good question… and the answer may surprise you.
Physical therapy is about a lot more than the eradication of pain. In fact, physical
therapy aims to increase mobility and physical health via the specialized
treatment of pain and the administering of tailor made exercises and stretches.
You see, whether you are in pain now or not, if you aren’t moving, then it’s
almost guaranteed that you’ll experience pain later in your life. I’m here to
show you how to move, and not only that, but how to do it correctly in order to
safeguard your body from injury.

Whether you’re looking to ditch bad work from home habits, or whether you’re just
ready for a change, we’re here to help. And, if you’re in pain and are looking for
a way out of your situation, I can give you the answers and treatment you need.
Don’t let the pain get you down, and don’t let extended periods of lockdown in
your home prevent you from moving your body in a healthy, safe way. It’s time to
make a change. I want to help you, right now, and that’s why I invite you to
contact me directly, today. Get the answers, advice, and treatment you need, and let’s get moving together!

Dr. Jamie So

Jamie So, PT, DPT, is the owner and physical therapist of Manual Therapy Effects.

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