The physiotherapist will discuss ideas of ways of making yourself more active.
They will help you to develop goals/exercise programme, taking into account your current activity levels and health issues.
Why is increasing your activity/exercise important?
- It will help you get towards the life you want and the activities you enjoy i.e. joining in with family activities.
- It improves your heart and lung function and therefore enables you to do activities for longer.
- Improves the suppleness of joints and muscles making tasks easier.
- Can improve mood.
Exercise helps you to lose weight but also has major health benefits.
Why are you seeing a physiotherapist?
Physiotherapists understand that
- being active isn’t easy for everyone
- you may be in pain or breathless and worry about the effect increased activity may have on health conditions
- how you feel about your body might make you avoid exercise
- life can be busy and exercise difficult to fit in
A physiotherapist will discuss ideas of ways of making yourself more active. They will help you to develop goals/exercise programme, taking into account your current activity levels and health issues.
The first rule of starting any new exercise is to start slowly.
- Initially do low intensity and low impact activities and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to attend a gym. For some just doing housework and gardening will be enough of a workout- your health professional should be able to advise you on what level to start with. For most people this isn’t normally enough of a workout as it does not work your heart and lungs enough.
- When able you should progress to moderate-intensity aerobic activity. This means that you are working hard enough to raise your heart rate.
Choosing an activity suitable for you
- The most important thing is to pick an activity you enjoy or that can be incorporated into your daily routine.
- Simple tasks like using stairs instead of lifts and escalators, park your car further away than intended destination are quick /easy ways of increasing activity.
- Try to make being active part of your daily routine, e.g. walking to work or taking the children to the park on the way home from a school run. This has been shown to be more sustainable in the long term.
- Walking is a great way to start. Initially start with short walk several times a day and gradually increase distance and duration. It has been recommended that we try to aim for 10,000 steps a day. At first you may want to start with a smaller amount and work up to the 10,000 as you get fitter-you healthcare professional will be able to advise you if you are concerned.
- As you get fitter you could consider water aerobics, swimming or riding a bike.
- Something is always better than nothing
- You can use a technology (eg Apps, pedometers and activity monitors) to measure how active you are and to measure your progress.
- Pick activities that you enjoy.
- Find a friend to help keep you motivated.
- Set a weekly goal for yourself and try to keep a diary of your progress and reward yourself (healthy reward obviously) when you achieve that goal.
For further information
Please download Exercise To Aid Weight Loss and For A Healthy Lifestyle, our patient information booklet.
The websites below contain tips and ideas for different lifestyles and exercise, from walks to sets of exercises for flexibility, strength and balance in different areas of our community: