After injury or surgery it’s normal to have some challenges getting back full range of motion and strength, which is why physical therapy is such a critical part of the recovery and healing process. Once you’re cleared by your doctor and therapist, there may still be some work to do in order to regain as much strength and range of motion as possible, so we’ve put together a few tips for you to begin an independent—or guided—workout regimen at home or local gym.
Find Support — Work Out With Friends
Think of this as an extension of the benefits of your time with a physical therapist. You certainly can go it alone and watch exercise videos online, however there’s power in accountability and encouragement that can only be found in a group setting. Also, having a workout instructor or even working out with a friend you might learn your movements might not be uniform from left to right, causing bilateral instability. An additional benefit is safety during your workout. Whether it’s unstable lifting or pushing too hard, too fast and causing a strain, having a friend or trainer spot you as you exercise can help relieve the weight if you reach a breaking point.
Learn Effective Stretches
Before leaving your physical therapist, inquire about safe stretches you can and should perform daily to help increase your mobility. Don’t simply stretch the area in healing, either. Be sure to stretch out as many joints and muscle groups as you can. Work toward bilateral equality in mobility, meaning, try to be as fluid and flexible on both sides, if possible. Doing so will help with stability in walking and overall balance. Yoga is an excellent stretch plus exercise plan, and classes are available at most community centers and gyms. Remember: stretches may be difficult or slightly painful at first, so go slow, but the most important part is…
Stretching a light workout one day and then 5 days of rest will not be effective. If you find your recovery time from any tenderness or soreness is more than 24 hours, consider backing down the intensity and certainly the weight, if lifting. Planning time in your daily life for exercise will lead to healthier living and quicker recovery from most episodes, and your doctor will love you for it!Tags: healthy living, helpful tips, home care, in home care, physical therapy