After years of practice I’ve realized something interesting. The over-active “athletes” I treat are just as injured as the overly “sedentary”. Just like with most things in life balance seems to be the key. Why is it that everyone feels there is a “right way” or “wrong way” to exercise?
Professional athletes, such as football players, will all have different exercise programs depending on the position they play. These programs are created because each player has a different job & will better prepare the player for their unique role on the field. Use the same mentality with your life. What’s your role at home, work, & hobbies.
For example, during the winter it wouldn’t be a bad idea to spend time doing activities that get you used to getting up and down off the floor, or exercises such as push-ups (on the wall or countertop) to get the wrists used to increased weight bearing. Both of these ideas would help with a slip & falls on ice.
If you feel unsteady on your feet and fearful of slipping on ice, spend time at home close to a wall, counter, or bed & practice shifting your weight from side to side, back and forth. Slower then faster depending on what you’re ready for. You’ll become a little more steady on your feet.
If your life is physically demanding, moderate to low intensity, endurance exercise routines may be a good fit for you. Keeping activity levels up but not overly stressing the body can strike a nice balance.
If you’re a new mom and have to lug around a new baby & car seat, all while your body is trying to return to its pre-pregnancy state, it’d probably be best for you to practice your foundational strength movement patterns (discussed in my previous article Unlocking the Strength of Our Inner Child) to help protect your core from any unneeded strain.
If your lifestyle and job puts you in a sedentary position (like a desk or commute) for most of the day then mobility and stretching programs like yoga would probably be the best fit for you.
Remember to use movement as a tool to better your life as a whole. Overly challenging yourself to the point of imbalance & injury isn’t the answer. Whatever you choose to do should strike balance in your life.
Lastly, If you find yourself in pain during exercise ask yourself if that is an “okay discomfort” or a “damaging pain”. If you don’t know the difference, you are not alone. I would say over 90% of my patients have a hard time distinguishing between the two.
As always, ask me during your appointment about different movements you do that you feel discomfort during. We can assess them and help guide you on the path of feeling more comfortable reaching those limits without further worsening your symptoms.