Movement is key. The statement says it all, however I feel it may be beneficial to elaborate just a little more… We as health professionals can sometimes get caught up seeing everyone as needing rehabilitation in whatever field we may be in. But it is important to remember that not everyone is ‘broken’, and that sometimes just moving is important. I have previously written an article called “movement helps recovery” (link below), however I thought I would expand on this in respect to the topic of rehabilitation. I will rehash my main points from the previous article, however there are many other reasons why movement is key, such as mental, heart and lung health.
Two major ideas we try to instill in all clients that come through START Training are:
- Something is better than nothing.
- It doesn’t matter if you are walking, swimming or spending hours in the gym. Doing something is always better than nothing. If you are having a busy week and are still able to exercise 2 days as apposed to your regular 5, then that’s still awesome. If you aren’t exercising the your ‘ideal’ amount but are still trying, that’s magic.
- We need to remember to stop comparing ourselves to others. Which I know is much easier said than done. But my point remains.
- If you enjoy an exercise or activity you are more likely to continue doing it and it won’t feel like a chore. If its something you want to do, then you find it easier to make time for that activity.
YOUR BODY IS BUILT TO MOVE! This is crucial to keep in mind. As much as exercise or sport can seem like a burden or an avenue to injury, the body actually functions better when it moves. It has been proven that movement improves joint health, increases muscle strength and durability, whilst also helping with a plethora of chronic diseases ranging from between heart disease, lung issues and cancer.
The first step is remembering to move and building a habit. Start small and what you are capable of and build from there. One of the best ways to start is make a regular time around work or other commitments. But make it regular. I recognize that this becomes more difficult with shift work, however, the premise remains, and you can work out how it will fit into your days best. If you are organised, it becomes easier.
Habit building and encouraging movement is imperative when talking about weight loss. If you build a habit this works best in conjunction with a well-structured meal plan. The exercise and movement help bring the energy expenditure higher than the energy input, causing the deficit necessary for weight loss. The important thing to remember is that you move!
As I have mentioned previously, maintaining movement and strength is important when rehabilitating an injury. This is vital to maintain strength and range of movement. REST is often advised with an injury, however we need to remember active rest is what we should be aiming for. Active rest means adjusting exercises to prevent any exacerbation of the injury, and/or changing the mode of exercise to simply maintain fitness levels. By preserving maximal movement, we are able to limit range of motion lost, muscle wastage, and keep muscles active and functional. For more information on this topic of movement and rehabilitation please follow the link https://starttraining.net.au/move-help-recover/.
Exercise has been shown to not only assist rehabilitation of injuries, but also many chronic diseases in terms of prevention and treatment. This includes a broad range of conditions such as; diabetes, heart conditions, COPD, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and the list goes on. With more Australians not hitting the daily recommended targets for physical activity, it’s an important time to remember to MOVE. It can be as simple as walking to dog.
One of the biggest benefits of movement is the positive effects it has on the brain. It has been shown to help many mental illnesses such as memory loss, depression and anxiety. Exercise stimulates release of particular chemicals (like endorphins and serotonin) in the brain which help improve your mood. Regular exercise is best. Its extremely important to remember to carve time out of your day for exercise. There are so many health benefits of exercising that everyone should aim do it as often as they can.
Far too often we as clinicians can focus on ‘moving correctly’, or someone not exercising in the ‘right way’. We need to remember that movement is key!! Getting too focused on correct technique or viewing everyone as a rehabilitation case is far too common. We must be more accommodating to make sure we are helping everybody stay active and moving and always remember that something is better than nothing!