Oklahoma Hand and Physical Therapy

7 Ways To Get More Physical Activity Into Your Routine

The longer you live with chronic pain, the more it seems like it will never go away. It becomes increasingly difficult to view a particular pain as something that you can handle and treat once you accept it as a part of your life.

Many people turn to strategies to hide the pain, which frequently includes the use of pain medication. However, this is not always an effective strategy, and long-term pain drug use can cause serious difficulties on its own.

If you’re living with chronic pain, getting more exercise in your life could be difficult to begin at first, but it’s also one of the best and most natural ways to help yourself feel better. Keep reading to learn more about strategies for getting in shape and feeling your best, and call Oklahoma Hand & Physical Therapy to set up an appointment with one of our physical therapists!

Strategies to Incoproate Physical Activity Into Your Day

The longer you live with chronic pain, the more you become accustomed to avoiding strenuous activity. This is unfortunate, because regular physical activity, especially when guided by a physical therapist, might help you begin to overcome your daily pain and discomfort!

Finding strategies to gradually increase your physical activity can make you feel better.

As you are getting started with becoming more active, baby steps are key. Attempting to go It’s not a good idea to go from doing nothing to running a marathon. You should start with tiny actions to assist you to develop a more active lifestyle. Your new active lifestyle habits will be more sustainable if you take incremental steps.

The key is to find ways to integrate activity into your life in a way that is so natural that you won’t even notice how much time you are spending being active. This goes far beyond making a trip to the gym for 30 minutes to an hour every day—though that is a great way to support an active lifestyle, as well.

Here are seven strategies that can help you become more active every day:

  1. Try to incorporate activity into family time. Instead of spending an evening together on the couch, think about ways that you can become more active together by going for a walk together or spending time throwing a ball together outdoors. This is a great way to become a bit more active while encouraging healthier habits across your household.
  2. Make a habit of taking as many steps as possible when doing basic tasks around the house. This may mean something as simple as taking the dog for a walk a few times a day rather than just letting him out in the yard to run around, or deciding to go for a walk to the mailbox rather than stopping at the end of the driveway on your way home.
  3. Walk around more. This is especially a great strategy if you are in the office on the phone a lot. Don’t sit in your seat and talk on the phone. Get up and pace back and forth to get a bunch of steps in as you get the job done.
  4. Exercise while you’re watching tv. Just like at work, when you are at home engaging in sedentary activity like watching TV, try to get more active. You don’t need to skip your favorite TV shows to fit in time to exercise. Try working out as you are watching TV. If you can make it to a gym you can even start to watch TV while on the treadmill.
  5. When possible, walk—don’t drive. This isn’t always possible depending on where you live and work, but if there is an errand you can run on foot instead of in the car, give it a try. Another way to make this possible is to figure out what errands you can run by parking your car in one location. See if you can go into multiple stores in a parking lot without having to change parking spaces.
  6. Start fitting in short workouts throughout the day. If you don’t believe you’ll have time to fit in a complete workout in the morning or evening, try breaking it up into smaller chunks throughout the day.
    1. Stretch for 10 minutes in the morning, then do a few simple cardio routines, then repeat the process over your lunch break for another 10 minutes. You can start doing some simple stretching before bed, and by the end of the day, you’ll have gotten in 30 minutes of serious exercise. This, combined with greater mobility throughout the day, can significantly enhance your level of activity.
  7. Take the stairs. Wherever you are, wherever you are going, take the stairs. The elevator is convenient, but stairs are a great form of exercise and so incorporating these into your daily activity can really help you on your journey to becoming more active.

How can physical therapy help me to overcome chronic pain?

While resting and taking it easy is part of allowing your body to mend, it’s not the only thing you should be doing when you’re in pain. Resting won’t make chronic pain go away. Getting a little more active, rather than spending more time off your feet, could be just what you need to finally receive some relief from your discomfort.

Of course, this does not mean you should ignore the discomfort and try to push through it on your own with strenuous activities. Working with a physical therapist can help you reduce pain and discomfort with targeted, safe activities that won’t make you feel worse afterward.

Being active daily can help to reduce the experience of chronic pain by:

  • Improve heart health
  • Supporting weight loss
  • Increasing range of motion
  • Supporting healthy muscle development

Call our clinic today to schedule an appointment

If you haven’t exercised in a while, starting small by increasing your physical activity level naturally is the best place to start. For guidance on what kind of exercise is best for you, and how to treat chronic pain while becoming more active, contact us. Call Oklahoma Hand & Physical Therapy today to see how physical therapy can help you live a pain-free life.