Oftentimes patients ask me “when can I start exercising and what are some exercises that I can do at home?” Most practitioners are very pleased when patient’s desire to participate in their health care. This could be from desiring to change their diet to breaking a bad habit, or inquiring about exercise. Asking for guidance along these lines from your doctor is usually well received, and special advice is often given to help foster this transition.
In the case of exercise, there are some general guidelines that should be observed:
- Listen to your body. If after performing a exercise, you experience unusual pain, or a lack in mobility in a joint, discontinue this until you have been evaluated.
- Remember if a little is good, more is not better! If your doctor recommends you to do 10 repetitions for an exercise, performing 50 repetitions is not necessarily better and may be counter productive.
- If performing aerobic exercises, do not exercise above your target heart rate (which is getting your pulse up to 185 minus your age). When considering target heart rate, individuals on certain medication designed to lower blood pressure or heart rate, may be on different parameters.
- Never exercise an inflamed joint. If you exercise an inflamed joint, it has the potential of becoming more inflamed.
- You can never loose with walking! Walking is a natural activity for us and is very therapeutic for many spinal and joint disorders. Often times, I will have a patient exaggerate a certain movement when walking such as marching or taking long strides to aid in the healing process. Walking outdoors when possible or in a open area in which long strides are available is much preferred over using a treadmill. Even though treadmills are a second best, and could be very useful to cycle into a walking program, keep in mind that it is a different activity when the surface you are walking on moves underneath your feet.
Other considerations when exercising is to wearing good walking or athletic shoes with a good arch support to help prevent muscular strain and injuries.
With all exercise, remember to start slow and gradually increase your activity. It is normal for a person to feel a conditioning soreness or achiness, especially when they “wake up” new muscle groups.
However, if discomfort is intense or persistent, Contact our office. We work with several sports and conditioning injuries, ranging from the weekend warrior to semi-professional athletes.