How Can You Life an Active Lifestyle?
With your busy life, it can be difficult to find time for physical activity. We all understand too well the lengthy to-do list that never seems to get completed. After a full day of work, running errands, making dinner, and still trying to find time to relax, it can be tough to try and force yourself to get out there and exercise. Fortunately, there are some helpful tricks and tips you can incorporate into your daily life that can help you stay motivated and active throughout the day – without taking up too much of your valuable time!
By incorporating these 5 easy steps into your lifestyle, you can remain active throughout the day while still staying true to your routine!
Tip #1: Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
We’ve all heard it before: “You need a good night’s sleep in order to perform your best.” But do we stay true to this? For most of us, the answer is “no,” whether it is intentional or not.
It is no secret that sleep is vital for the proper functioning of the body; however, sleep disturbances occur in approximately one-third of the US population. Physical therapy can help you achieve better sleep, which can also help you achieve a higher degree of activity in your waking hours. Physical therapists are trained in areas that are critical to sleep, such as pain modulation, tissue healing, cognitive functioning, and cardiovascular health. A physical therapist can also provide suggestions for how you can integrate sleep health with overall wellbeing.
Tip #2: Rid Yourself of Unnecessary Pain
One of the most common reasons why people lose their active lifestyle is pain. Whether it’s a pain you’ve been experiencing for some time, or the simple threat of pain occurring, it has proven enough to slow people down or sit them out altogether.
According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans experience chronic pain. An estimated 25.3 million adults reported pain every day for the preceding three months in a 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Nearly 40 million adults acknowledge suffering from severe pain, which is also a predictor of other health concerns.
Luckily, there is a simple way to manage or even eliminate pain completely: physical therapy! Skilled hands-on therapy from a trained physical therapist can all help in alleviating pain. Physical therapy treatments have also been proven to restore muscle and joint function, in order to help you lead a more active lifestyle.
Tip #3: Complete Daily Chores
Cleaning your house employs a variety of muscle groups, in addition to keeping you active. Every step you take and every inch you vacuum helps you stay fit. For an added benefit, squeeze your glutes and abdominal muscles as you’re tidying from room to room.
Tip #4: Invest in an Interactive Tool
There are a variety of products on the market that will encourage, inspire, and track your physical activity. Research shows that utilizing such products may have a favorable impact on your levels of activity. The key to success is to establish daily, weekly, or monthly goals that are easily tracked within the tool and to follow consistent strategies, such as:
- Writing down your goals. A common goal that people set for themselves is 10,000 steps per day. However, it is worthwhile to check with a medical professional, in order to avoid overextending yourself.
- Using the tool every single day. Consistency creates habits, which by nature are notoriously difficult to break.
- Engaging in activities that you enjoy. While tools come with limitations—namely the activities that it measures—it is extremely helpful to choose a tracker based on the activities you enjoy. If you are doing something that interests you, it will be easier to maintain over time.
- Encouraging your friends and family to use the tool with you. Many trackers have interactive features that allow you to measure your progress against someone else’s. Most of us also benefit from having a workout buddy, so this informal type of comparison can really serve as an effective motivator. Plus, you’ll have someone to hold you accountable for reaching your goals.
Tip #5: Take Daily Walks with a Friend or Your Dog
It is true that a dog is a man’s best friend – and your dog likely won’t back down from the opportunity to be your exercise companion. The arrival of a new pet, particularly a dog, is an effective way to get owners moving. Physical activity is necessary for a dog, even if it is simply a short walk every day. This can help owners remain accountable for getting their daily exercise in, as well. Don’t have a dog? Invite a friend! Having a human walking buddy can keep you just as motivated and accountable as a four-legged friend.
Want more assistance? Contact us!
If you’d like more motivation and structure on staying physically active in your daily life, don’t hesitate to contact Carlson ProCare today! Our licensed physical therapists will be more than happy to consult with you and discuss plans for your physical therapy journey. We’ll create a treatment plan for your specific needs and will help you achieve your health and wellness goals!
National Institute of Health. (2015.) NIH Analysis Shows Americans Are in Pain. August 11, 2015. <https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-analysis-shows-americans-are-pain>.
Siengsukon, Catherine A., Mayis Al-Doughmi, Suzanne Stevens. (2017.) Sleep Health Promotion: Practical Information for Physical Therapists. Phys Ther 2017 Aug 1; 97(8):826-836. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzx057.