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In a previous article, I reviewed the basic guidelines for physical activity for adults.  You may recall that the recommended minimum weekly volume of exercise for most adults is 2.5 hours (150 minutes) of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, 2 sessions of muscle strengthening and to consider integrating balance/stability work.  This is a great guideline that the Zoomers physiotherapy team uses regularly to help clients reach their activity goals. I also reviewed some of the reasons why exercise is a powerful “medicine” that most of us should be taking regularly in the form of an individualized active rehab program.

Why, then, do so many of us struggle to maintain an active lifestyle and meet these benchmarks of active rehab?  Often, it’s not for lack of knowledge or intention but rather an apparent inability to make it happen.  I want to suggest some common-sense solutions for a few of the hurdles that may be preventing you from getting your weekly “dose” of active rehab exercise.

“I’m worried I’ll hurt myself”

  • Talk to your doctor to ensure you have no activity restrictions based on your medical history; or if there are restrictions, understand what you can and cannot do safely throughout active rehab.
  • Meet with a member of the Zoomers physiotherapy team for an assessment of your physical abilities to determine appropriate activities and exercises for your body as well as identify any specific safety considerations.
  • Consider doing supervised exercises with physiotherapy guidance until you feel confident enough to do active rehab independently.

“I don’t feel like it”

  • Consider inviting a friend or family member to do it with you or join an exercise group/class; sometimes making active rehab more social will help it be more enjoyable and help you commit to it.
  • Try a new activity to keep it interesting. 
  • Understand that regular exercise will actually increase your energy level.
  • Make a plan and commit to sticking to it; consider setting up some rewards for yourself if you stick to your active rehab plan! 

“I’m too busy”

(this is probably one of the most common hurdles that I hear during physiotherapy sessions)

  • Try exercising first thing in the morning, there are fewer scheduling conflicts in the morning (except the snooze alarm!).
  • Find short periods to “squeeze it in”; aerobic exercise (ie: walking) can be of benefit even if it is broken down into sessions as short as 10 minutes.  Some ways to do this include parking further from the door, doing an extra lap inside the mall, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. All of these things can count towards your active rehab!
  • Consider doing some strengthening or balance exercises while watching TV, even if only during the commercial breaks. If you’re having trouble knowing which exercises to do, physiotherapy can provide you with an individualized plan. 

“I can’t afford an expensive gym membership or class.”

  • Consider walking regularly, the only cost is a good pair of shoes. Zoomers Physiotherapy organizes walking programs and presentations in Halifax throughout the year to help you get out and get moving comfortably and safely. 
  • Make weights out of small household items (soup cans, water bottles etc).
  • Investigate the free community health programs that offer active rehab opportunities.

Through all phases of life, we face hurdles that challenge our ability to maintain an active lifestyle.  However, active rehab is one of the most powerful tools that we each have to maximize our independence, health and happiness. If you are finding it difficult to incorporate active rehab into your life, book an assessment with a member of the Zoomers Physiotherapy team to help you get on track and achieve your goals. 

Book an assessment with Zoomers

Use our online booking tool to find a time that works for you!