Exercise has a multitude of benefits including preventing and maintaining a wide range of health problems and concerns. As part of your physiotherapist’s training, not only do they understand exercise for rehabilitation, but your physiotherapist is an expert at prescribing higher level exercises following injury. This means that your physiotherapist can also prescribe exercises which are fitness and age appropriate.
What should I include in my exercise program?
A wholistic exercise program should encompass a number of key facets and components. Depending on the individual, your exercise program may prioritise several components. Physiotherapists are trained to assess and ensure that exercise is meeting all your individual requirements. A comprehensive and thorough exercise program will include various components. These components should include:
- Cardiovascular exercise.
- Resistance or strength training
- Core exercises.
- Balance exercise.
- Flexibility or mobility exercises.
Some exercises may incorporate a number of these components. For example, a gym program may include strength and core exercises within the session. Clinical pilates can commonly include flexibility, balance and core exercises within an individual session.
What exercises should I do?
The type of exercise that you decide to do is going to differ from person to person. This may be dependent on a number of factors including previous injury, current injury history, age related changes and individual goals.
Your exercise program should also be balanced. What does that mean? In order to prevent injuries or muscle imbalances, your exercise program should include exercises to prevent imbalances. For example, with a resistance program, if you perform pushing exercises it should also include an equal amount of pulling exercises. (i.e if you perform bench press type exercises, you should also include row-type exercise programs). Functional exercise training can be a great method to ensure a balanced and appropriate strength training program which can be individualised and customised.
Importantly, exercise should never be a chore. Choose a range of exercises that you find enjoyable. Group classes can be a fun and social way to exercise.
No pain, no gain?
However, one thing is certain. It is important that exercise be pain free. Whilst the old adage of “no pain, no gain” has been utilised, research shows that this can actually be detrimental. When a muscle experiences pain, your brain can actually inhibits and switches off the muscle groups. Hence, exercising whilst in pain or exercises that cause pain can actually be counterproductive.
How often should I exercise?
This is a very common question that people commonly ask when it comes to any form of exercise. Any exercise is always going to be better than nothing. The Heart Foundation currently recommends 2.5 – 5 hours of exercise throughout the week. Importantly, this can be broken down to manageable and smaller intervals.
The key is to set realistic goals and expectations. Exercise sessions done consistently week in and week out is going to provide great results. A haphazard and inconsistent exercise program is not only detrimental to results but can actually increase risk of injury. Your health professional can ensure you map out a realistic and safe exercise program to meet your specific and individual goals.
Malvern East Physiotherapy has a range of individual and group based exercise programs to assist you keeping active and injury free! All our exercise programs are supervised by a physiotherapist to ensure you’re exercise program is safe and effective. If you’re not sure where to start or getting tired of your exercise program, book an exercise assessment with one of our physiotherapists. Book online or call us today.