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Importance Of Daily Exercise And Stretching

I always encourage my patients to exercise and stretch. We all have to begin somewhere. Getting started is the hardest part of any exercise program. I encourage my patients to make it a part of their daily routine, like brushing their teeth. If they say they do not have time, then we will discuss making time. Everyone can find 20 to 30 minutes a day when they are motivated and inventive. You can get on the floor and do your stretches or get on a stationary bike while watching TV. For patients that have been very sedentary, simple stretches are a good place to start. Floor pedals and a stationary bike are the best options for a patient with poor balance. Treadmills can be somewhat intimidating for older patients and may put the patient at risk of falling. Walking in the mall is an option when the weather is bad. If the patient has access to a pool, swimming is an awesome non-weight bearing exercise.

I encourage patients to keep a log of how long they have exercised and make notes as to how they feel when they are done. This will allow them to track their progress and keep them motivated. I personally have always found it helpful to write it on a calendar. You can display it on the front of the refrigerator since we all look at the refrigerator at some point during the day! Looking at the "blank" spots when you do not exercise will help to keep you on track and make you more accountable. Getting a work out buddy will also help you keep your goals in line. We all have to take steps to help ourselves this way. Unfortunately, more medication is not always the answer.