Staying active is important year-round, but as the sun begins setting earlier and cool weather rolls in during fall, it’s easier to let physical activity slow down. Dave Kempfert, Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee, is sharing his tips to help you stay active this fall.
As a physical therapist, what are some ways you encourage people to stay active on their own?
Exercise programs can seem daunting and time consuming to some, but there are simple steps people can take to easily increase their physical activity. Things like opting to take the stairs and parking further from store entrances are easy ways to increase activity.
Chances are, you’re already performing daily tasks, like laundry and dishes. Challenge yourself to do a squat for every few pieces of clothing taken from the dryer, or do calf raises when putting dishes into cabinets.
If you prefer a guided exercises program, use technology! Exercise videos and apps are widely available and can help you work out independently from almost anywhere.
Lastly, dance! You don’t have to be good. I am a horrible dancer, but I have fun dancing with my kids and I think my awkwardness actually makes me get a better work out!
Fall is synonymous with nice weather and plenty of outdoor activities. What are a few ways you and your family can get outdoors?
Fall is a great time to get outdoors. Find family-friendly outdoor activities at home like raking leaves, neighborhood walks or playing backyard games like whiffle ball, football or volleyball. Fall also brings a number of outdoor events that provide great exercise, like visiting a pumpkin patch, corn maze or even a haunted house.
On colder days, is it important to warm up your muscles before exercising?
Warm-ups generally involve performing an activity at a slow pace and reduced intensity and helps you prepare for other more “aggressive” activities. Warm-ups are recommended to increase your body temperature and blood flow to your muscles prior to activity. This may help you transition more comfortably to other activities, reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury. A properly performed warm-up focuses on large muscle groups, and although it’s normal for a warm-up to cause mild perspiration, it shouldn’t leave you feeling fatigued before your anticipated activity.
What are a few exercises anyone can do to improve their range of motion, flexibility, etc.?
Incorporating easy stretches and exercises throughout the day is important to keep your body loose and mobile. A few we encourage are:
Calf stretches off step/curb
Seated hamstring stretches
Standing hip abduction/marching
Repeat sitting and standing from a chair
Reach overhead with years hands together and bend your sides to the right and left
Roll your shoulders and squeeze blades together to improve posture
Hug yourself and rotate trunk to the right and left
*Before beginning an exercise or stretching program, please consult with a medical professional.
The Bone and Joint Rehabilitation Services team is ready to help you recover from injury, increase mobility and get your body moving. To learn more, visit Rehabilitation Services Share this Article