How To Stay Compliant With Your Home Exercise Program
During your physical therapy care, your therapist will design a home exercise program tailored to your needs, pain complaints, muscle weaknesses, and areas of inflexibility. Your therapist will provide you with advice on proper form with each exercise, how to progress each exercise at home, and a schedule for performing each exercise. A print out with a picture and written instructions of each exercise is often provided as well. These programs are important to follow through with in order to maintain the gains made in physical therapy with your flexibility, strength, posture, and reduction in your pain. However, one of the most common excuses we hear from patients of why they aren’t following through with their home exercise program is they are “too busy” or “don’t have enough time.” Here are some ways to fit your exercise program into your daily schedule no matter how busy you are and stay consistent!
1) Set goals for yourself. Challenge a family or friend to a certain number of workouts each week. Set up rewards for yourself for hitting your goals. Competition is a good motivator!
2) Schedule a day and time for your exercise program. Just like you schedule a physical therapy appointment, set out a specific day and time to perform your home exercise program. Treat each workout like an appointment you can’t miss. The more times you meet your scheduled workout day and time, the more consistent you will become. And then your exercise program will become a part of your normal routine!
3) Hire a personal trainer or join an exercise class at your local gym. Workout with a friend. Some people are more consistent when they have another person motivating them. You may also have more fun doing your workout with a friend or family member.
4) Visualize your progress. Track your participation with your home exercise program on a chart in your home or on an app on your phone. Seeing your progress and dedication can be a great motivator.
5) Performing some of your exercise over none of your exercises is best! Even on days when you don’t feel like exercising or you are “too busy”, doing some of your exercises is better than not doing any exercise!
6) Sprinkle your exercises throughout the day if you are unable to carve out one specific time to do them all if you are still “too busy.” You don’t need to do all of your home exercises at one time during the day. Do some of your neck stretches while sitting in traffic in your car. Do some of your exercises while sitting at your desk at work. Do some of your exercises during commercials while watching TV. Do your heel raises when brushing your teeth or washing dishes at the sink. Squeeze in 1 or 2 exercises wherever you can during the day.
Making your home exercise a priority in your day will benefit you by maintaining the gains made during your course of physical therapy. It may also help you maintain your functional mobility and independence for longer periods of time between episodes of physical therapy care. Visit Chesapeake Bay Aquatic & Physical Therapy in Maryland.