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The benefits of being physically active and fit are well known, not only for our physical wellbeing – heart health, lung capacity, weight management and a whole sleu of other benefits, but also for our mental wellbeing. Exercise therapy, however, goes beyond that.
What happens if you have an injury at work or a motor vehicle accident or chronic pain due a congenital abnormality? Should you exercise at all? Exercise therapy is the answer. First of all, it is a supervized, and tailored, highly specialized form of focused exercise that deals with your specific problem in a rehabilitative and restorative function. Secondly, when you are in pain, whether it’s caused by an injury or a chronic condition brought about by repetitive stress, physical activity seems impossible. Exercise therapy which is slow- paced, focused, and rehabilitative is the answer.
Injuries happen, whether suddenly or cumulatively, and chronic conditions didn’t happen overnight; they took years to manifest. Postural abnormalities develop over decades and repetitive stress syndrome is found in many professions. We stand too long in our professions or sit too long. We wear high heels for too long, and we are at the computer or texting for too long. We carry heavy loads on our shoulders and slouch on our sofas. Our bodies were created for movement and physical activity, yet we often neglect this. We use our bodies in ways that they aren’t quite meant for, and doing this over a lifetime can cause degenerative changes and pain. A range of therapeutic exercise options are often recommended for injury prevention and rehabilitation, and can also be used to address faulty range of motion patterns that may have been the cause of an injury or repetitive stress syndrome.
Much research has been done that supports the use of therapeutically prescribed focused exercise programs for conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, scoliosis, osteoporosis, chronic back pain, and heart disease.
Exercise therapy can also help relieve stress, help you get a better night’s sleep, combat depression, and generally improve your sense of wellbeing. Physical activity combats depression because it causes the body to release endorphins, naturally occurring chemicals in the body known to elevate mood. It literally makes your brain release “feel good euphoric chemicals”!
Those who maintain their physical fitness appear younger and have a greater sense of well-being–this manifests in our professional life and personal life. It’s not just about adding years to your life; it’s about adding life to your years!