As the countdown to a new year begins, so do the resolutions to start working out. But while able-bodied people and younger generations simply have to join a gym and commit to a routine to achieve their fitness goals, it’s not that easy for everyone.
Starting an exercise routine can seem impossible for those of us with mobility issues caused by injury, illness, obesity, or just a few more decades of ringing in the new year under our belts. Where do you start? What kind of exercises can you do? How can you avoid injury? How do you stay motivated? All questions that can overwhelm you at first. But trust us—you can do this!
The Hard Part
The hardest part of exercising is starting your routine. There are countless classes, diets, work-out programs, videos, books, and magazine articles that promise you washboard abs, Brazilian bums, or beach-ready bodies. While variety is the spice of life, all of those resources can get pretty overwhelming. And just because the latest Instagram model or talk-show host swears by a particular routine doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone—especially if you have limited mobility.
Starting an exercise program when you have mobility issues requires a deep understanding of an individual’s body, it’s limitations, and their end goals. Without the right knowledge and expertise, you run the risk of severe injury and damage to your overall health. It’s also important that you keep your expectations within the scope of your capacity—if you have arthritis in your hips, you probably shouldn’t expect to do a split after only a few weeks of stretching.
Physical Therapy for Physical Fitness
Just because you have limited mobility doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise—you just have to do it differently! Physical therapy is a fantastic way to help you start a fitness routine. By assessing your current health conditions, physical therapists can tailor exercise routines to fit your needs. They will guide you as you learn how to work out and avoid injuries while doing so. The more committed you are, the more you advance. And the more you advance, the more your mobility improves so that you can take your fitness regime to the next level!