(O’FALLON, IL) – Winter weather is in full gear and HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is encouraging people to get up and get moving. If you made a New Year’s resolution to exercise more, do not let the cold and short days keep you from being active.
“This time of year, people begin to set goals and make resolutions to lose weight or get into better shape. Of course, this requires increasing your amount of physical activity. More activity is great for your health, energy levels, sleep and mood,” said HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Director of Therapy Services Tom Dibadj, PT, DPT.
Physical activity makes your daily life better and also makes it easier to do everyday tasks at work and home. Activity also helps to reduce symptoms of many ailments including arthritis, anxiety and depression. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, physical activity can help keep them under control. Additionally, research has found that regular physical activity reduces the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases such as cardiac disease, as well as improving your bone and brain health and assisting in weight control.
“We all need to keep our bodies moving and somewhat active, so when the nice weather gets here, we can go out and enjoy it without feeling tired and out of shape,” said Dibadi.
Remember – more than just organized exercise counts as activity. Now is the time to get up and move, as it will help burn calories and get blood flowing. Activities include:
A regular exercise routine is also beneficial. Some basic exercises that can be done at home include:
Light strengthening exercises with exercise bands or hand-held weights
Calisthenics such as squats, lunges, push-ups
Stationary bike or treadmill
Yoga or stretching exercises
Marching exercises in your living room
Keep in mind, it is about moving more and sitting less. Some people need guidance and recommendations for an exercise program. Physical Therapists (PTs) are the “movement specialists” and can assist in setting up realistic goals and exercise for activity plans.
“Many people think of PTs as the person to see after an injury, but a visit before you change your activity level could prevent injury in the first place,” Dibadj said. “Your therapist will assess your current activity level including your strength, range of motion, balance and functional movement patterns and will create a realistic plan to assist you in your goals in maintaining an optimal physical activity level.”
Interested in learning more or starting a fitness plan, call St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Physical Therapy Services at (618) 624-3668.