Consistency Makes Perfect:
By Ashley Paulos, PTA
Almost everyone, regardless of age, values the ability to function as independently as possible. From the moment we are born, time is against us. It is our responsibility to take care of our bodies and make it last as long as possible.
There is a lesson we can learn from fitness legend and role model Jack LaLanne. His life accomplishments were incredible, and some would say impossible, but however you think of him, he taught us that it takes consistency to stay healthy and have optimal function. LaLanne was consistent with his daily routine of fitness, health and happiness, and this served him very well. It's not motivation or willpower that kept him going, but the fact that he knew he had to take action and schedule activities into his daily routine to stay alive.
Preforming therapeutic exercises, safely and consistently will help maintain and possibly progress your overall body function. In definition, “therapeutic exercise is the systemic, planned performance of bodily movements, posture or physical activities”* intended to:
- Improve or prevent impairments
- Restore or enhance physical function
- Prevent or reduce health-related risk factors
- Optimize overall health status, fitness level or sense of well-being
The human body requires physical function in order to get physiological change. Physical function is multidimensional and requires diverse and interrelated activities to improve and/or maintain the body as a whole. These elements are:
- Balance and postural equilibrium
- Neuromuscular control and coordination
- Mobility and flexibility
- Cardiopulmonary fitness and endurance
- Muscle performance
The systems of the body that control each of these elements listed above react, adapt and develop in response to forces and physical stresses placed upon them. Gravity is a constant force that affects the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and circulatory systems, but the body needs additional forces that we get from physical activity to help maintain a functional level of strength, cardiopulmonary fitness, and mobility.
"Therapeutic exercise interventions involve the application of carefully graded physical stresses and forces that are imposed on specific structures of the body in a controlled, progressive, safely executed manner to improve overall function."*
Regardless of the type of exercise, one most always remember that safety is paramount. If you are ready to challenge yourself and take charge of your life, talk with a Physical Therapist or your physician about a safe and effective daily workout routine specific for you. No matter the health or skill level, being persistent with mobility and activity is a positive impact on one’s life physically and mentally.
Schedule time to go for morning walks with friends or family, sign up for a weekly dance class, or even a laughing yoga class, whatever makes you happy and healthy schedule it, do it and keep doing it. It won't be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it. If you never take action and start a daily routine, you'll never know your full potential.
"The only way you can hurt the body is not use it."
“Therapeutic Exercise” - Kilsner and Colby