How Do I Start Running for Exercise?

While the act of running itself is quite simple, finding and getting into a routine of it can seem daunting and difficult. But no fear, today we are going to discuss a few tips to get you ready to run!

  1. Invest in a good pair of running sneakers – This is the one piece of equipment you need to run, so do yourself (and your legs) a favor and buy a good pair of sneakers. Your best way of finding the right shoe for you is to go to a sporting goods store or a running store, there you will find people who can help guide you to your perfect shoe.
  2. Start small and slow – Start by just running a block or a lap around a track and see how you feel. A good way to build endurance is to split your workout into run-walk-run-walk, etc. Another way to build up to increased distances is to give yourself a target and then go a little further; example: aim for a tree in the distance, then once you get to the tree go for the next building/mailbox/driveway etc. As you build endurance you will be able to push yourself farther and farther.
  3. Set a goal- Give yourself something to work toward! Get some friends or family and sign up for a fun laid back 1miler, 5k, etc. Community held races can be a great way to learn to pace yourself and meet other runners in your area.
    If you would like to learn more information about how to start running consistently for exercise, contact Harbor Physical Therapy and one of our physical therapists can help create you a running program.

So you Started Walking More……

In these unprecedented times, many people are turning to walking outside to relieve stress, spend some time outdoors, and maybe even to walk off a couple extra pounds they’ve gained while staying home. Walking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, boost your mood, and increase your endurance. It is a low-impact activity, so it is gentle on your joints. However, a sudden increase in repetitive physical activity can lead to the development of pain or injury. As you spend more time being active throughout your day, make sure you slowly build up your mileage/the time in which you are walking each day to prevent overuse injuries. If you are not used to walking for long periods of time, start with 10 minutes a day and slowly increase the amount of time you are walking until you reach your desired length (30 minutes per day is a great goal). You can even break up your walking into shorter, more frequent walks throughout the day to limit fatigue. As you walk, it is important that you wear supportive shoes to prevent the development of pain from poor alignment or poor body mechanics. If you have recently developed pain from an increase in exercise, have questions about the proper footwear for your body part, or are interested in learning more about other exercises you can do as you stay home, please contact our office to schedule a physical therapy evaluation today!

Written by; Dr. Chloe Smith

The Big 3 Ws (What, Why & When) about a Home Exercise Program (HEP)

What is a HEP?

A HEP is a set of customized exercises that patients complete at home to maintain and improve on therapeutic gains from their Physical Therapy sessions. HEPs are designed to be practical, simple and complimentary so that patients can perform at home with little to no guidance.

Why do I need a HEP?

For almost all physical therapy patients, an essential component of recovery is supplementing your physical therapy sessions with your recommended HEP. Poor compliance with performing the HEP will slow the rehab process and prevent the patient from reaching their physical therapy goals.  Here’s an analogy to help drive home the point.

Imagine if you had an infection, and your doctor gives you an antibiotic to take twice a day for 2 weeks. If you skip taking your antibiotics medication for 2-3 days, you don’t give your body the best chance to fight off the infection. The infection persists, and the treatment might take longer and be more expensive. So, performing your HEP is a way of daily taking your exercise medication to supplement the gains made with your physical therapist.

When should I get a HEP?

We as therapist have done you the patient a big disservice if we don’t give you the tools to maintain and progress the gains you make during your sessions with us. A HEP should be provided from day 1 of your therapy and periodically updated as you progress over the weeks and months. Upon discharge from physical therapy, an updated and final HEP should be provided. In the event of symptom exacerbation post physical therapy, your HEP should provide you with tools to manage your symptoms and maintain a state of wellness.

 

Written by:
Dr. Nelson Emokpae
Physical Therapist at HPT