Most of us like to think we are active, some of us engage in regular exercise in gyms or outside. Most people try to find opportunities to keep active such as standing more often or walking longer distances or leaving the car a bit further to their destination. Some older people walk on the spot by the sink whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. These are all great ways of achieving a more active lifestyle.
What is the recommendation for activity in adults?
The UK Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines recommend each week adults do:
- At least 150 minutes moderate intensity activity, 75 minutes’ vigorous activity, or a mixture of both.
- Strengthening activities on two days.
- Reducing extended periods of sitting.
There are specific guidelines for different age groups (adults aged 19 to 64, older adults, children and young people, children under 5 years and for wheelchair users). This is because our nutritional and exercise needs will vary across our lifespan. Physiotherapy may help with individualised prescription based around age, medical conditions or to further improve performance and function in an area.
Generally, adults should aim to:
- Do strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) on at least 2 days a week.
- Do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week.
- Spread exercise evenly over 4 to 5 days a week, or every day.
- Reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.
You can also achieve your weekly activity target with several short sessions of very vigorous intensity activity or a mix of moderate, vigorous, and very vigorous intensity activity.
Even the most active people, though, occasionally run into problems like discomfort, injuries, or difficulties with progressing their performance. This is where physiotherapy is essential, assisting physically active people to maintain their mobility, reduce pain, and maximise their potential. The physiotherapist will carry out an in-depth assessment that will cover major domains such that the impact of issues is revealed not only on a physical front but also how this affects the person’s function, performance, and psychology.
Specialist physiotherapists can provide support for musculoskeletal problems, frail clients with a high risk of falls and fractures, young people, people with disabilities and special needs and for people recovering from strokes and progressive neurological conditions. People with severely limited mobility who are wheelchair dependant some or all the time can also benefit from advice on how to keep and improve activity.
Physiotherapists can support people with advice and exercise prescription in any environment where they are active. This could include work, gyms or local pools, day centres or wherever the person needs advice and support to regain or maintain goals. Physiotherapists may actively engage with service providers and other health professionals to maximise opportunities for activity for clients. They will also assist with prescription of equipment, specific footwear or supports that may be required to maximise the person’s activity and function. Of course, exercise prescription is very important and progression of exercise is important to achieving goals.
Anyone who is devoted to an active lifestyle has injury prevention at the top of their priority list. Physiotherapy is an effective method for preventing injuries. It entails evaluating a person’s physical state to spot injury-prone zones, muscular imbalances, and weak points. Physiotherapists identify these problems, then create personalised exercise prescription to strengthen and improve control, reducing the risk of injury while engaging in physical activity. They will advise on correct movement patterns during activity that prevent injury in the future.
Rehabilitation and Recovery
Unfortunately, injuries are a fact of life for many physically active people. Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the healing process, whether it’s for a strained muscle, a joint injury, or post-surgical rehabilitation. Strength, flexibility, and mobility are the main goals of the specialised rehabilitation plans that physiotherapists prescribe for each patient. Physiotherapy aids people in getting back to their active hobbies as fast and securely as possible by encouraging appropriate healing and functional rehabilitation.
Physical activity sometimes comes with some level of pain. An active lifestyle might be hampered by overuse injuries, muscle strains, and other discomforts. As experts in pain management, physiotherapists use various approaches, including manual therapy, exercise, and modalities like heat and cold therapy as well as electrotherapy including TENS . These methods target the underlying causes while reducing pain and discomfort improving function and performance.
Physiotherapy is not just about injury prevention and rehabilitation; it can also enhance an individual’s overall performance. Active individuals can experience substantial improvements in their physical abilities through physiotherapy. Physiotherapists work with patients to refine movement patterns, improve biomechanics, and optimise muscle strength and flexibility. This leads to increased efficiency and effectiveness during l activities, potentially leading to better performance. Setting achievable goals with a physiotherapist can be particularly helpful, as many fail to achieve performance by setting themselves too high a goal, running the risk of injury.
Every active person is different, and their requirements and objectives can differ greatly. This uniqueness is considered in physiotherapy, which offers specialised care. Whether you are an enthusiastic walker or an avid cyclist, or are recovering from a recent injury or setback, your physiotherapy programme is customised to your needs and objectives. With this individualised approach, you are assured of maximising your progress.
Mental Health Benefits
Sadly, the psychological benefits of injury and poor performance are sometimes neglected. Having to deal with injuries or chronic pain can be emotionally draining, resulting in anxiety and depression. This may lead to a dependence on medication. Physiotherapists not only focus on physical healing but also offer encouragement and support. Psychological support can help people stay positive, focused, and resilient.
Active people are more likely to enjoy a lifetime of physical wellness. By addressing injuries and imbalances early on, physiotherapy can help prevent chronic conditions, maintain mobility, and promote overall health in the long term. This means a longer, active, fulfilling life filled with the activities you love.
Physiotherapy is an important part of maintaining an active lifestyle, with advantages that go far beyond injury recovery. Our physiotherapists at the Home Physio Group can give the direction and support needed to attain one’s full potential for people focussed on keeping active and seeking to improve their physical performance.
For more information, please contact us on 0330 335 1016 or alternatively please fill out our contact sheet and we will get back to you.