For people with a neurological condition this can be even more challenging. Here are some simple tips on how to do that.
1. Do it your way.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or going out for a run; it could be something as simple as housework or a walk.
2. Make it part of your daily routine.
You’re more likely to stick with it if it is easy. If you are in a wheelchair, while you are watching the TV you could use advert breaks to do some exercise: why not try some arm jogging while you are watching the adverts? Or some balance work when you are putting the kettle on?
Short can be sweet!
Just a minute of arm jogging with a bit of gusto will improve your heart rate and get you breathing deeper. There is growing evidence to show that doing short bursts of exercise, rather than one great long burst, will improve fitness. When fatigue and heat can be a factor, exercising like this can really help.
3. Pace yourself.
Don’t overdo it, especially if starting to exercise after a break. Listen to your body when it tells you to stop, by the time you are feeling tired you may have already overdone it.
The goal is 150 minutes per week of activity to make you breathless – just two lots of 15 minutes for 5 days out of each week; a good way to check if you are doing the right amount is to do no more the amount you could easily do on your first session, providing you don’t have any side effects to that quickly build up over the next few sessions. You will get to learn how much you can manage in one go without leaving yourself exhausted. And remember that other important activities like work, cooking or parenting, take up energy too. Leave yourself enough in the tank to get through the day.
4. Stay cool.
Everyone can feel lethargic in hot or humid weather. Try using a fan or a cold water spray when exercising or have a cool bath before you start.
5. Remember to breathe!
It might sound obvious, but you would be surprised by the number of people who hold their breath when they exercise. Focus on breathing normally during the exercises.
6. Set up a nudge.
Have a trigger to remind you to exercise. Maybe when the adverts or weather come on the television, or while waiting for the kettle to boil. Set an alarm on your phone?
7. Falls prevention
Keeping fit and active will help you keep mobile and reduce the risk of falls. Serious falls can be prevented with appropriate physiotherapy treatment and balance / strengthening exercises. Here is some recent research detailing the costs involved in falls.
Across the UK every year 280,000 people end up in A&E after a fall, costing the NHS £1.5 billion.
If everyone 65+ at risk of falling was referred to physiotherapy 160,000 falls would be prevented, saving the NHS £250 million every year.
Major falls are falls that result in a hospital admission costing an average of £5,000 each time
Physiotherapy not only saves the NHS money it also helps older people enjoy an active and fulfilling life, expert Neurophysiotherapy treatment and advice will ensure you are doing the right things at the right time for your condition.