Make exercise your medicine

Exercise has been shown to prevent and address various physical ailments and diseases. Today, we have a much better understanding of movement and this includes how to use movement to reduce pain and injury.

If you have some pain or niggles you want to address, why not make this a focus of your exercise? We’ve listed some steps to help you do this.

1. Choose one issue to work on
While you may have several issues that you want to address, it’s most effective to pick one to focus on at a time. Try to be as specific as possible. The more specific you can be, the better able you’ll be to address it. Consider:
• What is the issue? Maybe it’s pain or a limited range of motion.
• What part of the body is it in? Rather than saying your leg, you might be able to narrow it down to your calf muscle.
• When does the issue occur? Maybe it’s first thing in the morning or when you exercise.

2. Find exercises or workouts to address the issue
There are many workouts and exercise tutorials that are available online. You may be able to search for exercises or workouts to address your specific issue. Keep in mind, that you may need to try different things to find what works you. Alternatively, you may want to visit a health professional who specialises in treating the issue and seek the exercises they recommend to help you address it.

3. Spend 10-15 minutes a day doing the exercises
The more often you can perform the exercises, the more effective they’re likely to be. It’s unlikely that everyone can spend an hour doing their exercises every day and will stick with it. Instead aim for 10-15 minutes each day. You may like to pick a certain time of day to do your exercises or set reminders to help you stay on track. Remember to listen to your body – if something doesn’t feel right or is causing pain then you should stop.

4. Check in regularly
It’s important to check in with yourself regularly, such as once a week, to see how you’re going and how you’re feeling since doing the exercises. If you’re working with a health professional, they will likely schedule a regular follow up to talk this through with you. Regular checking can help you recognise if you need to make any changes and it can help you stay motivated, especially if you’re noticing improvement. You may find you’re feeling ready to progress some of the exercises.

Exercise can be a free and natural medicine. So why not give it a try?

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