As the weather cools, it is tempting to be less physically active. October is National Physical Therapy Month, and it is the perfect time to focus on healthy self-care — physical therapy is not just provided by a physical therapist, we can do things at home to receive physical therapy health benefits. It can help all ages with medical conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit our ability to function. Medical institutions also recognize the power of physical therapy in treating mental and emotional disorders. Physical exercise helps manage age-related issues such as arthritis and improves overall function and mobility, while reducing the need for pain medications. Let us make this month all about taking care of ourselves and learn the benefits through easy home-based exercises we can do. These exercises include muscle stretching (legs & hips); start by stand facing a chair, place left foot up on the chair, slowly shift your weight forward towards the back of the chair, hold for 30 seconds, repeat for right leg. Neck retraction is a good posture correcting exercise; start by sitting down, look straight forward, tuck your chin in, and hold for 1-2 seconds, release and repeat five times. A lumbar extension for stress release in your back is one we can do at any point during our busy lives. Stand up straight, place hands on your lower back, slowly bend backwards as far as you feel comfortable, hold this position for 3 seconds, repeat 5 times. These simple physical therapy exercises are ones that we can do every day for just minutes out of our busy, active day but exercises that will give us years of better mobility and higher overall functional ability. The Nurse.
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