Sticking to Your Rehab Programme is never easy, here are some handy tips to help keep you on track
Sticking to a physiotherapy home exercise programme can be very hard for many people to adhere to. According to research up to 65% of people struggle to do their physiotherapy “homework”. However, many physiotherapists say that the work you do at home is at least as important as the time spent within the clinic. So it is important to address the motivational and practical aspects of exercise adherence to ensure that you are successful. Here are some tips on how to make your exercise programme a new habit that you can maintain.
1. Make it personal to you
Identifying a realistic goal that is specific to you can be powerful aid to assisting you to stick to a plan – whether that is playing with your children, doing a park run or planning a walking holiday. Keeping these goals in mind can help you to keep on target.
2. Plan ahead
Plan ahead when will be the best time to do your exercises. Prioritise this time for yourself. Either set reminders, such as an alarm on your phone or writing a reminder on a calendar. If you are prescribed exercises at Body Works we can email you an exercise diary along with a print out of your exercises.
3. Make exercise pleasurable rather than a chore
When doing your exercises you may find that putting on music that you enjoy, using an exercise mat or blanket to do them on, or doing them before a coffee or tea break may help you to associate your exercise with relaxation or enjoyment rather than a chore that needs to be rushed through. Linking your exercise with other positive actions will help you to keep going.
and set other styles.
4.Make the most of the mornings
Exercising first thing can be a useful strategy as, for many of us, the day only gets more hectic as the hours go by, and more excuses can also creep in!
5. Exercise with a friend
If one of your targets is to increase your walking or go to a gym, it can be easier to buddy up with a friend. This can help to make your exercise more sociable and enjoyable and you can motivate one another to keep going.
6. Link your exercises with another activity
Combining some physiotherapy exercises with other routine activities can be a big time saver and help to form habits that will stay with you for the long haul. For example doing pelvic floor exercises whilst in the car, when waiting at a red light, or practicing shoulder mobility or balance exercises when whilst the kettle is boiling. So why not look at a typical day’s schedule and see if you can spot pockets of time in the day when you can fit in the exercises.
7. Maintenance dose
All too often when our pain goes away or we feel stronger we stop doing our exercises only to find that the problem returns. Often continuing with a “maintenance dose” of exercise, for example 2/3 times a week, can help to keep your symptoms at bay.
8.Be realistic about your time
Try to be honest and realistic about how much time you are likely to spend doing your physiotherapy “homework”. If you really don’t think you’ll manage more that 2 or 3 exercises we can work with you to pick the most beneficial one’s for you to do.
9. Be kind to yourself
Sometimes even with the best will in the world , “stuff” can just get in the way and you may miss the odd day or week here or there. Don’t be hard on yourself, but see if you can find different ways or tactics to get back on track in order to help to achieve your goals.