You know that physical activity is good for you. The benefits are well researched and the list is impressive. Here’s just a sampling of what exercise can do:
- Releases endorphins to make you feel good and fight depression
- Helps control weight
- Prevents diseases like stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer
- Improves sleep
- Helps you live longer
Recent studies even show that physical activity strengthens your immune system, with a protective effect against COVID, and that staying active through middle age and beyond protects your brain as you age.
Physical activity is a wonder drug. If it was a pill, you’d buy it and take it every day. But even though activity is free, less than 25% of Americans meet the recommendations for physical activity published by expert organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. We clearly need help!
Physical Therapists Are Experts in Human Movement
To get the benefits of physical activity, you have to move! Physical Therapists do more than help you recover from surgeries or major injuries. They are the experts in human movement. There are other professionals that help people stay active like, strength coaches, personal trainers, and group fitness instructors. But a PT can do more to help you to achieve optimal physical health. Nobody knows more about human movement or looks at physical health and function the same way a PT does. Your PT can help you with every aspect of movement including strength, range of motion, flexibility, endurance, balance and coordination. With a physical therapist managing your musculoskeletal function, your body will be better able to respond to your choice of physical activity. Think of physical therapists as builders of the foundation that can then be impacted by the other activity coaches in your life – like your trainer, or your dance instructor, or the coach that specializes in the activities required for your particular sport.
And as medical professionals with doctorate degrees, physical therapists can help you to deal with injuries, recovery from illness, or other health issues. Your PT can work with your doctor to help use activity to manage things like diabetes, cholesterol levels or blood pressure – sometimes instead of pharmaceutical prescriptions. Your PT is also trained to work with people of all ages, so you can develop a long-term relationship and they can continue to adjust and modify your physical routines as you age or as your lifestyle or goals change.
Stay Healthy For Life
Staying active has a long list of benefits – both now and in the future. But chances are you’re not moving enough to make the most of those benefits. Most people need help. Physical therapists are the most qualified professional in existence to help keep you physically healthy now and in the future. So don’t think of your PT as someone you see when you need help with pain or an injury. Think of them as your partner and coach – working with you to help you stay healthy for life.