Want to get in shape? Consult a Physical Therapist

Most of us at one point or another has wanted to get in shape or at least exercise in some form or another for our overall well being. However, most of us also fail at this endeavor. How many gym memberships out there are going unused? The reasons for failure are multiple, but all too often we stop because of some sort of pain or injury associated with our fitness attempts. With the exception of the very young (let’s call that under 25), most of us at least have at least if not several preexisting conditions that need to be taken into consideration when starting an exercise program. No health care professional is better trained to recognize your health conditions and know how to work around them than a physical therapist.

All physical therapists graduating today complete a 4 year undergraduate degree followed by 3 years of graduate school and earn a Doctorate of  Physical Therapy (only one year less than medical school). Much of this education is focused on studying differential diagnosis, anatomy, kinesiology, exercise techniques, and patient safety, in addition to radiology, pharmacology, nutrition and other health related courses. No one except a physical therapist has the knowledge to incorporate your specific health history into a comprehensive program to include proper exercise technique, proper diet, safety and able to monitor your vital signs and know when to adjust your program.

Most of the better Physical Therapy practices offer fitness programs in house, but even if space does not allow, a physical therapist can still design and teach you a program that you can continue at home or at a fitness facility of your choice. A PT can guide you through any specific exercise program you wish to pursue from a water based program to rock climbing, but more often importantly, a PT has the knowledge and background to guide you away from activities that may be potentially harmful to you.

Exercise is SO important to us all. Study after study reveals that exercise is key to preventing or delaying most of life’s aliments from Alzheimer’s to arthritis and even many types of cancer. So when you are ready to get started, contact the health care provider with the most medical knowledge and have them guide you through the paces. Contact your Physical Therapist. You will not be disappointed and you will certainly start feeling better.

Article by Mark E. Reitz, PT