Ok, so I had big plans to go on my overseas holidays and take all kinds of pictures of me doing exercises all over Scotland, London and Paris and then write this fantastic blog about it all. Well….I did do exercises, and I did get two pictures of me exercising but in all honesty, I do most of my exercises while still in my pajamas. That was just something I thought I’d spare your eyes from.
Here is why I’m writing this. I treat a lot of busy people. Girls have their homework, then they run off to do their dance, cheer or basketball for a few hours several times a week, plus there is the time spent texting each other and giggling over boys. And then there are the Moms. The moms are in a busy category all their own! The moms I treat are reading bedtime stories, taking care of sick tummies, chasing their kids around the park and carting their kids to and from soccer practices or games. They do all this and are often gainfully employed at the same time. Moms are a whole different kind of busy. Let’s take a moment right now to applaud all moms. *applause*
So where was I? That’s right, telling you why I’m writing this in the first place. I wanted to have this fabulous blog that outlined all the ways that you could easily take your core exercises with you, even when you’re traveling overseas. How anyone can fit at least one exercise into their daily routine, no matter how busy you are. Even Moms!
When I start with a client for the first time, I take a full health history and ask detailed questions about any of the aches, pains or less than dry undies that they’ve come to see me about. After this short interview, I do a full physical examination. Checking range of movement, strength, flexibility, gait pattern (how you walk), and your current core recruitment strategy. Most of the session is then spent working on posture in both sitting and standing. We may have time to add in a little gait work, and then I educate you about the components that make up your inner core, how they are supposed to work together, and how you can learn to recruit them again just by subtle changes in positioning and tuning in to the proper strategy.
I ask all my clients to work on their posture and proper core recruitment strategy at least once a day, twice is even better. Same goes for once you’ve been back for your second or third session and go home each time with a new set of exercise progressions. Having been through this core program myself, I give them all the times that I found it easiest to incorporate into my day.
When working on posture in standing, I found it easiest to practice while I was standing in line (e.g.. groceries or coffee line), or when I was brushing my teeth. While brushing my teeth alone added up to 4 minutes each day working on posture because I have one of those electric toothbrushes with a built in timer. I would turn sideways to the counter and practice my posture in front of the mirror for a full two minutes. A teen client told me she practiced while in the shower. Perfect! I suggest to Moms to practice while they are at the kitchen counter prepping dinner or making lunches for the kids. You can turn your everyday activities into opportunities to work on your core.
Once it comes time to actually do some formal core exercises. Again, I try to make it short and sweet. I typically ask for only three to eight repetitions of any one exercise, and if you only get the chance to do only one rep of one exercise. You still get my applause! I fit my core exercises in, usually one at a time and for 8-10 reps when I’m waiting for my shower to warm up, once I’ve just gotten home from working at the clinic and I change into my comfy clothes, and just before I get under the covers at night. I often disappear at the end of the bed to do exercises on the floor (after practicing posture while brushing my teeth!), while my husband calls out “Hey! Where did you go?”. This way I’m taking literally less than a minute with each exercise, and I manage to fit in 2-3 of them every day. Does that sound reasonable to you, busy people? I think so! Even for Moms
Participating in physiotherapy is a team effort. It’s my job to diagnose and treat, as well as prescribe you the exercises that you need in order for you to get better, faster, stronger and help you achieve your personal goals. It’s your job to work on the exercises, and hopefully come back feeling great and wanting more. I wouldn’t be doing my job right though, if I gave you 8 exercises and expected you to do 3 sets of 10 of each of them everyday. I myself don’t do that, so why should I expect you to? We’re busy!
So for all the busy people out there. You CAN take it with you! Your exercises do not have to be a time consuming, mundane part of your day. In fact, I kind of enjoy mine!