At Physical Therapy Solutions Inc we look forward to assisting in prevention and recovery from injuries that can occur in everyday life.  We commonly see patients that have injured themselves walking, hiking, gardening, or lifting things at home.

Our lifestyle activity resource section provides you with a sampling of exercises for many every day activities and is designed to help you prevent injuries.

Posture

Everyone remembers somebody telling them when they were younger to ‘sit up straight!’ or ‘stop slouching!’ If you aren’t suppose to slouch, what is the optimal position to sit or stand in?

Posture, is the position in which our bodies are held when we sit, stand or lie down.   Proper or good posturing means that we use the most efficient amount of muscle energy to keep our joints aligned against the downward pull of gravity.  The least amount of strain is placed on our body when we are in a good posture.  If our joints are not properly aligned in good posture, the force of gravity causes excess stress on parts of your joints as well as the ligaments that support them.  Over the years, excess or imbalanced stress on a joint can lead to early stages of osteoarthritis.  Your muscles have to use increased force and energy to work against the excess load, which causes the muscles and associated tendons to also become stressed.  Other tissues such as fascia, nerves, blood vessels, and even your internal organs can also be affected by the added stress of poor posturing. Even the ability to breathe freely, deeply and maximally expand your lungs is affected by the position of your posture. 

Maintaining a good position in standing, sitting and lying is something we should all strive to do whenever possible in order to decrease the overall stress on our bodies.  Although it is impossible to maintain these perfect positions all of the time, remember that ‘it all counts’ when dealing with stress on the body, so try to put yourself in a good posture as often as possible.

LIFESTYLE                         ACTIVITIES

Walking

 

While walking is very difficult sport for some, for most of us it is simply a mode of transportation used to get us relatively short distances.  Walking, however, can be more than just a form of transport.  If you get your heart rate up while you walk then it is an excellent form of exercise that can be used to remain active, keep fit, and keep you at a healthy weight.

Walking as an exercise can be done outdoors, on an indoor track, or on a treadmill in the comfort of your own home or gym.  Many people even walk for exercise indoors at their local shopping malls if the weather is too inclement to head out.  Both indoor and outdoor walking can be excellent forms of fitness and can be modified in order to give you the type of workout you desire. 

Get those feet on the ground and try fitness walking! After all, these boots (or rather, shoes...) were made for walking, right?

Wear the Correct Shoes and Clothes

Everyone has their own specific needs when it comes to proper footwear for walking.

These needs may depend on the unique anatomy of each individual’s foot, or may be affected by previous injuries to the foot, lower extremity or even the low back. For this reason, it is advisable to head to a shop that specializes in exercise footwear and try on several pairs of walking shoes in order to decide on the right pair for you.

Although each person has their own individual needs in regards to shoes, there are a few common threads that you should consider when choosing a walking shoe.  Running and walking are very different in their biomechanics and for this reason, the shoes made for these activities are different. If you are a serious walker, it is recommended that you purchase shoes specifically designed for walking, and consider getting an assessment of your gait at Physical Therapy Solutions Inc to assess your walking pattern. 

Clothes

You should choose clothing that allows your sweat to be wicked away from your body both to keep you cool or keep you warm, depending on the weather situation. This means choosing a synthetic layer for the clothing that is closest to your skin, rather than cotton, particularly if you are layering for warmth.

Orthotics

If your feet, knees, hips or low back are hurting despite choosing appropriate equipment and having an efficient gait, it may be worthwhile trying orthotics.  These inserts help to align your feet more optimally and allow you to walk with efficient biomechanics. 

There are a range of orthotics available on the market, from over-the-counter arch supports to custom made carbon-fibre inserts, that can fit most shoe types.  If you are unsure if orthotics are right for you, speak to your Physical Therapist at Physical Therapy Solutions Inc or visit your local chiropodist, pedorthist, or orthotist for an assessment.