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Article originally published on January 12, 2021.

Many people have difficulty fully embracing exercise. There is never a bad time to set a new goal or ease back into a fitness regimen for your physical and mental wellbeing. Exercising can boost the immune system, prevent weight gain, improve heart and lung function, reduce stress and improve your sleep.

“The stress and decreased activity levels that have accompanied this pandemic have been especially hard on those dealing with chronic pain or weakness,” says FMC physical therapist Corey Callahan, PT, DPT, OCS. “Exercise in many different forms can help control pain naturally as well as improve mobility, balance, and independence with daily activities.”

If you have concerns, speak with your healthcare provider before engaging in physical activity.

Here are a few suggestions to help get you moving again:

Women stretching while seated in chair

Start small.

Stretching or practicing yoga in your home will help increase blood flow and improve circulation. Some exercises can even be performed while seated.

Man walking to mailbox

Take a walk.

Walking to and from your mailbox or climbing the stairs are great ways to gauge your endurance. I.E. If one trip up and down the stairs or to the end of the driveway and back is no longer a challenge, your fitness level is likely improving.

Get outside.

Consider doing several short workout sessions throughout the day, like briskly walking around your neighborhood for 10 minutes at a time. Repeat this circuit a few times a day to give your body the activity it needs while allowing yourself a chance to rest.

Person exercising in virtual class

Get involved.

Online exercise programs and virtual workout classes are great ways to stay motivated and support local fitness studios. Challenge a friend to tune into the same classes: you can hold each other accountable and stay connected in the process.

People celebrating

Set goals.

Regardless of the size, remember to always have goal in mind and challenge yourself daily to achieve it. When you meet your original goals, celebrate and set new ones to keep yourself moving forward.

If you feel you could benefit from a guided exercise program, speak with your healthcare provider about referral to FMC’s outpatient therapy services. 


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