Don't Run Out of Steam


Homework is a thing of the past, except if you've been to the physio recently. Commonly your physiotherapy session will require you to do exercises about once a day at home. When you're in the session chatting away to your physiotherapist and leave with you knee injury already feeling better or your shoulder aching less than ever before, you've got all the motivation in the world to get on with your exercises. Come back for your next appointment however, and you suddenly realise you've only completed the first day of your programme. For some of us it's a basic motivation issue, for others it's finding the time to fit them in, whatever the barrier is for you the most important thing is to find a way to remove it so you can make the most of the treatment you're receiving. Here are five easy ways to help yourself heal quicker.

Schedule it:

It's basic but it works and it might be all you need. By scheduling it in we don't mean remembering in the morning that you have to get that done at some point, we mean setting a specific time either before or after work and setting a reminder or alarm on your phone to make you do it. Depending on your injury, your physio exercises will probably take you between 10-15 minutes; it's not a huge amount of time in the day. If you tell yourself you'll do them in the evening and don't get them done then try waking up twenty minutes earlier and doing them first thing.

Can’t be bothered to do it properly? Do it a little bit:

If you get home from work and you simply don't feel up to it or you press the snooze button a few too many times do a mini version of your exercises or at least do one. This is less to do with the health benefit (although it will benefit you) and more to do with the fact that it keeps you in the routine. Doing something towards your physiotherapy exercises each day cements them in your daily routine so that they'll soon become automatic.

Remember – your physio will know!

If you're thinking about skipping your exercises for a day remember that your physio will be able to tell if you haven't been doing them! Of course, they're not going to mind and they're well use to clients' busy schedules getting in the way of exercising, but it saves face a little if you can go in and confidently say you've kept up with exercises and show the results.

Add it in to your normal exercise:

If you go to the gym, run or work-out at home and you’re able to carry on some exercise despite your injury then add your exercises into your current work-out routine. That way they won’t feel like massive extras.

Make it fun:

Your physiotherapy exercises are a different beast to normal exercise and this can make motivation even harder. If you're simply trying to stay motivated to do general exercise then mixing up activities and choosing something you actually enjoy makes they whole experience a lot more fun. But how can you make doing the same exercises over and over again enjoyable? Speak to your physiotherapist and see if they have any tips. If it's appropriate to your injury or ailment (and you should always check with your physiotherapist first) you might find motivation from a challenge. If you're physiotherapist agrees to it why not try and do an exercise until it really exhausts you so it actually feels like a challenge? Ask your physio if there are any ways the exercises can be made harder or if you can add a competitive element into them. Alternatively, if you do find your exercises a little dull try putting on your favourite soundtrack or doing them in front of the telly.

So here are five ways to encourage you to do your exercises! Remember that sticking to them will significantly improve results and help you heal faster; it's all in your interest so why not try out some of our tactics so you can give your body a helping hand!

Steve Canning

Clinical Director & Senior Physiotherapist

Steve is the Clinical Director and a Senior Physiotherapist at the White House clinic and has worked at the clinic since 2005. He qualified with a BSc in Physiotherapy from Sheffield Hallam University in 2002.

Steve Canning

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Don't Run Out of Steam

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