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How to Make Exercise a Habit

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our physiatrists are firm believers in the benefits of exercise. We encourage all of our patients to keep active within the parameters of their age, previous injuries, and pre-existing conditions. We know that increasing activity is best done gradually, especially as you get older, but everyone can benefit from using their bodies as they are designed to be used.

Our doctors specialize in relieving pain and restoring function, so no matter what type of exercise you engage in, no one avoids injuries altogether. At some point, you will move awkwardly, stretch too far, fall, or collide with an object. That’s when our doctors will provide you with immediate care (we have same-day appointments) and a broad range of nonsurgical healing methods, both traditional and complementary.

Why Exercise Is a Habit Worth Cultivating

If you don’t engage in exercise regularly, you are less likely to feel the pleasure that regular exercise brings and more likely to experience the aftermath of fatigue and sore muscles that can result from a sudden foray into the world of sudden exertion. The truth is, however, that your body is meant to spend a good deal of time in motion and that exercise provides the following benefits:

  • Improved physical strength and flexibility
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Elevated mood
  • Increased alertness and concentration
  • Improved cognition
  • Bone growth and muscle development
  • Production of endorphins (chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers)
  • Reduced stress

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that exercise also decreases stress and diminishes anxiety. It is easy to see how exercising regularly greatly improves your quality of life.

Finding an Exercise You Enjoy Is Key

Sadly, the myth of “no pain, no gain” prevents many people from enjoying the benefits of exercise. After all, who wants to undertake an activity that is touted as painful? While some people enjoy going to the gym, many people are put off by exercising in an enclosed space surrounded by machinery and other people or by being surrounded by others who are considerably more proficient than you are at the tasks at hand.

The best way to make exercise a part of your life is to find something you enjoy doing and make it part of your life. Pick an activity that fits your personal needs and your wallet. Any regular movement is good for you, so if you love bicycling, skateboarding, dancing, gardening, shooting hoops, or taking long walks — get going.

The more fun you have marching to your own drummer, the more likely you are to continue. Make your exercise routine as pleasurable as possible. Depending on your preferences, exercise alone or with someone whose company you enjoy, listen to music, or tune into natural sounds. Whatever you do, approach exercise as a reward, not a punishment.

Pain Is a Warning Signal; Ignoring It Can Be Dangerous

While mild pain that is helped by home remedies and rapidly disappears does not require further treatment, intense pain that does not go away but continues or worsens, is a red flag that you require medical care.

Treatments We Offer for Musculoskeletal Injuries

As soon as you become our patient, you will feel the confidence that comes with being treated by caring professionals. We will get you started on a program customized to your needs which may include one or more of the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
  • Physical therapy, including electrical stimulation
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
  • Fluoroscopy-guided facet injections to relieve back pain

These therapies each contribute to healing by either reducing inflammation and pain, increasing blood flow and/or increasing strength and range of motion.

Contact Our Experienced Physiatrists Today

If you are suddenly injured during exercise, or if after exercising you feel a sharp pain or deep ache that signals trouble, contact one of our 5 convenient offices to get an accurate diagnosis and an assessment of which of our therapies will work best to get you back to your best self as quickly as possible.