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Mobility tips

May 9, 2013
 
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Mobility is one of the first things to deteriorate as we become deconditioned or as we age. Maintaining your ability to move and get around is crucial for independent living, and for maintaining conditioning.

Beginner: Walking - Start up

→ Wear comfortable shoes

→ Walk on a flat surface

→ Start at 5 to 10 minutes and walk 3 to 4 days a week.

→ If tolerated for one week, increase 5 minutes each week until you are able to walk for 30 to 45 minutes.

→Soreness or fatigue should be mild and resolve within 24 hours. If you cannot continue to increase to the goal of 30 to 45 minutes, thatís ok. Stay at the level your fitness and body allows.

→ If walking is hard on your body, try a stationary bike with the same parameters as listed for walking.

Experienced: Stairs

→Walk up and down stairs using a hand railing if needed

→Stop when tired. Do not push into pain.

→ Do once a day, 3 to 4 days a week to start. Increase as tolerated, with the same parameters as listed for walking.

Advanced: Hiking, Cross country skiing, rollerblading, Jogging

→ These activities can be challenging, but as with any exercise, should be started at very low levels and progressed as you improve.

→ Impact activities are harder on your body, specifically the joints. Soreness should resolve within 24 hours after activity, otherwise you may be over using your body.

Source: Dave Smith, MPT, Marshfield Clinic Physical Therapy

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