A spinal cord injury disrupts the signals between your brain and body, leading to many challenges. One such challenge is finding the proper balance of physical activity to stay healthy without adding undue stress to the affected area. This article discusses the physical activity guidelines for individuals with spinal cord injuries.
The Importance of Physical Activity
Living an active lifestyle is important for everyone, but even more so for those who have sustained a spinal cord injury. Engaging in normal physical activity offers numerous benefits, such as:
- Strengthening muscles and maintaining mobility
- Reducing the risk of developing secondary health issues
- Improving mental health and overall well-being
- Boosting your immune system
- Preventing weight gain and promoting a healthy weight
Understanding Your Limitations
Before embarking on any physical activity, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare team. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you determine the exercises that are appropriate for you, considering your injury and individual needs. It’s essential to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits.
Goals for Physical Activity: F.I.T.T. Principle
The F.I.T.T. principle provides a framework for designing safe and effective exercise programs. F.I.T.T. stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type. Here’s how you can apply this principle to your physical activity routine:
- Frequency: Aim for at least three to four times a week of moderate aerobic activity.
- Intensity: Choose exercises based on your level of injury and ability. Your healthcare team can help you choose the right intensity.
- Time: Begin with shorter exercise sessions (10 to 15 minutes) and gradually increase the duration as your stamina improves.
- Type: Opt for a combination of aerobic exercises, strength training, stretching, and balance activities.
One effective treatment for chronic pain related to spinal cord injury is spinal cord stimulation in Chicago. This treatment involves the placement of electrodes near the spinal cord, producing a mild electric current that helps alleviate pain. It’s essential to discuss your chronic pain concerns with your healthcare provider to find the right solution for you.
Tips for Staying Active with a Spinal Cord Injury
- Modify exercises: Choose activities or tools that cater to your specific needs and abilities.
- Mix it up: Engage in a variety of exercises to prevent boredom and maintain interest.
- Join a group or class: Participating in group activities can provide motivation and support.
- Set realistic goals: Establish achievable benchmarks to feel accomplished and motivated.
Incorporating physical activity into your routine is crucial for everyone, especially those with spinal cord injuries. By consulting your healthcare team and adhering to these guidelines, you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, one challenge that arises from prolonged sitting, even in individuals without spinal cord injuries, is back pain. This helpful blog post offers practical tips to combat such discomfort. Remember, staying active and addressing any pain concerns with your healthcare provider are the keys to maintaining your overall well-being.