The summer weather means that more Minnesotans want to spend their time outdoors, so we’re often looking for new ways to get outside and enjoy the sun. One way to get outside and enjoy the weather is to take your physical therapy routine outdoors. Depending on your routine, making the transition from an air-conditioned room to an outdoor patio may not be much of a move, but for others, more attention may need to be paid to the details. In today’s blog, we share some tips to keep in mind if you’re going to take your physical therapy routine outdoors.
Taking Your PT Routine Outside
Here are some things you’ll want to remember if you’re going to take your physical therapy routine outside.
- Bring a Yoga Mat or Towel – Odds are some of your stretches will require you to come in contact with the ground with your knees or back. Aside from helping you stay clean, a yoga mat will help to evenly disperse weight at the point of contact with the ground. Even if you’re on the grass, there are probably some holes or bumps, so a mat between you and the ground helps ensure you’re working on a flat surface.
- Allergy Awareness – Grass and pollen can kickstart your allergies, leading to an inflammatory reaction in your body and more pain and discomfort. Take your allergy medications well in advance of going outside, or head to a location like the beach where you’re less likely to be affected by certain allergens.
- Wear The Right Clothes – Know what the temperature is and dress accordingly. If you’re underdressed, your muscles and joints may take more time to warm up to movement. If you’re overdressed and sweating, it can make your routine uncomfortable and unsuccessful. Step outside and check the temperature before changing into a workout outfit.
- Talk To Your PT – Let your physical therapist know that you’re interested in performing your exercises outside. Some exercises target the same muscle groups through different movements, so your PT can find routines that are better versed for indoor or outdoor sessions. They may also add other activities, like swimming or yoga to your routine, both of which can be performed outdoors.
- Find A Quiet Place – You may be surprised to learn that there have been documented benefits of performing physical therapy routines outdoors. Performing PT routines in nature can improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety, but you need to find a peaceful place to perform your routine. Find a quiet place away from distractions and really dive into your routine to get the full benefits of your exercise.
For more tips on moving your PT routine outdoors, or to talk to a physical therapist about any pains you’ve been having, reach out to the talented team at OrthoRehab Specialists.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations
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