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10 Proven Tips for Fitting Training into A Busy Life

Many patients come to us for care, some with pain or discomfort, most with dysfunctional movement patterns.

Dysfunctional movement patterns can be a common reason why people experience discomfort or pain. So by addressing and resolving a person's dysfunctional movement patterns, their daily discomfort reduces or goes away, and they can once again do activities they thought they could no longer do. People get excited when they can feel and function well! We then encourage the person that they need to add rehab or movement training to their daily lives to maintain function, keep pain/discomfort down, and to build their overall health. They are usually onboard until the reality of having a busy family and work schedule hits. The hard part, we cannot solve that problem for them. We have no idea what life is for each person, what their day looks like. We can, however, make some suggestions that have worked for many other people we have helped to better health!

Movement snacks
Make space for your movement snack

10 Tips for Making Rehab and Training Fit into Your Schedule:

1. Movement Snacks. You got it. Make your rehab/training happen in short small snacks that can be enjoyed throughout the day. This is especially good if your job is a sit/stand all day kind of thing. During breaks, instead of sitting in a breakroom thumbing through some social media, go for a 5-6 minute movement snack instead. Bonus, mental focus and creativity will be enhanced, and you might find that you have less physical discomfort and mental fatigue at the end of day. People who have active jobs, make your rehab your warm-up to the day. Just like a vehicle, it is better to start it and let it run for a moment before putting it into full gear.

2. Set a timer that reminds you that it is time to do your rehab or training. This is especially helpful when you are just beginning to add rehab or training into your life. A habit is an action that is done over and over again. To start making your rehab or training a habit, a gentle (or noisy) reminder can help keep you on track. Just about every phone or electronic device has a timer that you can set to alert you at the set time.

"If it's really important, make time instead of find time."

3. Make movement a priority. We do what we prioritize, so if your mental thoughts are not speaking to how important it is to make room in the day for your rehab or training you are not likely to do it. Make a mantra like, "Functioning better is important to me, my family, and for my longevity so I am planning to do my rehab at ___insert time___." This can help you focus on the importance of doing this good health habit. Even posting it on the bathroom mirror or in the cab of your vehicle can help you stay on task. Find a way to make a positive association with the rehab or training and you will find it easier to do.

4. Clear a spot in your home or work where there is enough room for your training or rehab. It might be a spot in your bedroom where you are less likely to be interrupted. Maybe a spot in front of the TV so you can listen to your favorite program while you are enjoying your rehab/training time. Or take a yoga mat and any small portable equipment to work and set it up beside your desk for easy, quick movement snacks (see tip #1).

Just 5 mins
You are important enough to dedicate 5 mins to feel your best!

5. The 5 Minute Rule This tip is the one I use a lot for myself. My self contract is that I must do 5 minutes of movement everyday no matter how tired, uncomfortable, sleepy, busy, etc I am. 5 minutes - that's it. Then if I am short on time or just need to move on with my day, I got 5 minutes of mobility and strength building in. (Now for the truth about what really happens: I usually end up doing 10 minutes because my body starts feeling good, more awake and mentally clear about 5 minutes into it and I keep going cause it feels good.) If I only do 5 minutes a day of the end of the week that's a 35 minutes helping of movement. Yum.

6. Ask friends, family, or co-workers to join-in or at least help keep you on track. This tip is important because social pressure can be very persuasive. Just be careful who you ask. Spouses can be great if they join in, but not so great if they make it too competitive or distract you from what you really should be doing. Friends and co-workers can sometimes make it a chat session, or worse, tack on an unhealthy habit at the end "because you did the healthy habit now you get a reward." Setting up rules and boundaries helps to establish what the time is for and how you want to play the game.

7. Adding other fun or liked things to your rehab/training time can push those pleasure hormones to help you feel engaged and happy to be doing your rehab/training. Things like playing some music, listening to a great podcast, misting some uplifting essential oil into the air, being outside in the fresh air, repeat a health building mantra...something that is also healthy and helpful to boost your training mood is fair game.

"It's a lot easier to do a little to maintain your mobility and stability than it is to lose it and try to get it back."

8. Write down or have a clear idea of what rehab or training activities you should be doing. Since time is precious, being clear about what to do will help you get it done faster. This tip really applies to all sorts of life, and especially to your movement time. Have a to do list on paper or your phone that gives you a good idea of what you are planning. It's not to say the list of activities cannot change, they should, so be flexible when it is time to change up your activities.

9. Plan ahead for days that are different than the norm Going on vacation? How can you plan to do your rehab

Plan ahead
Planning ahead can help you stay on track

while you are gone? Have an appointment at the time you usually do your training? What other time can you add your training in? These are not the questions you ask yourself in the moment because that is too stressful and takes too much mental bandwidth to apply and that usually means you will skip it. Take a moment to look ahead and see where things need to be altered. Try not to break your habit of movement if you can help it. This is the most common problem people have when it comes to the "I used to exercise, but I went on vacation and just never got back to doing it...." problem.

10. Don't Put Fitness on Dysfunction Lastly, if you have pain doing your rehab or training, stop and make an appointment with a health professional (we recommend a Doctor of Chiropractic who has education and training in functional movement and rehab). Avoid putting fitness on dysfunction because pain will alter how you move and that will drive more dysfunctional patterns. For instance, twist an ankle, you will limp for a couple of days. Because you are limping, you will change how your gluts fire and then that will make your low back muscles work differently and then three months later you are complaining of low back pain... a cascade of inappropriate movement can create a painful problem, a harder to correct problem. It is best to acknowledge the pain or dysfunctional pattern early, have it treated, and get back to functional movement that drives healthy patterns.

Many people think that training is for athletes, and it is. You are the athlete of your everyday. You have to walk around, get up and out of chairs, carry kiddos and bags of groceries, paint the bathroom, pick up boxes, ride horses, play tennis, garden... you have to live life and that takes strong, stable movement. Training for life will help lessen discomfort, boost mood and your immune system, and keep you doing the activities you love throughout a lifetime.

"Make movement the hardest thing you do well, not the hardest thing you fail. Then do it often."

Running marathons, spending hours at the gym, joining cross fit, or playing a sport - none of these are required to be a healthy and fit human. You do need to find ways to make mobility and strength building a consistent part of your life to continue to feel and function your best throughout your long and vibrant life.

Not sure where to start or what to do? Schedule an appointment. We will look at what dysfunctional movement patterns you have that might be limiting your mobility and capabilities, make a plan and provide you with the rehab and training activities that you can do at home, the office, or the gym. We really do love helping people not only maintain a healthy body, we love seeing them be strong, resilient, and capable throughout their lifetime!

Kathi tips
Kathi uses these tips to keep her training consistent

Kathi enjoys helping people find healthy, natural ways to build health. She does much of the rehab in the clinic and also trains people to improve their overall strength and fitness. Hiking, walking, strength training, and dancing are her go to activities. But she will tell you she also has a book problem.


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