Having Difficulty Getting Back to Your Favorite Activities?
You're NOT Alone!
Life has looked a lot different over the past 13 months. For many of us, this meant spending a lot more time at home, not going out as often, a break in our normal exercise routine and an increase in the amount of time we spend seated.
I have been seeing a lot of patients recently who are recently vaccinated but are having trouble getting back to their normal life and routine. When I ask them about their activity level, the conversation normally goes something like this:
Dr. Shea: “Mary, tell me more about your life and activity level before the pandemic started.”
Mary: “Well, I was going to the fitness center 3 times a week for either water aerobics, yoga or Pilates. I was going out pretty much everyday to run errands. I was having weekly lunches with my friends. I took evening walks with my neighbor and her dogs. I also enjoyed taking weekend trips with my husband to visit family in Baton Rouge and the Northshore where we would have barbeques and crawfish boils.”
Dr. Shea: “That sounds wonderful. Now tell me what your activity has looked like over the past year.”
Mary: “Well, I had to stop going to the wellness center and getting lunch with friends. I also stopped going to the store as much and we didn’t have any barbeques or crawfish boils last year. Since I didn’t walk with my neighbor, I have also stopped taking my evening walks. I found that I was sitting a lot for zoom calls and watching more Netflix than I normally do.”
#1:Be patient with yourself. We lose strength very quickly and if you don’t use it you lose it. You will not be able to jump into your activities right away as if no time has passed. You will likely need to ease into them and start slow. If you used to walk 2 miles in the evening, maybe try walking 1-2 blocks and see how your body does. Don’t forget to talk with your instructor and take modifications when resuming your favorite exercise class.
#2 Don’t ignore any aches and pains that are not going away. You may be feeling stiffer and achier now than compared to when you were very active. If these are consistent and not getting better, call your physical therapist to get a consultation. You have been cooped up for so long and are ready to get back to your life, what you don’t need is an injury stopping you.