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Sumita Dave

Exercise Therapy

Though exercise has been the mainstay of musculoskeletal physiotherapy for decades, its value in other systems of the body, such as cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological has emerged in recent years. It helps in disease management and health promotion. There are physiological,psychological and social effects of exercise.

Exercise therapy, requires individuals to become involved in an active rather than a passive rehabilitation process. Exercise is more internally based and requires participants to experience physical commitment and effort.

Exercise therapy is much more than simply a way of providing facilities for patients to take partin exercise; like other therapies, it is an active psychological process. Ideally, exercise should be offered in conjunction with exercise counseling that is aimed at equipping individuals with skills, knowledge and confidence so they feel able to participate in physical exercise on a regularbasis throughout the rest of their lives. Therefore, it is important that exercise therapy incorporates practical strategies that give patients the physical and psychological tools to sustaintheir exercise behavior and experience positive psychological gains from exercise once the therapy comes to an end. Exercise therapy sessions should use a variety of cognitive–behavioral techniques (such as cognitive reappraisal and consciousness raising, goal setting, self-monitoring and finding social support) for promoting positive exercise attitudes, experiences and behavior.

Exercising daily plays a crucial role in the process of healing and recovering from injury or disease. Stretching and strengthening activities are only a few types of physical therapy exercises. Balance, joint control, and muscle re-training are other types of important physical therapy exercises.

Benefits of Exercise Therapy:

  • It can improve muscle strength, mobility and other signs of fitness.
  • It can make a difference in the daily living and quality of life of those with the disease.
  • It improves the mood.
  • It helps patients learn to compensate (for) their existing deficits.
  • It helps maintain an ideal body weight, lowers blood pressure, increases HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol), lowers blood glucose (sugar) in persons with diabetes, reduces triglycerides, and improves the overall condition of the heart and blood vessels.
  • It helps in alcohol misuse problems, people with schizophrenia and those with clinical depression.
  • It can reduce depression, increase general well-being and improve aerobic fitness, raise self-esteem and improve sleep patterns and general behavior.
  • It acts like an antidepressant, mood-elevation, moderate anxiety-reduction and improvedconcentration.
  • It can be self-sustaining; it can be maintained by individuals once the basic skills have been learnt.
  • It may help to make patients feel more empowered about their health and in control of their well-being.
  • It helps in anxiety disorders.

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