Are you deconditioned?

The weather was warm, gyms were closed, sports were cancelled, and you soaked up those lazy-hazy days of summer only to notice your body has changed some the past few months. COVID-19 has changed all of our routines to some extent but it has especially taken a toll on many of our fitness regimes. Taking a day off here and there is no problem, but if you've been consistently missing your regular run, bike ride, or gym session and notice some aches and pains showing up, you might have the beginnings of deconditioning.

Exercise creates many changes in your body - your heart begins to pump blood more efficiently, your muscles use oxygen more efficiently, they contract in a more coordinated manner, and your body gets more efficient turning food into fuel to name just a few. Deconditioning is the reversing of these changes. Exercise is a "use it or lose it" kind of thing, and deconditioning is the process by which we "lose it." So how long does it take to decondition?

As with most things related to a system as complex as the human body, it depends. According to the ACSM, two weeks without exercise can lead to significant loss of cardiovascular fitness. Two to eight months of detraining can erase virtually all of your gains. As you detrain, cardiovascular fitness tends to decline first, with muscle strength declining later. Other factors are your age, and your exercise history. If you're younger, you'll probably lose fitness at a slower rate than someone older. If you've been consistently exercising for a long time, or at a high intensity, your losses will probably be slower than for someone who just started. So how do we reverse these loses?

Using a shortened exercise routine can help minimize your losses If you're just undergoing a period of increased time commitments at work or with family. Even one session a week will help you keep most of what you've gained. Other options are to use shorter but more intense interval training sessions, or breaking up your activity into multiple short chunks during the day. If your layoff was longer, it may take just as long to retrain as it did to make the gains initially. If you're having those aches and pains due to inactivity or need help designing a safe program to either maintain your fitness or gain it back after a layoff, your physical therapist can help. Injury and illness are other common reasons for detraining. Your PT can not only help you recover faster, but they can also find activities to maintain your fitness while safely working around an injury or illness.

In an exercise rut?

One way to jump start your fitness is to try a new exercise or activity. Below are some of our therapist's favorite ways to stay active.

1. “HIIT”—High intensity interval training. "I like it because its efficient (as a mom of 2 that works full time, I don’t have a lot of free time!) and it’s a good stress reliever.  Plus I can do it at home."-Stacey Ellingson PT

2. Paddle Boarding. "Great core workout and so peaceful to get out on the water. Never hurts to get some vitamin D too" -Kari Osborne PT

3. Gardening. "Its a full body exercise that works arms, legs, and core. But remember to use good body mechanics!" -Diane Janshen PT

4. Hiking. "It is a great way to stay fit and share my love for the outdoors with my kids" -Tenille Johnson PTA

5. Running. "When short on time I get out in the neighborhood while one of my kids tags along on a bike. They love the one on one time and we both get some fresh air and exercise." -Sam Sites PTA

Creating exercise routine during remote learning

Most schools are implementing remote learning to start the school year not only placing strain on parents and students from a scholastic point of view but from an activity point of view as well. It can be difficult to create the same structured environment at home that is established in school so here are a few tips to create an exercise routine for kids during remote learning.

1. Follow a consistent schedule. Use built in curriculum breaks to imitate recess at school.
2. Check out kid friendly YouTube exercise channels such as KidzBop Dance Along, P.E. with Joe, or Cosmic Kids Yoga
3. Send kids on a scavenger hunt. Multiple lists can be found on Pinterest or even
4. Get kids outside! Hula hoops, jump ropes, and chalk can all make outdoor play more fun.

Our Promise to You

Flex Physical Therapy continues to be committed to your health and safety during the COVID-19 response. We are available for telehealth and in-person visits to suit your individual needs. We continue to sanitize and clean our office daily, adhere by social distancing standards, provide hand sanitizer for client use, and utilize masks to decrease risk for exposure. If you have any questions regarding physical therapy during this time please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are here to serve you. 

Our Services

-sports injuries
-post-surgical rehabilitation
-work injuries
-motor vehicle accident injuries
-back and neck pain
-joint and muscle pain
-pelvic pain therapy
-instrument assisted soft tissue: Graston and ASTYM

Contact Us

12900 NE 180th St. Suite 110, Bothell, WA 98011
Phone: 425-483-4270 Fax: 425-483-4268

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Flex Physical Therapy · 12900 NE 180th St Ste 110 · Bothell, WA 98011-5773 · USA