Times Chronicle & Public Spirit
GET BACK TO MOVING
Resuming healthy habits can work in your favor
People are out and about more normally again, and gyms have been reopened for a while, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone is back to their old physical fitness regimens.
The length of time that many were sedentary and confined to their homes has made it difficult for some to get back on track.
Dr. Stephen Longenecker, medical director of Reading Hospital Joint Care Center and board certified by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, has witnessed this among many older patients at his orthopedic practice.
“When I ask them, ‘How are you doing with your knee pain and what are you doing for activity?’ it is surprising how many people reduced their activity because of COVID and got out of a routine,” he said. “It’s hard to get back into that routine.”
Pre-COVID, Longenecker’s patients used to meet their friends for lunch and go to the gym regularly. Instead, he is now finding he has to steer patients to physical therapy to help get their routine back.
“A lot of time it’s reeducating and helping them be aware,” he said. “We are encouraging people to get into a routine — to write down and remember what you did or start something new — the opportunities are out there.”
He has also seen that remote at-home work environments for those in their 40s and 50s are taking a toll for the worse.
“I have a fair number of middle-aged people where their work environment changed,” he said, adding that since they are at home they don’t get as much
movement in a given day as they used to. “I have seen a fair number of 40- and 50-year-olds with injuries from being more sedentary.”
Stretching at home, along with small tasks such as walking out to the car or taking small walks around the house can be beneficial
your orthopedic health. (Free public domain)Longenecker emphasized the importance for seniors, in particular, to get moving again. And while getting back to the gym is ideal, you don’t have to take part in an organized workout to reap benefits. Things like walk