4 tips for making the most of physical therapy

4 tips for making the most of physical therapy
Misty Richens helps Gwen Martin use the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill as therapy for her multiple sclerosis.

Whether you're recovering from surgery, an injury or an illness, regaining strength takes time, and it’s easy to feel exhausted and discouraged. If you’re starting rehab, certified personal trainer and exercise therapist Misty Richens offers four pieces of advice for when the work becomes challenging.

As the Wellness Director at Edward and Marion Huckins Health and Wellness Center in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, Misty guides her clients through exercises while providing support and encouragement.

 I love what I do and that makes it so rewarding. So many people here have limitations, but they don’t let that stop them.” – Misty Richens, Wellness Director, Edward and Marion Huckins Health and Wellness Center 

As you begin your rehab journey, keep these four tips from Misty in mind.

Don't let your limitations define you

At the start of a new session, Misty tries to connect with each person by talking through their goals for everyday living. Is there a specific task they would like to be able to do again? If your goal is to walk again, don’t lose sight of it. “Sometimes (clients) come in and don’t think they can do the things they can,” she says.

Starting is half the battle

In recovery, Misty says, if you get up and do one thing, you’ll feel better and have a new sense of confidence. It’s worth the effort to try, because if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to feel how you’ve always felt.

Take it minute by minute

Misty’s motto is to set small, attainable goals. “When we reach those, we move on to the next,” she says. When you start small, every movement is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Try to do something every day

On the wall of the gym at Hot Springs Village is the motto, “Every muscle, every way, every day.” To start, stand up, take one step, do one exercise, and don’t let discouragement stop you from regaining strength and health and reaching your rehab goals.

Rehabilitation therapy is a vital part of regaining strength and recovery

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