Physical therapy can be a great tool for those who have been injured, suffer from brain conditions, or other issues that limit mobility. It helps increase range of motion, recover or introduce skills, and increase the ability to enjoy physical activities. Many forms of physical therapy take place under the watchful eye of a physical therapist who is imperative in guiding training and recovery, but there are simple and fun things you can do at home to help move therapy along.
Everyday things that can provide physical therapy benefits:
Training Your Dog
Training your dog is a fun and easy way to add physical activity to your day. It may not seem like it but interacting with your dog involves many actions that can be considered physical therapy homework.
Playing Fetch - This involves picking up items to throw, physical throwing item, and could possibly include tug of war if your dog refuses to return item to you.
Teaching Dog Hand Signals – This is wonderful for both large and fine motor skills. This is not just a great skill for physical therapy it will help improve your dog's behavior. You can begin with easy sills such as sit and down and move onto more complex skills.
Playing with Your Kids
Playing with your kids can provide a variety of physical therapy opportunities. Coloring and doing puzzles can help with fine motor skills, while playing catch or playing with action figures can work larger muscle groups. This is a great way to reconnect with your children after an accident or hospital stay.
Building with Legos provides great exercise for those struggling with fine motor control.
Cleaning your House
Cleaning your house is probably not at the top of your favorite activity list, but it is a wonderful tool for physical therapy homework. Wiping counters, loading dishwashers, vacuuming, doing laundry, and sweeping the floor work a large variety of muscle groups and leave you with a clean and fresh home.
Taking Care of the Yard
Once the inside of your home is fresh and clean, you can move on to the yard. Planting a garden, watering, mowing, pulling weeds are all great ways to increase mobility and improve motor skills. Those without a yard can gain the same benefits by planting container gardens or window boxes.
Remember to check in with your physical therapist or doctor before adding activities to your physical therapy plan.