Why Consistency is Key for Success in Home Exercise Programs.

Lauren Menino, MS, OTR/L, an Occupational Therapist at NYU Langone Health, joins us today to talk more about why consistency is key for successful home exercise programs.

Why Consistency is Key.

Though dosage and duration will vary for each individual and injury, research into many different therapeutic interventions demonstrates that consistency is a primary factor impacting client outcomes.

Each component of a home exercise program is selected by your therapist to focus on a specific muscle group or movement pattern. Form and alignment are essential for clients to understand to target the appropriate body segments and prevent injury. Research on learning theory confirms that learning via repeated practice leads to improved recall and carryover.

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

You, and your body, can more easily repeat something the right way when you have done it over and over. And, when you don’t have to think about the basics of each exercise, you have a chance to focus on specifics such as positioning, stabilizing other muscles, and breathing, to get the most out of your program.

My top five tips for remembering to do your exercises:

1. Figure out what works for you. Does it help to complete your program the morning to alleviate pain throughout the day? Can you make it part of stretch or cool down during a workout? Do you do it during commercials while watching TV? Can it fit as part of your routine when you wake up or before bed?

2. Build it into your schedule. Make your program work for your day so it becomes a habit rather than a burden. Set a goal and keep track of how consistently you follow your program so you can acknowledge progress.

3. Ask your therapist for specifics. Time and frequency, what are the “must do’s” for days when your schedule or your body challenge you.

4. Set a reminder or sign up for a daily reminder service. Visual, auditory or multi-sensory- something to catch your attention. The hardest part is showing up, so have what you need organized that way when you’re ready to start you don’t first have to go running for equipment.

5. Find your motivation. Remind yourself the value of what you are working towards. In the end, your doctor, therapist, etc. are your guides, but you are the primary driver in your recovery.

Lauren Menino, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist at NYU Langone Health

References: 

Bayona, N. A., Bitensky, J., Salter, K. & Teasell, R. (2005). The role of task-specific training in rehabilitation therapies. Topics in stroke rehabilitation, 12 (3).

Brewer, B. W., Cornelius, A. E., Van Raalte, J. L., Tennen, H., & Armeli, S. (2013). Predictors of adherence to home rehabilitation exercises following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Rehabilitation Psychology, 58(1).

Chen, C. Y., Neufeld, P. S., Feely, C. A., & Skinner, C. S. (1999). Factors influencing compliance with home exercise programs among patients with upper-extremity impairment. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 53.

Helfrich, C. (2014). Principles of Learning and Behavioral Change. In Willard & Spackman’s Occupational Therapy. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Palazzo, C., Klinger, E., Dorner, V., Abdelmajid, K., Theirry, O., Boumenir, Y., Martin, W., Poiraudeal, S., & Ville, I. (2016). Barriers to home-based exercise program adherence with chronic low back pain: Patient expectations regarding new technologies. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 59

Are you someone who has exercises and/or stretches you are supposed to be doing everyday, but always seem to forget? Let us help you remember, and help you start feeling better fast! Sign up via facebook messenger here or for our SMS text service here.

Wishing you a fast recovery!

The Tiyaga Health Team

5 Reasons to Intern at a Startup: The Perks of Working at a Small Company Making Big Waves

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When my fellow college classmates set off to find summer internships, most went the traditional route: believing that the bigger and more recognizable the company name, the better the internship.  I did the opposite:

I chose to go after the unique experiences and benefits of working at an early stage company. 

I am half way through my internship at Tiyaga Health, and I can personally attest to the many advantages of working for a small company making big industry changes.  I took some time to think about my summer experiences thus far, and for me, these are top five advantages of interning at a startup:

1. You Are Treated as A Co-worker

At an early startup, the staff is small and every employee (yes, even interns) are valued. This means that other employees treat you as an equal (or close-to-one), rather than just a kid to get them coffee.

2. You Have Real Responsibilities

Part of the reason you are treated like a coworker is because you are doing work that has real meaning and impact for the company, just like the company’s full-time employees. You have to continue to earn this respect by working your hardest. However, the good news is that you will see the fruits of your labor! The work you are doing is actually affecting the company and its clients, which is something many interns at big companies don’t experience.

3. You Have a Voice 

Something totally unique about startups is that even as a “lowly intern” your voice is heard and your input is valued in company decisions. For example, your ideas about market research and input on product strategy can lead to tangible differences in the company’s actual product or service!

4. You see How the Whole Company Operates 

Startups don’t have the walls (whether metaphorical or actual physical ones) between different departments that many big, established corporations do. This means that, for example, as a product development intern, you have direct access to someone working on the financial or marketing side of things. You have the opportunity to ask them about aspects of their job, giving you exposure to, and even experience in, cross-departmental responsibilities. Not only is this truly unique to a startup, it also gives you the opportunity to understand how all aspect of business work together, therefore seeing how the company operates as a whole.

5. You Have to Opportunity to Learn from Eager Mentors 

The special combination of a small staff and employees passionate about the project they are working on translates to plenty of experienced and eager co-workers to mentor you during (and even beyond) your internship. Mentors are great resources to learn from (you may find you learn more from them than from your professors) and network with in the future. Mentors teach and expose you to invaluable, career-altering opportunities. Their investment in you can have a profound effect on the rest of your career.

Obviously, with a startup internship, the opportunities for learning and experience are limitless. When it comes down to it, college (and a summer internship between semesters) is a time to learn and to be a sponge, soaking in all the experiences around yourself. There is no better place to do this than at a startup, where the fast-paced, small-staffed, and incredibly passionate characteristics of the business make it the optimal environment in which to educate yourself.

Written by: Alexandra Miller, Vanderbilt University

To learn more about how Tiyaga Health is helping motivate injured individuals to stay on track with their recovery, visit www.tiyagahealth.com