The Importance of Movement During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Dr. Laura Wenger, PT, OCS, FAAOMPT

I’m sure I’m speaking for everyone when I say- It’s been quite a month. A month full of different emotions including anxiety, fear, hope, gratefulness, and worry to name a few. Sometimes, all of those emotions are experienced within an hour, depending on the day. Like many of you, my previously defined version of “life” has changed wholly during this COVID-19 pandemic. Where I used to pride myself on being able to separate out my different roles- physical therapist, wife/mom, individual- into nice boxes, I found myself all of a sudden dealing with the fact that my boxes all completely melded into one, with a continuous flow of trying to figure out how to be a PT, wife/mother, and individual (as well as a new role of homeschool teacher and stay-at-home mom) all simultaneously. The first few days, weeks, of this were rough: Learning telehealth and how to still provide quality PT via a video platform instead of face-to-face, learning how to help my son best with remote learning, learning how to provide my daughter with the time and attention she needs especially with working on her PT as she is experiencing some gross motor developmental delays, learning how to help support my husband emotionally while we are both home from work and out of our usual routines. And, oh yeah, learning how to continue taking opportunities to take care of myself through all of the uncertainty and evolving roles. However, I find that day-by-day, a new sense of understanding and “routine” emerges, at least as best as it can during such a tenuous time.

Continuing my weekly dance class in my living room!

One thing that has been crucial to my sense of staying grounded has been finding continued opportunities for movement. Sure, we all know that exercise is the best medicine- something that I teach my patients day in and day out. When in doubt, MOVE! But, now more than ever, finding opportunities for movement is my best recommendation for helping our minds and our bodies during this time. I implore anyone who reads this to find ways to continue to move safely: maintaining social distancing guidelines while on the trails or in your neighborhood, getting that yoga mat out and finding a free online yoga class to try (I love doyogawithme.com), still participating in your favorite dance class or pilates class with your friends and teachers that you used to see on a weekly basis, or even trying something new as the world of online exercise guidance has exponentially increased in the past few weeks with many free offerings! MOVE for your brain, your body, your health, your family… I hope you all are staying safe and healthy out there. Remember, Tomsic PT is still offering appointments both via telehealth (including new evaluations and ergonomic assessments!) as well as in the clinic where we are following all of the CDC and San Juan Basin Health recommendations for cleanliness, hygiene, and safety during this time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information on how to reach your physical therapy goals- we are here to help you!