Exercise is Medicine: Harnessing the Power of Physical Activity for a Healthier Life

October 12, 2023

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“Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy” – Paracelsus

In a world filled with advanced medical treatments and innovative therapies, it’s easy to overlook one of the most powerful tools for maintaining and improving health: exercise. Beyond its role in weight management, exercise offers a plethora of benefits that extend to mental, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal health. Indeed, the saying “Exercise is Medicine” holds more truth than we might realize.

When dealing with an injury and going through physical therapy it is crucial to ensure proper dosage of exercises and treatments. Dosage will look different throughout the rehab process and will also depend on what the individual’s specific goals are. Here are three different types of dosage that you may see throughout the rehab process

Rehab Dosage

This dosage of exercise is recommended for individuals experiencing a specific dysfunction in a localized tissue. This dosage should be effective but efficient.

  • Recommended 3-4 sets at 8-20 reps per set
  • Intensity : 30-80% 1 RM
  • Rest: 90 seconds

Yes, this is a large range. This is where your PT can help narrow down the appropriate sets and reps for you.

Strength Dosage

This is the dosage required to cause hypertrophy within the muscles.

  • Recommended 5 sets at 5 reps
  • Intensity is greater than 80% 1 RM
  • 3 minutes rest between sets

Power Dosage

Power = force x velocity

  • These are your explosive and powerful movements.
  • Usually seen later on in the rehab process
  • Recommended 10 sets at 3 reps
  • 3 minutes rest between sets

Just as you wouldn’t want your doctor to randomly prescribe a dosage for medication, you should approach exercise in the same manner during your rehabilitation. Avoid selecting a random number of sets and reps for your exercises. Instead, work closely with a Physical Therapist who can create a well-structured and personalized exercise plan based on your specific needs, injury, and progress. This approach ensures that you receive the appropriate dosage of exercises, tailored to your condition, to promote effective and safe rehabilitation.