TILLAMOOK COUNTY WELLNESS: Interpersonal Best – Help for Getting & Staying Active

By Michelle Jenck, Adventist Health Tillamook Director of Community Well-Being and TCW Coordinator

Just as we have to “move well” to “be well”, we also have to feel good enough to get moving in the first place. Old injuries, chronic conditions, muscular imbalances, pain and fear can prevent us from getting or staying active. A basic principle of physics states that a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest. This is true for objects like rocks and cars, and it is also true for humans.

There are many challenges to getting and staying motivated to move our bodies. Busy schedules, lack of knowledge or comfort beginning an exercise program, pain and negative experiences can all derail the best of intentions. It is comforting to know there are some interpersonal supports available for people right here in Tillamook County.

Stuck in a Rut:  If you are stuck in park and struggling to get active, it can be helpful to explore what is going on “under the hood.” Very rarely is lack of interest in moving simply a matter of being lazy. Even laziness has its reasons. If we feel overwhelmed thinking about starting something new, we won’t be very motivated to get started. Just like a rock needs to be nudged to roll down a hill or a car needs someone to put their foot on the gas pedal to get moving, sometimes people need help getting going too. Recognizing and addressing potential roadblocks is key to moving forward.

Photo Caption: L-R: Michelle Jenck, Community Well-Being Director and Brandan Lym, Rehabilitation Services Director Adventist Health Tillamook, Kaylan Sisco, YMCA Executive Director and Galena Flores, Otago Personal Trainer. This group recently met to coordinate support for people in need of physical therapy services.

If pain is preventing you from getting started, schedule an appointment with a trained therapist who can help identify physical imbalances and guide you through research-based approaches that allow a return to pain-free movement. It may take some time to resolve underlying issues, but that isn’t surprising since imbalances tend to develop over time. There are several options to choose from in Tillamook County, including through Adventist Health Tillamook. According to PT/OT Department Director, Brandan Lym, “If you are interested in receiving therapy services, you can obtain a referral from a medical provider and be seen in either Physical or Occupational Therapy. Those interested in attending Physical Therapy can also self-refer, depending on their insurance plan benefits. People can call 503-815-2291 for more information.”

Another local resource is the Otago program. This program is for individuals who are home-bound and may be struggling with mobility issues or fear of falling. Clients receive an in-home consultation by an occupational or physical therapist and then work in their own home with a personal trainer. The goal of the program is to help people confidently build activity into their daily routine at a pace that works for them. Contact Northwest Senior & Disability Services at 503-842-2770 or the YMCA at 503-842-9622 for more information about Otago and other fall prevention programming such as Qigong and Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance.

Getting in Gear:  If your engine is running but you are struggling to get moving, it is a good idea to explore what activities you enjoy or have enjoyed doing in the past. Enlist the support of family or friends, join a walking group or explore local outdoor areas. Beginning with something fun and rewarding is likely to get you moving. Just as a rock gains momentum as it rolls downhill, our movement activities can be self-perpetuating. The more we move, the more we want to move. For information about joining a local walking group, visit Walking Groups | Tillamook County Wellness.

Live Life in the Carpool Lane:  If we are lucky enough to have navigated these challenges and figured out strategies that work for us, we can bring others on board or serve as a guide for others on their own journey. When someone complains about an ache or pain that prevents them from enjoying life, encourage them to visit their healthcare provider to see what they can do to feel better. We can set each other up for success in our own relationships. Offer to go on a walk or hike with someone who is feeling lonely. Invite a friend to join your Zumba or Yoga class. Be the nudge someone needs for inspiration and support to keep moving and living their best life.

For more ideas, visit Tillamook County Wellness Move Well.

For more local health and wellness information, visit www.tillamookcountywellness.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.