Benefits of Physical Activity During Your Post-Acute Care Stay


If you or a loved one has been admitted to a Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center after a recent hospitalization, it is critical to consider your physical health goals during your recovery journey, even more so if your independence has been impacted. Physical activity can play a vital role in achieving your health goals and make a significant positive impact on your overall recovery. In fact, while inactivity may increase your risk of health complications and lead to additional muscle loss, staying active can help improve muscle memory, increase strength, and reduce fall risk by up to 40%.  

At Prestige Care, our therapy teams work with each resident and their families to establish their goals and develop a rehabilitation care plan intended to achieve an optimal recovery. Maintaining physical activity and a routine exercise therapy plan can progress your recovery and prevent future complications. Whether you suffered a joint injury or are recovering from an illness or surgery, there are many benefits to maintaining physical activity and exercise during your post-acute care stay and upon your return home.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of physical activity during your rehabilitation journey at a post-acute care center:

Improves Physical Functionality

Following a hospitalization for an injury or surgery, patients will likely experience muscle loss, weakness, and reduced balance as a result of inactivity. While this can limit a person’s mobility and independence, it is important to understand how daily activity during your post-acute care stay can improve your overall physical functionality and ability to perform daily tasks.

Regardless of your physical abilities, your therapy and clinical team will work with you to establish an individualized care plan designed to incorporate exercises and daily activity based on your unique needs. Your post-acute therapy program may consist of exercises that help improve strength, balance, and functional mobility such as resistance and gait training. This level of activity is intended to not only improve your functional skills and independence but can also lead to an overall smoother rehabilitation.

Increases Quality of Life & Fosters Independence

If your loved one has been hospitalized and is recovering at a post-acute care center, their quality of life may be impacted as they work to regain their health and independence. While it can be an uncertain and challenging time for your loved one, daily movement and exercise has been proven to help improve a person’s outlook on their recovery and increase their overall quality of life.

Physical activity helps your body release endorphins which relieves pain, reduces anxiety, and improves your overall well-being. In addition, the exercises your therapy team provides are intended to help you strengthen your muscles, improve your range of motion, and restore your motor skills. As a person gains confidence in their ability to achieve activities of daily living and targeted therapy exercises, they become further motivated to achieve an optimal recovery and return home to their independent lifestyles.

Prevents Future Complications

Whether you are recovering from a serious injury, surgery, or medical event such as a stroke or heart attack, one of the most important things you can do to prevent future complications is to engage in physical activity. Inactivity can lead to additional muscle loss, risk of poor heart health, and other serious complications that can result in rehospitalization. Whereas exercise can help prevent additional complications by reducing blood pressure, rebuilding muscle loss, and improving mobility which can significantly reduce the risk of a fall.

In fact, studies have shown that engaging in physical activity for just 20 minutes a day can help reduce the risk of rehospitalization and prevent additional health issues. During your post-acute care stay, your therapy team will work closely with you to integrate daily movement into your rehabilitation program.

Exercise During Your Rehabilitation at Prestige

At Prestige, we know how a hospitalization can impact a person’s mobility, independence, and quality of life, and prevent them from doing the things they love. That is why our healthcare teams are committed to working with each resident to ensure they are receiving the comprehensive care they require to improve their functional skills and strength.

During your stay at Prestige Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, our experienced therapy team will provide you with an ongoing care plan and evaluations to help determine your recovery progress. They may suggest therapy exercises that are intended to regain your mobility, increase strength, and improve independence. This can include walking on the treadmill, practicing sitting down or standing up, and resistance exercises. Our team ensures you are receiving the care and daily activity you need for a successful recovery.  

While we understand the importance of exercise and daily activity during a person’s post-hospital recovery, it is also critical to incorporate daily exercise upon your return home to prevent future complications and help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Creating a habit of daily activity can help you maintain your independence, functional mobility, and overall well-being.

It can be as simple as taking a few minutes to go on a walk or do some light chores around the house. If you are using an assistive device such as a walker or cane, this can be an ideal approach to continue staying active. If you are continuing to experience pain following a post-acute care stay, or have limited mobility, consider water-based exercises that provide low impact movements and can help improve mobility.

Regardless of where you are in your post-hospital rehabilitation journey, it is important to understand how physical activity can positively impact your overall health and set the stage for an ideal recovery. Our goal at Prestige is to provide a seamless transition from hospital to home with the resources each person needs to enhance their quality of life and independence. Contact a Prestige Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center near you to learn more about the services we offer.