Movement is medicine, and is the most powerful method of prevention for many diseases that can’t be cured.
There is, of course, some inherent risk of injury with all exercise activities.
Clock Yourself was designed to suit people of all ages and stages of the lifespan. It was designed with advice from people with stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease as well as fit and healthy athletes.
The app is deliberately broad with settings that can be modified to appropriately challenge most people.
Ultimately you are responsible for your health and safety.
The information below may help you to make a more informed decision about whether the Clock Yourself app is suitable for you.
GENERAL HEALTH CONCERNS
If your body is not accustomed to exercise, it is always best to discuss a new exercise routine with your doctor before you start. This is particularly important for people with existing cardiac, respiratory, neurological or endocrine conditions.
FEAR OF FALLING
Clock Yourself was designed for rehabilitation of fallers and to prehabilitate people so that they do not experience falls. Nonetheless, the app is not able to assess an individual to determine their safety performing the exercise.
Anyone who fears falling is at a greater risk of falling. If you fear falling, the best step to take next is to download the app on to your smartphone device and book an appointment with a physiotherapist (physical therapist) who can assess your balance and co-ordination and give you advice about the suitability of this app for you.
Keep in mind you can show your physiotherapist the following features;
- adjustable speed (as slow as 10 steps per minute)
- a half clock face shape can be selected. This allows you to hold on to a bench while you practice the activity, or to have your hands ‘floating’ above the bench just in case you need to grab on for support
- the conference presentation on YouTube in which physiotherapist Meg Lowry presents the clinical evidence for this type of exercise
PELVIC FLOOR SAFETY
Impact exercise and deep squats can potentially strain your pelvic floor, and this in turn may worsen incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.
The majority of Clock Yourself activities are low impact and considered “pelvic floor safe”, however, the athletic Agility challenge involves jumping. Jumping is a high impact exercise which is not suitable for everyone.
Squats feature in the Athletic Agility challenge of the app and are optional in the coordination and Complex Combinations challenges. The animation video instructions are just a guide. One size doesn’t fit all. If you feel discomfort in the pelvic area when you perform deep squats, just modify them to a depth that you’re comfortable with.
If you are postnatal, post menopausal or have any symptoms of incontinence or prolapse, we suggest you avoid the Athletic Agility challenge until you’ve had individualised advice from a women’s health physiotherapist.
A pelvic floor assessment with a women’s health physiotherapist can determine the vulnerability of your pelvic floor and can guide your decisions about impact exercise.
You can learn more about Pelvic Floor Safety considerations from the Pelvic Floor First app .
Your balance and co-ordination in pregnancy is a little impaired and your joints are a little more vulnerable to sprain and strain. It is best to not attempt new exercises that involve rapid direction change or that challenge your co-ordination or balance at this stage of your life so hold off for now.
Clock Yourself is an activity you can use for low impact cardio in your home during your postnatal recovery.
Also see Pelvic Floor Safety above.
When designing ClockYourself we involved people with cognitive impairment to try and make it as user-friendly as possible from you. Like everyone else, you should try the Simple Colours challenge first. But don’t assume that the other challenges are beyond your reach.
If you can draw an accurate clock, the other challenges may be fine. Don’t underestimate yourself! Ask for help with these activities.
A physiotherapist (physical therapist) or occupational therapist can help you work through or modify the exercises. For example, if you struggle to visualise the different circles, they might put markers on the floor for you. Of course, don’t do any exercise that feels distressing or unsafe.