Campus Commons Physical Therapy - July 2022

CAMPUS COMMONS

IT’S EASIER WITH A PLAN! TRANSITIONING TO ADULTHOOD

At the end of summer, high school seniors from across the country will take their next steps toward adulthood when they leave home to attend college or join the workforce. It’s an exciting but stressful time for these young people. I can still remember when I realized I had officially entered adulthood. When I made the jump from high school to college, I didn’t feel as though I was anywhere near entering adulthood. I still lived within close proximity to my parents’ house and could visit whenever I wanted. They helped pay for many of my expenses during my first few years in college. Over time, I felt I should stop asking them for money whenever I needed a little help. I had finished playing football and only had a few more credit hours to complete during my final year of college. I decided to get a job and found one that offered 30–40 hours a week consistently. In the beginning, my parents would still ask me if I needed any financial assistance, and I would usually tell them I could cover my bills. That’s when it hit me. I had transitioned from reliance to self-reliance and had officially entered adulthood in the process. Between the time we graduate high school and the end of our college education, we all start taking on more and more responsibilities that help us cross into adulthood. In my case, I didn’t even realize I was taking on some of these responsibilities until I crossed that barrier, and my parents slowly disassociated themselves from certain bills or expenses.

with a few expenses, but she needs to earn “fun money” on her own, which she’s been doing successfully. She plans to get a part-time job this summer to help with any future expenses because she’s moving into her very first apartment at the end of the summer. She’s certainly excited as we are, too. Being an adult is difficult and challenging. There can be a steep learning curve for many kids as they enter adulthood. Some parents do everything for their children well into their 20s, while others kick their kids out of the house at 18. No matter which situation they face, kids need to have a real plan. If you’re a young adult reading this, consider the following: If you don’t prepare, you could fail or be hit with even more challenges. Try to find a role model who can help you navigate the process and slowly start to add more responsibilities to your plate. It will be easier if you slowly transition rather than dump it all on your plate at once. Over time, those decisions and choices won’t necessarily impact the present but will play a role in the future. You live and learn while figuring out who you really are and how to make life work. The transition to adulthood is not easy for anyone, but with a solid plan and understanding of the expectations, anyone can successfully navigate the challenges they face during those early years.

Now, I’m trying to teach these same lessons to my oldest child, who finished her first year of college earlier this year. We still need to help

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GET CAFFEINATED IN A ‘HEALTHY’ WAY

Keep It Simple

From pain killers to carbonated drinks, you can find caffeine everywhere on the American market. However, high caffeine consumption can pose risks. The good news is that in moderation, caffeine may contain useful health benefits, but if you want to actually benefit from caffeine, consider these healthier options. BUT WHAT IS CAFFEINE, EXACTLY? Caffeine is a natural stimulant — in other words, it stimulates the brain and central nervous systems, which prevents weariness and helps you stay alert. Over 80% of the world’s population consumes a caffeinated product every day, including tea, coffee, soda, and energy drinks. In North America alone, this number rises to 90%. Research shows that caffeine may possibly elevate your brain function and metabolism, and during exercise, it may even increase your body’s use of fat as fuel — but that doesn’t necessarily mean chugging an energy drink is ideal. Why? ITS HEALTH BENEFITS COME MAINLY THROUGH TEA OR COFFEE. Walk into any grocery store, and you’ll notice that many highly caffeinated drinks are also high in sugar and additives. Sugar is extremely harmful

to your long-term health — and no matter what benefits you read about caffeine, the harmful effects of sugar can overwhelm them by heightening your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and much more. The experts agree: Tossing a sugar cube or two into your cup of coffee isn’t the same as drinking a sugary Red Bull. Additionally, too much caffeine can cause some problems. In some individuals, caffeine can promote headaches, migraines, and high blood pressure. Caffeine is also a psychoactive substance, which means it’s habit forming. After a period of not drinking coffee, you might be familiar with the “caffeine withdrawal” and its side effects: anxiety, tremors, restlessness, irregular heartbeat, and even trouble sleeping. Thankfully, these effects are temporary. Studies show that the people who benefit the most from caffeine are often those who drink anywhere from 1–4 cups of tea or coffee a day. You can also find zero-sugar seltzer waters with low doses of caffeine if you need a small kick. Keep it simple, and you’ll avoid excess sugar and reap the benefits of caffeine more fully.

Let’s Bust 3 Myths About Arthritis

MYTH NO. 2: YOU CAN’T PREVENT ARTHRITIS. There is no cure or true way to prevent arthritis, but controllable factors can help you delay the onset of arthritis, especially if you’re predisposed to getting it. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, and avoiding strain or overuse of joints will help stave off the more serious symptoms of arthritis. MYTH NO. 3: WHEN YOUR JOINTS HURT, IT’S GUARANTEED TO BE ARTHRITIS. Though arthritis includes many different joint conditions, not all joint pain is related to arthritis. It’s not even a sign that arthritis could develop later. Conditions such as tendinitis and bursitis can both cause pain in certain joints. Injuries can also leave your joints feeling sore, so it’s important to find root causes of pain before jumping to conclusions. If you’ve been struggling with arthritis pain, give us a call. We have the tools and expertise to help you manage your arthritis symptoms.

joint disorder. You may have heard someone in the past tell you that cracking your knuckles will expedite the effects of arthritis or that the weather causes someone’s arthritis to act up. Both of those previous statements have no scientific backing and are essentially myths about arthritis.

Keep reading to bust three of the most common myths about arthritis.

www.campuscommonsphysicaltherapy.com 2 Even though arthritis is so prevalent in our society, plenty of false beliefs still surround the Did you know that arthritis is the most common cause of disability in our country? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24% of all American adults suffer from some form of arthritis. Many different types of arthritis can affect our feet, hands, hips, knees, and even our lower back. Arthritis is actually a broad term that refers to over 100 different joint conditions such as osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis.

MYTH NO. 1: ONLY OLDER PEOPLE GET ARTHRITIS. While arthritis is certainly more common in older adults, it can affect people of any age. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects people ages 20–40 and has the potential to severely impact one’s day-to-day life. There’s also juvenile arthritis, though it’s not as common as many other types. The Arthritis Foundation reports that juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 kids in the U.S. As you can see, arthritis can affect anyone at any age.

THE DANGERS OF SITTING

FOCUS ON YOUR POSTURE!

Whether you work remotely or in an office, it’s likely you spend a good portion of your day sitting in a chair. When we’re not at work or the gym, we usually watch TV or spend time on the computer — sitting. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 in 4 Americans spends over eight hours each day sitting. It’s no secret that sitting for long periods of time can leave you feeling stiff or tired, but it can actually be harmful to your physical health. Sitting for long periods of time prevents us from utilizing our legs, which means leg and gluteal muscles can weaken, plus it causes your hip flexor muscles to shorten, which will lead to more problems with your hips, pelvis, and back.

straighten your back. Keep your shoulders relaxed while you type and keep your elbows pointed toward your rib cage. If you can transition between standing and sitting desks, or even different seats, it will help immensely. If you have to sit for long periods of time, take more breaks to stretch. Spinal twists and the downward dog

are both great stretches to help loosen your back so you can keep on working. By focusing on your posture and taking the proper precautions,

Digestion is also not as efficient when we sit for long periods of time, so we’re more prone to gain weight.

Extended periods of sitting can also wreak havoc on your posture. If you’re hunched over your computer typing all day, your posture will likely deteriorate. If you notice this happening, you can do a few things to improve your posture while sitting. First, you should try to keep your feet flat on the floor. They should be about hip-width apart. Avoid crossing your legs at the knee or ankle to keep yourself aligned. You should also try to keep your spine as straight as possible. If you notice you’re beginning to hunch over, consciously

the time you spend sitting doesn’t have to lead to back pain in your workday or long-term problems.

TAKE A BREAK

Healthier Hot Dogs With Slaw

Inspired by RachaelRayMag.com

Craving a healthy dog for National Hot Dog Month? We’ve got you! Follow our recipe for a dog packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins. (Serves 8)

INGREDIENTS • 2 tbsp vegetable oil • 1 green apple, peeled and diced • 1 red onion, thinly sliced • 1 small head red cabbage, cored and shredded • 2 tsp ground cumin

• 1 tbsp grill seasoning • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 2 tbsp maple syrup • 8 organic chicken sausage links • 8 whole-wheat hot dog buns, toasted

DIRECTIONS 1. In a large skillet over high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Sauté the apple, onion, and cabbage and toss until wilted. Season with cumin and grill seasoning and cook for 10–12 minutes, until tender. 2. Add the vinegar and maple syrup, then toss to combine. Cook for 1 minute and set the slaw aside. 3. On the grill, cook your chicken dogs according to the package instructions. 4. Assemble the works, starting with the bun and piling in the chicken dog and slaw. 5. Dig in! For an extra health boost, serve with grilled summer vegetables.

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INSIDE

THIS ISSUE

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The Transition to Adulthood

The Healthiest Way to Get Caffeinated

False Beliefs About Arthritis

Improving Your Posture While Sitting

Healthier Hot Dogs With Slaw

The Benefits of a Digital Detox

D i g it

When you need a break from your busy life, you probably look at your cellphone. And when you need a break from your cellphone, you might watch TV or browse social media on your other devices. This cycle of never-ending screens can be taxing on your mental health. Everyone hits their breaking point at a different time, and you may not even realize when you’ve reached your limit. If you find yourself getting angry or upset at posted content, consistently comparing yourself to others, or feeling depressed, it may be time for a digital detox. But what is a digital detox? It’s taking a break from electronic devices, such as your cellphone or tablet, and mindlessly scrolling through social media or news stories.

Another benefit is that you’ll feel less stressed, especially if you compare yourself to others on

social media or get lost in negative news cycles.

Now that you know what it is, how can you detox yourself?

Perhaps the most notable benefit of a digital detox is reclaiming your own time. Checking your cellphone and scrolling through social media can quickly become a subconscious habit. Before you know it, an hour or two has passed. Even watching television can take up huge chunks of your day. With a digital detox, you get that time back, and you can reallocate it to healthier activities.

SCHEDULE A BREAK FROM YOUR DEVICES. Even if it’s just for a half-hour, use the time to do other activities, such as exercise, household chores, or even gardening. TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS. Constant notifications can be incredibly distracting, so silencing them allows us to focus more on our surroundings.

If you feel like you need a break from your electronic devices, take one. It could lead to a healthier and happier life.

DISCONNECT BEFORE BEDTIME. Turn off all electronics an hour before you go to sleep to relax your body and mind.

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