THE LEISURE PT LEDGER
WWW.LEISUREPHYSICALTHERAPY.COM | 631-821-8090
PT: PEOPLE FIRST THERAPY DR. DEVON’S JOURNEY INTO PT AND HOW HER PASSION FOR OTHERS DRIVES HER TODAY
forward-thinking school. Recently, they quickly set up a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility to help everyone in their area. Getting my doctorate was probably the toughest part of that journey, especially since they offer a three-year program instead of four and make you study very hard even through the summers. During that time, my drive was empowered by my family yet again, but this time more directly. My grandmother started struggling with back pain and balance issues, and I knew the more I could learn at school, the more I could help her. Seeing her almost every day and tracking her recovery was one of the earliest and most rewarding experiences I’ve had as a physical therapist. You can really understand the impact of your education when you see how it strengthens the people you love. It didn’t necessarily mean that studying was any easier, but being able to help loved ones made such a huge difference. I never thought about giving up, especially because of the ongoing support from my then-boyfriend. He’d prepare dinner for me if I couldn’t get my head out of my books because of midterms. He also knew when to pull me away from my desk so we could go out for dinner and enjoy a break together. We’ve been together for eight years now (my high school sweetheart!), and we got married just this year in late January. It was a small
I was the first person in my family to go into the medical field, although you could say my family might be a big reason why I jumped into the field at all. Showing up for others and staying connected with people was always important to us. Every Sunday, the whole family makes sure we get together to eat and spend time with everyone. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins — we don’t wait until the holidays to make an effort to see each other. Maybe that’s why I’ve always loved working with people. As a high schooler, I volunteered at the library. I’d find books for others or help seniors use the computers. It stood out to me as something I enjoyed. But I wanted to make a greater impact: I wanted to help people feel even happier and healthier about themselves. I think that made me decide I wanted to be in the medical field. Now, tackling what medical field I wanted to study was a different story! It took a year of volunteering in a whole bunch of fields for me to figure it out. During my first year of college, I interned at hospitals, physical therapy clinics, hand therapy clinics — pretty diverse locations. But of course, I totally fell in love with physical training, and by the time I finished my first year, I knew that’s what I’d pursue. I graduated with my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stony Brook University, New York. It’s an incredible,
and intimate wedding with 50 people from all sides; our reception was in an amazing restaurant called Toast in Patchogue, if you’ve heard of it! Lately, I still rely on my passion for working with people to get me through these difficult times. We’re all in this together. I know how tough it’s been for many lately, especially if they’ve been spending time away from their families. One of the things I love most about being a physical therapist is that I get to spend a full hour with you. It’s not just a 15-minute session where the interactions with my patients go in and out. In these times, staying clean and safe and caring for yourselves is more important than ever. Also, exercise is such a great tool for stress relief, even at home. I still run — from a safe distance to others! — every day. It helps clear my mind, just like how meditation does for some. Thanks to Leisure Physical Therapy for spotlighting my journey this month. Please be kind to yourself, friends, and stay in touch with your loved ones. Have a happy June! –Dr. Devon Kuntzsch
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3 TIPS FOR GOOD BRAIN HEALTH FROM HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG
of Harvard Medical School, also notes that “animals who exercise regularly increase the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the region of the brain that is responsible for thought.” 2. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. Poor mental health can lead to impaired cognitive function. Chronic anxiety, depression, and exhaustion tend to cause low scores on cognitive function tests. But test scores aren't necessarily a sign of future cognitive decline, and Harvard Health Publishing urges readers to maintain good mental health and get restful sleep, as they are “certainly important goals” for improving cognitive function and overall well-being. 3. STAY CONNECTED. It’s not enough to focus on yourself. In order to maintain your long-term cognitive health, you should also focus on your connections with other people. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy.” Make new friends, stay in touch with family members, and maintain positive relationships in your life. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly true when it comes to your brain health. Do what you can today to protect your mental functions tomorrow.
As we age, our bodies change, including our mental functions. Cognitive decline is one of the biggest fears of aging, but it’s not inevitable. Though we’re still learning new things about how our brains work, there’s a lot of scientific research that shows how to keep your brain young. If you want to keep your mind sharp throughout your lifetime, then follow this advice from Harvard Medical School. 1. GET A GOOD WORKOUT. Exercising regularly helps all the muscles and organs in your body, even your brain! A good workout can lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels, which help your brain and your heart. Harvard Health Publishing, a website
2 WAYS TO REVIVE YOUR LIFE THIS SUMMER If the mercurial spring weather has prevented you from getting out as much as you would have liked these past few months, you might be feeling a bit of cabin fever about now. Luckily, you can still introduce positive changes to your life that help you feel healthier and younger. Here are two ways to awaken your body and mind. FEELING RENEWED AT ANY AGE
activity you may have always wanted to try but never had the chance, like yoga or even a video game. Trying out new things keeps your brain active. You may even discover a new favorite activity along the way!
PAY ATTENTION TO MENTAL HEALTH.
Although more years provide more experience and knowledge, sometimes they also come with heavy baggage. The loss of a loved one, trauma, and other struggles can impact your life in later years. This is why it’s good to practice mindfulness. Take some time to focus on the present. Go for a walk and listen to the world around you, feel the fresh air against your skin, fill your lungs, and take in everything you can see. Meditation is also a good way to spend a few minutes
ADOPT A NEW ACTIVITY.
As you get older, it’s not uncommon to drift further from the lifestyle you had in your 20s and 30s. Things have settled down, and you know a bit more about who you are, what you enjoy, and what you’re capable of. With this better understanding, you can make choices more aligned with your true interests and personality. Think about getting involved with a new
to focus on your body in the moment and the things in life that make you happy. Practices like these can help you feel lighter, both physically and emotionally. Growing older doesn’t mean you can’t feel renewed and positive. This isn’t just an impossible idea — it’s a reality.
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DO YOUR HOMEWORK! WHY YOUR AT-HOME PHYSICAL THERAPY EXERCISES MATTER FOR HEALING
make this process as easy for you as possible. If you’re struggling to commit to your at-home exercises or if you need additional instruction, talk to your therapy team. We can help you gain the confidence you need to crush those at- home exercises and get you back to the activities you love.
every single day. While rest is vital to the healing process, continuing to keep your joints limber, moving, and functioning at their best is also key! So, by sticking to your home exercise program, you are effectively supplementing the extensive care your therapist provides for you at each appointment. Additionally, doing your at-home routine while you are in physical therapy prepares you for life after this therapy ends. As much as we love seeing you at your appointments, you’re bound to return to the real world and not see us quite as often. That is the goal, after all! But in order to continue a healthy lifestyle, you have to continue moving your joints and body in a healthy way. Your at-home exercises are a great first step, and your therapist can offer progressions to continue challenging you when those moves become second nature to you and your body. Like many things in life, physical therapy comes with a need for dedication, but any physical therapist’s goal is to
Seeking rehabilitation through physical therapy can be one of the wisest choices you make for your health, well-being, and life. But committing to a physical therapy routine is much more than just showing up for your appointments. YOUR AT-HOME WORKOUT, OR HOME EXERCISE PROGRAM, IS JUST AS IMPORTANT. Working out may seem counterproductive to healing, but your home exercise program is designed specifically for your ailments. Your physical therapist will tailor an exercise routine for you and teach you the moves while offering specific advice and providing tools to guide you through each movement. If you can commit to doing your home exercise program on a regular basis, then you may just reap the benefit of healing faster. Think about it this way: Physical therapy heals through movement, yet you typically do not see your physical therapist for this healing movement
VEGAN BLT SALAD Inspired by RabbitAndWolves.com
TAKE A BREAK!
• 1/2 cup water • 2 tsp agave • 2 tsp nutritional yeast • Salt and pepper, to taste • Lettuce of choice • 1/2 cup cherry or sun-dried tomatoes • Croutons (optional)
• 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 5 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari), divided
• 1 cup coconut flakes • 15 oz extra-firm tofu • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted • 2–3 cloves garlic • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
5. To make the dressing: In a blender, add tofu, coconut oil, garlic, 4 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari), apple cider vinegar, water, agave, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. 6. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, “bacon” bits, and dressing. 7. Serve chilled.
1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. To make the “bacon” bits: In a large bowl, combine liquid smoke, maple syrup, and 1 tbsp of soy sauce (or tamari) and completely coat coconut flakes with the mixture. 3. On a prepared baking sheet, spread out the coated coconut flakes in a single layer. 4. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until the flakes are crispy. Let cool.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1. COVER TITLE 1.
DR. DEVON’S JOURNEY INTO PT
2. HARVARD'S TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG HOW TO FEEL RENEWED AT ANY AGE 3. WHY A HOME EXERCISE PROGRAM IS VITAL TO HEALING 4. BATTLE YOUR FRIENDS AND GET HEALTHIER WITH THESE 3 PLATFORMS
GAME ON! 3 PLATFORMS FOR COMPETING ONLINE AND CRUSHING YOUR FITNESS GOALS
StepBet, and RunBet ask each user to place monetary bets on their ability to achieve various wellness goals. You can also challenge your friends and family to place bets and stay motivated together. All the money is placed into a pot, and when you complete your goal, you get your money back. Some users say they’ve even made a profit! Search for DietBet, StepBet, and RunBet in your app store and get started.
Through smartphone apps like Words With Friends and 8 Ball Pool, you can compete against your loved ones from virtually anywhere, and creators in the fitness world have taken notice. Now, a number of virtual fitness programs offer the same level of friendly competition along with the satisfaction of completing your fitness goals. Below are three platforms to get you started! VIRTUAL RUN EVENTS With all the excitement of a footrace and no crowd to deal with, Virtual Run Events brings 1-mile, 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and full marathon races to you. Racers choose a distance to run around their neighborhood, on the treadmill, or at the park, and their friends and family compete in the very same races wherever they happen to be. As a bonus, proceeds from a number of these events also support nonprofit organizations. Visit VirtualRunEvents.com to sign up for a race and lace up your shoes wherever you are. DIETBET, STEPBET, AND RUNBET Looking for a little extra motivation to meet your health and fitness goals? Try involving money and a little friendly competition. DietBet,
FITOCRACY Calling all gamers! This is the fitness platform just for you. Invented by gamers, Fitocracy tracks fitness achievements and rewards users as if they were playing a video game. With quests, badges, and multiplayer gaming options, you’ll be motivated to work hard for your goals. Connect with new online friends or invite your loved ones to join you on Fitocracy. It doesn’t get much better than dueling friends or family in a classic one-on-one wellness competition! Learn more at Fitocracy.com.
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