717-523-2502 JANUARY 2020
39 PORTER ROAD, SUITE 1, TOWER CITY, PA 17980
MAKE THE MOST OF THE SEASON HOW TO STAY ACTIVE, HAPPY, AND SAFE WHEN IT’S COLD OUT
movements engage your muscles and help prevent mobility issues. Pushups, squats, and lunges (if you can do them safely) are also all great exercises you can do almost anywhere (even the airport if you find yourself traveling this winter). Try to minimize sitting — this is one of the main contributors to pain, stiffness, weakness, and dysfunction. Find a hobby that involves moving around rather than sitting. Snow shoveling can serve a dual purpose in the winter: exercise and less snow in your path! When you’re shoveling, squat down and use your legs to lift, keep the weight as close to you as possible, and try not to bend and twist at the same time. Stand up with the snow pile, and if you have to twist, then twist and throw. If you have a history of back pain made worse with bending, lifting, and twisting, think about pushing the snow with a shovel rather than scooping, lifting, and throwing. If you have a heart condition, follow your doctor's advice and don't overdo it. Take breaks and get help if you can. If it’s really too much snow, find someone to shovel it for you or think about purchasing a snowblower or paying someone to plow.
They say people who live in Scandinavian countries have found the key to getting through the long, cold, dark days of winter. It’s pretty simple, actually: They embrace, and even look forward to, winter. It’s all about their mindset. They look forward to skiing, sledding, and cozying up next to the fire at the end of the day. If you’re someone who can’t wait for summer to come around again, one way you can make winter better is by finding wintertime physical activities you enjoy. As you know, exercise produces the “feel-good” chemicals in our brain that contribute to happiness, well-being, and health, so it makes sense to find ways to stay active in the winter. Bundle up (gloves and a hat are a must) and go for walks when it’s moderate enough. When it’s too cold out, go to the store or mall and just walk around as you shop. If you have access to a gym or a treadmill at home, use it! Find a workout video either on DVD or online to work out to — it can be aerobics, yoga, Pilates, calisthenics … the options are endless! It can be simple to incorporate physical activity into your day. In our work, we emphasize how beneficial small movements can be for the body — marching in place or standing up and sitting back down repeatedly. These
year, we see several people in our clinic with injuries due to falls on the snow or ice. At home, make sure you have a plan for your sidewalks and driveway, including snow removal and, if necessary, salt to melt the ice. If you must walk on slippery surfaces, take your time, go slow, and be mindful of black ice. Ask a friend or loved one for some help if you have balance problems. Just one fall can cause a lot of other problems, so it’s important to keep yourself safe when the weather creates dangerous conditions. If you’re dealing with significant balance problems and haven't been treated, it’s an area we can help you with. Physical therapy is a proven way to improve balance by doing specific exercises. Please give us a call if you or a loved one is experiencing balance issues. We want to help keep you safe this season. Together, we can help you make the most of winter — and maybe even enjoy it.
Be careful walking on slippery surfaces or simply avoid them if you can. Every
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