Advanced Practice PT - August 2020

AUGUST 2020

www.advancedpracticept.com | 406-770-3171

MEET KATE ERICKSON, OUR NEW PHYSICAL THERAPIST!

Twin Cities and PT school at St. Catherine University. I love Minnesota, and it will always be home for me. It’s also the place where I discovered my passion for physical therapy. The revelation happened during my sophomore year of high school, when I was sitting in career class. The goal of the class was to help us kids figure out what we were going to do with the rest of our lives. Going in, I had no idea what profession I'd pick. All I knew was that I really liked exercise and moving. I used to participate in every sport under the sun back then, including volleyball, basketball, and track and field. During that day in class, our teacher listed physical therapy as one of a bunch of different career options. I’d never heard of it before, and I was pretty dang excited when I realized I could make an actual career out of my love of fitness! As soon as I started researching the field, I knew geriatric PT was for me. During my free time back then, I volunteered at our local nursing home, and I loved working with the older people there. Geriatric PT seemed to be a great way for me to combine my two interests and help people at the same time. I pursued geriatrics through college and PT school and volunteered at nursing homes and senior living facilities wherever I went. I also expanded my skill and knowledge

Hello there, readers! As you probably already guessed from the title of this article, my name is Kate Erickson, and I’m the newest addition to the Advanced Practice PT team. I started my job here in early June, so if you’ve come in for an appointment since then, you may have already met me. I’m really excited to get to know all of you! That said, it’s only fair that I share a little bit about myself. I just moved to Great Falls in March from Fargo, North Dakota, with my husband Ross. He’s a barley procurer, and his job is what brought us out west. We’re still getting used to the area and everything Montana has to offer. Both moves were big jumps for me because I grew up on a farm in small- town Minnesota, then stayed in the state for college at University of Minnesota

about sports injuries so I could help an even broader patient base. There’s nothing more rewarding for me than being a positive influence on someone’s life and putting a smile on their face, no matter their age. Here at Advanced Practice PT, I’ve been lucky to work with patients from all walks of life. So far, I’m enjoying both my new team and the Montana summer. Ross and I have been out biking, camping, rafting, and hiking, and we even bought a 1970 pull-behind camper that we’re fixing up for our next trip. It’s been a really fun project, and I’m excited to take it out for a test run and explore more of the mountains. If you have any ideas about where we should go for our next trip, please share them when I see you in the clinic! We’re still the new kids on the block, so all suggestions are welcome. –Kate Erickson

“I PURSUED GERIATRICS THROUGH COLLEGE AND PT SCHOOL AND VOLUNTEERED AT NURSING HOMES AND SENIOR LIVING FACILITIES WHEREVER I WENT.”

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HOW PHYSICAL THERAPY PROMOTES A HEALTHY CORE YOUR MIDSECTIONMATTERS

curved undersides, is a great way to work on improving your core balance. You can even practice maintaining your stability by standing on one leg.

When you think of the word “core,” you probably picture rock-hard abs, but there’s so much more to this group of muscles than that. Your core is made up of 29 different muscles in the middle and lower back, pelvic floor, buttocks, and hips, and they all work together to support your body’s movements. No matter where a motion starts, it either originates in the core or eventually moves through it, which means if your core is compromised, then a lot of other activities are compromised. Luckily, you can strengthen your core in many ways. BALANCE Your core muscles serve as your body’s natural stabilizers and make constant adjustments in response to nerve cells called proprioceptors, which help with your sense of spatial awareness. When your core becomes weak, it’s more difficult to balance yourself in your center of gravity, which increases your risk of falls and affects upper and lower body movements. Standing on stability boards, which are flat boards with

rolling your shoulders back. When you first begin training to strengthen your core, it’s also essential to establish proper pelvic alignment. Try rocking the pelvis forward and backward in a full range of motion until you find a comfortable middle portion of the movement. Many additional practices, like yoga and tai chi, can also help improve core alignment. When it comes to physical therapy sessions, you’ll find that even if you’re there to address pain in your arms, neck, or legs, your therapist will often include core movements in your regimen because the core is such an integral part of everything we do. Whether you’re lifting a bag of groceries, practicing your golf swing, or recovering from an injury, strong core muscles are the support system your body needs to get the job done.

STRENGTH Core strength is different from

core balance: Strength determines how well your muscles produce functional movement. An array of both static (nonmoving) and dynamic (moving) exercises are great for any level of physical fitness. Static movements include exercises like planks or bridges, while dynamic movements include situps, pushups, and crunches. More gentle dynamic exercises for those just starting out, like leg lifts or pelvic tilts, can also help strengthen your core muscles. ALIGNMENT Achieving a healthy core can also improve your posture, which relieves stress on the spine and encourages proper alignment overall. Address your posture by standing up straight and

DEPRESSED, ANXIOUS, OR ANGRY? TRY LISTENING TO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

THE POWER OF MUSIC TO SHIFT YOUR MOOD

to music in order to feel better. The top genre for depressed listeners is rock, followed closely by alternative, pop, and hip-hop/rap.”

and it’s just one small example of how music uplifts people. This isn’t just an anecdotal effect, either. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, music can help us process emotions and fight mental health conditions like anxiety, dysregulation, depression, trauma, sleep disorders, schizophrenia, and more. So, how can you take advantage of music’s power to turn your mood around? One option is to create music of your own, but another is simply to listen. When it comes to flipping a bad mood on its head, a survey conducted by the Family Center for Recovery (FCR) suggests that rock is the genre of choice. “During any given year, depression affects approximately 5%–8% of Americans,” FCR reports. “According to our survey participants, the vast majority — around 89% — turn

2020 has been a difficult year. If you’re feeling frustrated, angry, or depressed right now, you’re not alone! All over the world, people have been trying different strategies to cope with their feelings, including yoga, meditation, exercise, binge-watching their favorite TV shows, and even baking banana bread. But perhaps the most universal outlet and cure for pent-up emotions is music. Do you remember the clip that went viral in March of Italians in quarantine, singing together from their balconies? If you do, that’s probably because it made you smile. TIME heralded it as proof that “the country’s spirits are still strong,”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the blues came in last on the list.

To put the power of music to work, create playlists for each mood that you want to turn around, like “Anger,” “Frustration,” “Sadness,” “Anxiety,” or “Grief,” and fill them with songs from genres associated with fighting that feeling. According to FCR, rock is the most popular antidote to sadness and anxiety, and it’s also high on the list for anger, along with pop and country. Frustrated people opt for variations of rock, pop, punk, and heavy metal, and those stricken by grief turn to soft rock or soul. The artists are up to you, so fill up your lists, press play, and let the music do its work.

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YOUR ‘CLEAN’ WORKOUT ROUTINE TURN HOUSEHOLD CHORES INTO EFFECTIVE EXERCISE

Everyone knows how labor-intensive cleaning can be. A long day of scrubbing down your house is a great way to work your muscles and get your blood pumping, so crank up some tunes, grab a mop, and get ready to transform your cleaning routine into a great workout. To get physical benefits from cleaning, you need to turn up the intensity of your methods. Exaggerate your motions, pick up your pace, and keep your abs tight and knees flexed. Nearly any chore can be turned into an exercise, but here are some ideas to get you started. • Vacuum: Vacuum briskly nonstop for at least 20 minutes, switching arms as you go. For an added challenge, do lunges as you vacuum and remember to keep your toes pointed straight ahead and your knees bent at 90-degree angles. • Pick Up: Instead of simply bending over to pick up toys or clothes, do a squat with every item you grab. Remember to use your legs, not your back. You can also do squats while unloading the dishwasher or with any other chore that involves repeated bending. • Wipe Down: Whether you’re wiping windows or scrubbing appliances, do big, exaggerated arm circles until your muscles start to burn and make sure you’re switching arms as you go.

• Cook: It’s not cleaning, but it’s still a chore with useful downtime. While food is simmering or thawing in the microwave, do some pushups, situps, or planks to get your muscles moving. You can implement dozens of exercises to turn mundane activities into beneficial workouts. Some chores will burn more calories than others, but every bit of activity helps. Now’s the time to work your way to a cleaner house and a healthier you.

WORLD’S BEST VEGAN CHIMICHURRI

TAKE A BREAK!

Inspired by Simple Vegan

INGREDIENTS

• 2 tbsp dried oregano • 1/2 tsp salt (Himalayan pink salt recommended) • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper • Cayenne pepper, to taste

• 1/2 cup oil (extra-virgin olive oil recommended) • 1/4 cup vinegar (apple cider vinegar recommended) • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

1. In a bowl, add all ingredients except cayenne and whisk until well mixed. If desired, add cayenne pepper a little at a time until you reach your preferred level of spiciness. 2. Serve immediately or, for an even better taste and texture, refrigerate for 1–2 days. 3. You may increase the batch size, but keep the ratio of oil and vinegar the same — 2-to-1. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

1. COVER TITLE 1. MEET KA E RICKSON, OUR NEW PHYSICAL THERAPIST! INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2. HOW A HEALTHY CORE AFFECTS EVERYTHING YOU DO THE BEST GENRE OF MUSIC TO COMBAT DEPRESSION 3. EXERCISE YOUR WAY TO A CLEAN HOME WORLD’S BEST VEGAN CHIMICHURRI 4. ARE YOUR THRIFT STORE DONATIONS BEING THROWN AWAY?

ARE YOUR THRIFT STORE DONATIONS BEING THROWN AWAY?

subsequently donate unwanted items to charity. However, with the confusion about how long the COVID-19 virus can live on clothing, secondhand shoppers have been staying home, worried about the health risks of buying used goods. Famously, thrift stores still keep unsold goods out of landfills. Up to 75% of Goodwill’s merchandise, for example, isn’t sold in their stores. Instead, it’s sent to discount outlets and then into global markets. However, Mexican traders, who account for 30% of business at thrift stores close to the U.S. southern border, and Kenya, the world’s largest buyer of unsold secondhand clothes, have stopped buying during the economic shutdown. Meanwhile, some good-intentioned Americans are leaving their goods outside thrift stores’ front doors, not

Are you thinking about donating your kids’ old clothes or that slow cooker you haven’t used in months? Though donating your unwanted items is a great thing to do, amid the pandemic, many people have not considered the future of secondhand shopping and charity-based thrift stores like Goodwill. In 2018, Goodwill funded nearly $5.3 billion in charitable services, like educational assistance, job training, and work placements. But now, Goodwill and similar organizations are facing a unique problem: They’re receiving too many donations. To prevent your items from ending up in a landfill, consider the following before you donate. Under the circumstances, this situation is understandable. Thanks to nationwide stay-at-home orders, many took advantage of their newfound spare time to spring-clean and

realizing that without enough space to house the excess donations, many of these thrift stores will have to pay disposal fees, costing the business potential revenue and sending your items into local landfills. However, Goodwill still wants your donations! You just might have to hold on to your items for a little bit. Check to see if your local thrift stores are open for donations. Many recommend waiting until the influx slows down, but others have expanded their inventory storage and are ready to keep up. Just make sure to follow their guidelines on acceptable items because any broken or worn items only add to their costs. Happy donating!

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