The Physical Therapy Doctor - May 2021

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May 2021

ON THE

MOVE

COME ROAD TRIPPING WITH ME! RELIVING 5 STOPS ON MY EPIC CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

When I was about a year out of physical therapy school, my roommate, Dan, had a wild idea.

camera, and we had a blast photographing them in “Walk Like an Egyptian” and other poses. 3. Another one of my favorite stops was the town of Carmel, where Clint Eastwood was once mayor. Dan took me to a restaurant at the end of a pier, and we ordered steaming bread bowls filled with delicious clam chowder. My first thought was, “Thank you, Clint Eastwood!” 4. Of course, it wouldn’t be a California road trip if we didn’t stop at Big Sur and Redwoods National Park. The approach was one of my favorite parts. As we drove, the trees got larger and larger. By the end, they were big enough to drive a car though! I’ll never forget stopping at the famous tree with the tunnel carved into it. Instead of driving through the trunk, we decided to walk. Forget about counting rings — it went on forever! 5. Last but not least, I loved exploring San Francisco. I was impressed with the colorful houses and the steep, winding streets that curled like snakes up and down the city’s hills. As we drove past driveways on the famous Lombard Street, I thought about how crazy it was that people came home to those houses every night. Apparently, locals have to use their emergency brakes to keep their cars from rolling away. On top of all that, I loved seeing the fat-bellied sea lions lounging at Fisherman’s Wharf and the kids skateboarding in concrete bowls and doing tricks like little Tony Hawks. We even caught an Angels baseball game, and in the town of Santa Maria, I took a photo and sent it to my then-girlfriend (now wife) Maria. I thought I was pretty clever. Not long after we got back from our adventure, Dan opened his first physical therapy practice, then I opened mine! Dan has always been an entrepreneurial guy, so today, he has about 15 clinics around Manhattan. Meanwhile, I’m happy with just the one. I love treating patients and would never want to let that go in order to run a huge business. After all, if I didn’t know you by name, why would you care to read about my road trip?

“Hey, Robert,” he said, “Let’s take a road trip through California!”

As a guy born and raised in New York, California felt about a lifetime away. But Dan didn’t have to work hard to talk me into it. He was also a PT, and there was a three-day shoulder injury conference taking place that summer in Los Angeles. My summer was wide open, so I thought, “Why not?” We flew out to Los Angeles, rented a car, and, after the conference was over, set out on an epic “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”- style adventure to San Francisco. I can hardly count all of the amazing things that we saw on the way there and back. First off, California is completely gorgeous! The water, the beaches, the cliffs, the sunset right into the ocean . We don’t have that stuff here in New York, or at least it doesn’t look as nice. When Dan and I were driving, we stopped every 15 minutes to take pictures at the overlooks. Our rationale was, “Well, when will we ever see something like this again?!” and the answer turned out to be, “Drive 15 more minutes, and you’ll see something like that, but better.” As hard as it is to choose, here are my top five moments from the trip. 1. Dan had buddies at University of California Santa Cruz, and we crashed with them for a night. WOW. The school is right on the cliffs, and every building has views of the deep blue Pacific Ocean. Plus, the dorm rooms are huge! If I went to class there, I’d probably never want to graduate. 2. Early in our trip, Dan drove off the highway and down a maze of dirt roads. I was confused about where the heck we were going, especially when he had to jump out of the car and open a cattle gate, but he told me that he “knew a spot.” And boy, did he ever! After driving for hours, we came across a beautiful outcropping of bright red rocks. When we stood with the sunset behind us, our crisp shadows on the stone looked like art! Dan pulled out his

–Dr. Robert Morea

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A FRESH CUP OF … WATER IN THE MORNING? TIPS FOR DRINKING YOUR DAILY LIMIT The human body needs water. We are , in fact, 60% water, so we require replenishment on a daily basis! And first thing in the morning, when you haven’t had any water for at least eight hours, it’s important to start rehydrating as effectively as possible. So, before you go for that cup of joe, go for a glass of water. You might even end up skipping the coffee. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, dehydration may be a part of why we feel groggy and disoriented in the morning in the first place. Mild dehydration has been linked to lower brain function in general, with a wide range of effects on our cognition and performance. Can all that really happen overnight? Yes and no. By itself, an eight-hour period isn’t usually enough to cause mild dehydration. But coupled with the fact that most Americans aren’t drinking enough water to begin with, odds are good that when you go to bed, you haven’t had your daily intake. In general, you should be drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Morning is the perfect time to start that process. One trick is to fill a water bottle each night (bonus

points for ice!) and leave it by your bed. That way, when you wake up thirsty at night, you don’t have to go anywhere — and your first few glasses of the day are right there as well. You may be tempted to reach for other beverages throughout the day to keep hydration up. But the reality is that most of your water intake should just be water. If you really need some extra kick to stay hydrated, you can try club soda or sparkling water, which can be purchased cheaply at any grocery store. It’s also important to remember not all water is created equally. Packaged water is an option for people who don’t have access to good drinking water at home, as are in-fridge filters, on-sink filters, or jug filters. You want the water to taste as good as possible to increase your odds of drinking enough. So, what are you waiting for? Fill a glass today and change tomorrow for the better.

AN ANCIENT PRACTICE WITH MODERN BENEFITS

GIVE TAI CHI A TRY

Martial artist and actor, Li Lianjie — aka Jet Li — is best known for his roles in the films “Fist of Legend,” “Shaolin Temple,” “Fearless,” and “Hero.” He has over 30 years of experience as a tai chi practitioner and is an advocate for the traditional Chinese martial art form. That’s because it comes with a long history that shows its many benefits.

Yang, Chen, Wu Hao, Wu, and Sun styles. The most commonly practiced form is Yang, which places an emphasis on slow and exaggerated movements accompanied with slow, deep breaths. Because it includes gentle movements, Yang tai chi can be practiced by many individuals, regardless of their age or mobility. Tai chi is also a perfect way for anyone recovering from an injury to exercise without straining their bodies. Benefits For aging adults, tai chi offers many benefits, including balance, strength, and flexibility, which begin to fade with age but are necessary to help people stay active and reduce the risks of falling or developing arthritis. Because tai chi also focuses on the mind and breathing, it also improves mental and emotional well-being.

Origins While the exact age of this martial art form is unknown, tai chi can be dated back to as far as 2,500 years ago. Tai chi, also known as tai chi chuan or qi gong, was originally created and used as a form of self-defense. However, practitioners adapted it over the centuries, and many began using it as a form of meditation and exercise. Today, tai chi includes a focus on the mind, breathing practices, body awareness, and motion through slow and deliberate movements. Practicing this discipline brings calm and balance into the mind and body, which can be integrated into every aspect of life.

Learning tai chi is easy, and it starts with attending the right class. Find a local martial arts school or consider joining Jet Li’s online academy at TaijiZen.com. Through this ancient form, you can bring peace, balance, and health into your life.

Forms Tai chi consists of several different forms, including

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‘FINALLY, A LEGIT NUTRITION STUDY!’ THE LINK BETWEEN PROCESSED FOOD AND WEIGHT GAIN

Instagram star, Doctor Mikhail “Mike” Varshavski went truly viral in 2015 after being dubbed “the sexiest doctor alive” by People magazine. Though his good looks brought him initial fame, Doctor Mike’s steadfast approach to his profession as a certified primary care physician is what keeps him relevant. Today, he shares educational videos on his YouTube channel about medicine and health. In his video, “Finally, a LEGIT Nutrition Study,” he breaks down new research on highly processed foods and our health. Studies have shown that a diet filled with highly processed food increases our risk of obesity and diseases like diabetes and heart disease. These all too common health concerns decrease our longevity, yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports: • 42.2% of the U.S. population is considered obese. • 1 in 10 people has diabetes. • 18.2 million adults over the age of 20 have coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease. Despite knowing this, scientists were unsure whether these outcomes were linked to people eating highly processed foods or people not eating enough unprocessed whole foods. Doctor Mike explains that this uncertainty was due to a lack of randomized controlled studies. But in 2019, the

National Institutes of Health conducted such a study and was able to prove a causal relationship for the first time. “Eating a diet rich in highly processed food causes weight gain,” researchers concluded. In this study, 20 participants lived in a facility where their meals were prepared for them. For two weeks, participants received meals made only

from highly processed foods, and for the other two weeks, all meals were made with unprocessed foods. On the weeks that participants ate processed foods, they gained 2 pounds per week on average. On the weeks they ate unprocessed foods, they lost 2 pounds per week on average. The study also showed that when the participants ate only processed foods, they consumed an extra 500 calories per day. Doctor Mike theorizes that’s because those foods are addicting, they taste better, and they’re more accessible. If you’re interested in learning more about the relationship between food and health or any other medical topic, check out Doctor Mike’s YouTube channel. His fun and educational videos dive deep into these topics and offer easy-to-understand explanations.

SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD Inspired by ACoupleCooks.com

TAKE A BREAK!

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

• 1 lb asparagus spears

1. With a vegetable peeler, shave each asparagus spear from tip to base. This is easiest to do if the asparagus is on a flat surface. 2. Place shaved asparagus in a bowl and blot off excess moisture with a paper towel. 3. In a separate bowl, make a vinaigrette by whisking together lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. 4. Pour vinaigrette over shaved asparagus and add Parmesan cheese, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.

• 1 tbsp lemon juice

• 1 tsp Dijon mustard

• 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

• 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

• 1/2 tsp kosher salt

• 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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718.747.2019

theptdoctor.com 212-73 26th Ave. Bayside, NY 11360

Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1.

ROAD TRIP THROUGH CALIFORNIA WITH ROBERT

2. A NICE CUP OF WATER IN THE MORNING?

BRING PEACE AND BALANCE INTO YOUR LIFE

3. PROVING THE WEIGHT-GAIN CULPRIT SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD 4. CAN YOU DO CARDIO AT HOME?

GET YOUR HEART PUMPING AT HOME! 4 LIVING ROOM CARDIO WORKOUTS

Walking for 30 minutes a day is a great way to get in some exercise, but getting in a daily walk outdoors isn’t always possible. If you're unable to enjoy your regular cardio exercise, what can you do? Try these four cardio workouts to get your heart pumping right from your living room. March in Place Marching is a great way to start slowly increasing your heart rate. Start by standing in place then lifting the legs up in a steady march, lifting each knee as high as you can without losing your balance. Make sure that you are also pumping your arms in time with your feet. For the best outcome, lift your legs 20 times. Side Steps Start by standing in the middle of the room with plenty of space for you to step left and right. Take a side step in one direction, then two side steps in the opposite direction, then move back two steps. If you’re worried about keeping your balance, try doing this within an arm’s length of a wall so you can reach out to steady yourself, and remember to keep your back straight. Repeat 20 times. Seated Rows While sitting in a chair, keep your spine straight and shoulders back. Extend your arms until they’re out in front of you,

parallel with the floor. Using your shoulder and back muscles, pull your arms toward you then back out in front, as though you were rowing a canoe. Repeat this exercise 8–10 times.

Dance Dancing is a great cardio exercise and plenty of fun

too! Pick your favorite dance style and start moving those feet. Some styles, such as ballet or hip-hop, can be more challenging, especially if your mobility is limited. However, freestyle is plenty of fun too. No matter how you choose to dance and whether you’re by yourself, with a friend, or with your spouse, turn on some music and start grooving to your favorite tunes. A Note on Safety: Before you get started on any exercises, make sure that the space around you is safe. Give yourself plenty of room to move around so you don’t have to worry about bumping into furniture and accidentally hurting yourself. If you’re an older adult, be sure to have a stable surface nearby just in case. A chair, for example, can help you steady yourself if you begin to lose your balance.

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FREE Balance Check-Up With Dr. Robert Morea, PT Wednesday, May 19

Falls Are the Leading Cause of Traumatic Death in Seniors

Do something now! Don’t wait until it’s too late! Wednesday, May 19 Only 8 available spots, so book your appointment today! 718-747-2019

“My balance has improved!” – M.W. “After 5 weeks, I feel much better. I have more confidence in my walking. I am using my shopping cart less. I am glad I came.” - S.P.

Don’t wait — claim your spot today!

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