TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEART It’s Your Most Important Muscle
When you go to the gym or start a new diet, what are you hoping to accomplish? For many of us, we are trying to grow stronger or lose weight but by implementing these methods, we are also improving the health of one of the most important tools in our body: the heart. February is American Heart Month, so it’s the perfect time for all of us to focus on our cardiovascular health because it’s essential that we do everything in our power to keep our hearts healthy and active.
You might not come directly to our office for a heart condition, but we see plenty of patients who walk through our doors who have decreased heart function. It takes effort and exercise to keep your cardiovascular system in tiptop shape. People often say that they need to lose weight or eat better, but it’s not enough to say these things. You have to actually DO them. You can’t always see if your heart is suffering until it’s too late. To ensure that your heart stays healthy, you need to elevate your heart rate between 60%–75% of its maximum rate during your workout routine at least three or four times a week. There are plenty of exercise routines for people to choose from, too. It could be walking, jogging, swimming, or exercising on any type of machine at the gym as long as you’re working hard.
“WITH THE HOLIDAYS BEHIND US AND SPRING RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, THERE’S NO
BETTER TIME TO GET YOUR HEART HEALTH BACK IN CHECK.”
Since we don’t actually see our hearts, we are more prone to neglect their function and health. High blood pressure and heart attacks are the silent killer and can easily sneak up on you. Be aware of your heart health and how poor behaviors can make things worse and keep your heart health at the top of the list of things you need to take care of. With the holidays behind us and spring right around the corner, there’s no better time to get your heart health back in check. You should never take your health for granted, so find ways to stay active and improve your overall health. It’s always easier to make adjustments to your lifestyle before they become a necessity.
Too many people are overweight, are out of shape, or aren’t exercising enough to help improve their heart health. And when we go to the gym, we are usually so focused on the muscles
outside of our body that we don’t pay enough attention to the ones within. Focusing your exercise routine around your cardiovascular health can be incredibly important. We focus on it during our physical therapy sessions through education and explaining how our work benefits your cardiovascular health.
DON’T LIKE FISH? OTHER WAYS TO GET YOUR OMEGA-3S
The most popular source of omega-3s is fish; so what if you don’t like the taste of seafood or have an allergy?
Here are some substitutions to consider.
1. You can add chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts to your meals to get the needed nutrients. They are great additions to granola, oatmeal, salads, smoothies, or when mixed with milk or yogurt. You can even put them on toast with peanut butter. 2. Edamame and kidney beans are also good substitutions. Boil or steam edamame and put them in your salads or side dishes. Kidney beans are a popular side dish as well and can be used in curries, stews, or rice.
If you made New Year’s resolutions for your health, there’s a good chance “eat better” is on the list, including adding more omega-3s to your diet. These fatty acids have a whopping 17 health benefits, such as fighting heart disease and Alzheimer’s — that’s probably why doctors often recommend them. Omega-3s have a ton of functions. For example, they create a phospholipid layer of cell membranes to help give cells structure. There are a lot of these fatty acids in your brain and eyes, and they are critical for the cognitive development of babies, as well. Omega-3s can also improve your heart health by reducing the amount of inflammation you experience.
3. If you’re looking for new cooking oil, soybean oil can replace vegetable or olive oil. You can also use it as a salad dressing.
4. Eating mixed greens such as kale and spinach is beneficial as well. These greens can be sautéed with soybean oil for even more benefits.
Just as omega-3s are important for the beginning of life, they’re equally important to help you maintain good health throughout your life as well.
5. If you need more of an omega-3 boost or are experiencing high levels of inflammation, there are supplements you can explore like krill oil, cod liver oil, fish oil, and algae oil.
Preventing and Treating Calf Muscle Strains
www.campuscommonsphysicaltherapy.com 2 problems, you should apply a cold compress for 20 minutes a day up to eight times a day and follow this up by applying heat to the tender area. Keep it elevated and wrapped to help prevent swelling. Have you ever gone out for a run or played a game of basketball and had to cut your exercise short due to pulling your calf muscle? A strain or pull occurs when the fibers of the calf muscle partially or completely tear, and it’s something most people have experienced at some point in their lives. Causes of calf strains include not warming up before an exercise, wearing the wrong type of footwear, or putting too much strain on the calf muscle. If you’re continually plagued by calf muscle strains, make sure you are warming up before your workout routine and stop if the area becomes swollen or painful. You’ll know that you strained your calf muscle if you’re feeling pain, noticing any swelling or redness, or if you’re having trouble with the mobility of your leg. If you notice any of these
If you’ve strained your calf muscle, you should rest and avoid strenuous activity. However, you can still do gentle stretches to maintain mobility and stabilize your joints while your calf heals. One of the easiest and best stretches to help your injury is the standing wall stretch. To do this, stand in front of a wall and
place both hands on it. Keep your injured leg straight as your other leg steps toward the wall.
Bend your uninjured leg and deepen the bend to produce a light stretch in your injured leg. Hold this stretch for 15–30 seconds.
Most people will fully recover from a pulled calf muscle, but in some instances, the injury could be severe enough to require surgery or physical therapy. If that’s the case for you, we’ll be on standby to help you through the recovery process.
PEOPLE WITH CEREBRAL PALSY NEED PHYSICAL THERAPY
One of the first steps in treating cerebral palsy when a child is first diagnosed is physical therapy. It helps to improve motor skills and can even prevent movement problems from getting worse over time. But once they become adults, it appears that people with cerebral palsy are not getting the physical therapy treatment necessary to help with their condition according to a study published in Disability and Health by a Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan team. The study found that even though adults with cerebral palsy are more likely to have debilitating pain from musculoskeletal disorders they are receiving significantly less physical therapy than those without cerebral palsy. The researchers looked through four years’ worth of Medicare claims from adults with and without cerebral palsy who had ambulatory claims for musculoskeletal issues. Less than one-third of the general population received physical therapy treatment, and that number was even less for those with cerebral palsy. Mark Peterson, the study’s co-author and a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, stated that “adults with cerebral palsy need more, but they’re getting much less in terms of treatment.”
Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood-onset motor disability and is often only viewed as affecting children, but those children grow up and eventually become adults. Peterson writes that “children with cerebral palsy grow up, and the general population of medical providers needs to be more aware that adults with cerebral palsy are at high risk for these musculoskeletal disorders.” Peterson also believes that these adults need more access to specialists who can provide them with high-value care. The researchers said the study shows the need for greater awareness among health care providers but also better screening strategies and preventative health interventions. According to 2010 estimates from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, about 1 in 345 children in the United States have been identified with cerebral palsy. Physical therapy will go a long way toward helping these children improve their quality of life and can help them well into adulthood if they continue with treatment.
TAKE A BREAK
Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breast
Inspired by DiabetesStrong.com
This succulent chicken stuffed with cheese, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes is impressive on the plate but easy in the kitchen! Our recipe makes 2 servings.
• • • •
2 chicken breasts
• • • • •
10 large basil leaves, chopped
2 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed 2 canned artichoke hearts, chopped 4 tsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 365 F. 2. Cut a slit lengthwise to create a pocket in the middle of each chicken breast. Place the breasts on a baking sheet. 3. In a medium bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, basil, and garlic. 4. Divide the mixture in half and stuff each chicken breast pocket. Using toothpicks, seal the edges of the pockets. 5. Season the chicken with curry, paprika, salt, and pepper, then bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F. 6. Remove the toothpicks and serve with rice, potatoes, salad, or roasted vegetables!
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Take Care of Your Most Important Muscle
Swap Fish for These Substitutes!
Preventing and Treating Calf Muscle Strains
Do You Know Someone With Cerebral Palsy?
Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breast
4 Ways to Clean With Baking Soda and Vinegar
e n t
4 WAYS TO USE BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR
To remove hard water stains from your sink , place a towel soaked in vinegar over the area. After a few hours, remove the towel and scrub the area with baking soda and water.
Instead of using harsh chemicals to clean, you can use natural products you probably already have in your home! Vinegar and baking soda are great resources for cleaning your house. Both are effective cleaning agents because they are on opposite sides of the pH scale, which measures how acidic a substance is. The scale goes from 1–14, with 1 being very acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 being very basic. Baking soda has a pH of 9, and vinegar has a pH of 2. When combined, the mixture releases carbon dioxide gas that can help lift dirt and germs from surfaces. Individually, these products are already cleaning powerhouses. Baking soda dissolves dirt, grease, and other sticky substances. It’s also gentle enough to clean without leaving scratches. Vinegar breaks down minerals that form from hard tap water, which can cause stains on sinks, bathtubs, and countertops. Please note that while bleach is popular for disinfecting surfaces, it’s unsafe when mixed with vinegar. Baking soda and bleach, however, are fine to mix together.
• If your laundry has mildew on it , add half a cup of baking soda into the laundry detergent. Then, add one cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle to kill bacteria. This method won’t ruin the fabric of your clothes. • Instead of using chemicals that could damage your pipes, unclog and clean your drains by using half a cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. This concoction will fizz up, but once it settles, flush the drain with hot water for five minutes. Afterward, run cold water down the drain. • Grout on bathroom tiles can be annoying to clean. To clean the grout , create a paste using baking soda and water, then spritz with vinegar. Immediately after doing this, scrub and rinse the area. Repeat these steps if needed.
Cleaning is all about trial and error. Try these tricks to find what works best for you!
Here are a few ways to use vinegar and baking soda in your cleaning routine.
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