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Florida’s Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The Perfect Season for Outdoor Family Activities
Winter has to be every Floridian’s favorite time of the year. Unlike residents in the northern half of the U.S., we don’t spend months with rosy cheeks and battle snow drifts every time we leave our homes. Having grown up in Chicago, I have experience with those conditions. But now that I live somewhere with perfect, summer-like weather from November through May, I’m not sure I ever want a snowy winter again. One of my favorite activities during a Florida winter is tending the garden. Again, growing up in Chicago, we weren’t accustomed to having fresh produce throughout the winter; it was either frozen or canned. But now you can find me spending my free time tending my yard and making a perfect growing environment for our strawberries, lettuce, carrots, and numerous vegetables. In the springtime, our garden becomes a home for what would typically be Midwestern autumn-harvest staples, such as tomatoes, peppers, and green beans.
near our house and dip some poles in the water. We typically toss back the bass we catch. If we want seafood, we can get professionally caught fresh fish from the grocery store. We just enjoy spending a quiet winter afternoon at the lake and connecting over a hobby I bonded with my dad and grandfather over. As a kid, if we went fishing in the winter, it was usually ice fishing — which I never liked. We just stared at holes in an icy lake for long, chilly days, and the only real excitement was when we broke out the hot chocolate. Being in my father’s and grandfather’s position now, I can see the immense joys and frustrations that come with being the parent of a young fisherman. Luckily, Noah picked up the hobby pretty quickly, so I wasn’t picking too many lines out of the weeds for very long. My family and I enjoy spending as much time as we can together outside in the winter. As Floridians know, summers in this state can be brutal. If we’re not staving off sweat at home in the air conditioning, we’re at the beach or lounging by the
pool. In the winter, we get out onto the hiking and biking trails. It’s the perfect time to explore and spend outdoor time together, and we’re fortunate that the nice weather lasts for a majority of the year rather than the other way around. But I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss the snow a little bit. Every year, we get our snowy, chilly winter fix by visiting my family for one week and going skiing in Colorado for another. Our skiing habit began because my son wanted to try it, and I’d only been skiing in the Midwest, which is more hilly than mountainous. So we ventured to Colorado, and the trip became a tradition. Even as lifelong Floridians, my wife and kids enjoy getting their snow, sleet, and ice fix for a few weeks each year — though they also enjoy coming back to warm weather. Now that I’ve lived in Florida, raised a family, and established traditions, I have to admit that I couldn’t imagine spending winter any other way.
-Luke Kron, PT Managing Partne
When I’m not digging in the dirt, my son Noah and I like to trek over to the lake
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A GUIDE TO DOWNSIZING What to Keep, Gift, Donate, and Throw Out
Many homeowners reach a point in their lives when they’re ready to move from the house they raised their families in to something smaller and more manageable. While finding the right place can be a challenge, the hardest part of downsizing is often sorting through a lifetime’s worth of possessions. This process, called contents downsizing, is much easier when you follow this four-step system. Start With the Junk Beginning your downsizing with the hardest items will only lead to frustration and inaction. Instead, start by tackling areas of the house that are full of documents, knickknacks, and boxes you haven’t touched in years. These will be the easiest to part with and will put you in the right downsizing mindset. Donate Unwanted Items The next category contains items that are no longer valuable to you or your
cancer treatments feel stronger and better. Since physical therapy involves a safe, productive exercise routine that is molded for each person, cancer patients can create a stronger bodily defense in their fight against cancer. Additionally, the World Federation of Physical Therapy reports that breast cancer patients who took part in physical therapy saw a 34 percent decrease in mortality from the cancer, a 41 percent decrease in death overall, and a 24 percent decrease in the cancer’s recurrence. Chronic Conditions Physical therapy is well-known for its positive impact on your joints and muscles, but it can also help you fight your internal conditions. Diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, and blood system disorders can not only be managed but also improved through physical therapy. For example, diabetes patients can often reduce their symptoms by sticking to a healthy diet and exercise routine. Physical therapy, in turn, helps patients develop a regular family but may be useful to others. These items can be donated to one of many worthy organizations, such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or St. Vincent de Paul. Donations are a way to give back to the less fortunate instead of simply giving or throwing things away. Give Gifts to Loved Ones If you have children, they will undoubtedly want to keep a few cherished mementos and precious possessions. Deciding who will keep what can be a sensitive subject, so you’ll need to devise an equitable way to divvy up the goods. Some families engage in the process collaboratively, but there should always be some communication before anything is thrown out. Your kids may value certain items more than you ever realized. If you suspect a certain heirloom could be a source of contention, it’s best to hold on to it and make it part of your estate plan.
Only Keep the Essentials After completing the first three steps, you should be left with only those items you actually use and those that have the most sentimental value to you. These are the objects worth bringing to your new home.
Bonus Tip: Color Code Each Category
Odds are that you’ll find junk and valuables stored right next to each other. If you don’t have time to physically separate them at the moment, use different colored Post-it notes to keep everything organized when it comes time to move.
LITTLE-KNOWN BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY What a Surprise
exercise pattern and form healthy habits, which can go a long way for any patient living with diabetes and various other chronic disorders. Saving Money Not only can physical therapy prevent possible complications from going under the knife, it can also help you save on fees associated with costly surgeries and injections. According to a recent study by the Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation, physical therapy is cheaper than surgeries and injections, and it can save on related costs for at least another year. The same study found that patients who opted for physical therapy over surgery saved a whopping 50 percent more than their counterparts who underwent surgery. Save money, get stronger, and fight chronic diseases with Four Corners Health & Rehabilitation. To find out how we can help you, call 352-243-4422 or visit FourCornersRehab.com .
Weekend warriors and student athletes know physical therapy can help them recover and perform better and faster. But did you know that adhering to a regular physical therapy regimen could also work wonders for you in other ways too? Find out how below! Cancer First of all, physical therapy is not a cure for cancer, but studies have shown that patients who add regular physical therapy appointments to their
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SAY WHAT? What Is Speech Therapy, and How Can It Help Me?
Despite speech therapy’s immense benefits, it’s often only associated with helping people speak clearly. The truth is this treatment can help patients of all ages suffering from the side effects of dementia, autism, strokes, head trauma, swallowing difficulties, speaking and social disorders, and even cancer. Speech therapists do more than just work with patients on facial exercises; they are problem-solvers who find solutions for alternative communication with their patients. They can function as practitioners who diagnose patients with certain conditions and subsequently come up with treatment plans. They even teach people to eat safely by conducting exercises that target specific muscles in the face and neck. Therapists have the flexibility to work in a variety of settings, including schools, nursing homes, WITH SUDOKU TAKE A BREAK
patients’ homes, and clinics, like Four Corners Health & Rehabilitation.
As any experienced therapist will tell you, the sooner you jump into speech therapy, the better. Waiting too long to get help with speaking clearly and eating properly can cause your brain to think this adaptation is a normal function. These modified actions can be unhealthy, dangerous, and lead to social isolation. But speech therapy can have immense benefits for patients with lifelong speech impediments, those who are living with the aftereffects of a stroke or head trauma, and even cancer patients who are struggling with lingering side effects of cancer treatments. It’s never too late to start speech therapy, as therapists are trained to treat a variety of conditions and severities. The best time to begin speech therapy is in childhood, when the brain is still developing.
Like traditional physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy is more than just showing up to appointments. It takes months, sometimes years, of dedication. But patients will find success when they continually do at-home prescribed exercises and find a support system that encourages healthy mouth movements. Four Corners Health & Rehabilitation recently revamped its speech therapy options, and we have new dedicated therapists for a variety of your needs. Learn how they can help you by calling 352-243-4422 or visiting FourCornersRehab.com .
Inspired by Bon Appétit
CITRUS AND AVOCADO SALAD
INGREDIENTS • 1 blood, cara cara, or navel orange, sliced 1/8-inch thick and deseeded • 1 Meyer or regular lemon, sliced 1/8-inch thick and deseeded • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice • 1 bunch arugula • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves • 1 avocado, cut into wedges • Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a rimmed baking sheet, toss citrus slices with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast citrus until lightly charred and caramelized, about 10–15 minutes. Let cool. 3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine onion and lemon juice. Season with salt and let sit for 5 minutes. 4. Add citrus, arugula, and mint to onion mixture. Drizzle with remaining oil,
season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss thoroughly. 5. Add avocado, combing very gently to not crush avocado.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 2 3 4 ENJOYING A FLORIDA WINTER WHY LESS STUFF MEANS MORE FREEDOM SHOCKING BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY HOW SPEECH THERAPY CAN HELP YOU CITRUS AND AVOCADO SALAD WHY START THE NEW YEAR IN WINTER? WHY JANUARY? The month of January kicks off by welcoming the new year — there are countdowns, fireworks, and of course, the ball drop in a freezing-cold Times Square. But why? Why do we start our calendars when much of the U.S. is in the dead of winter? Why January? The short answer is Julius Caesar and Roman politics.
THE ORIGIN OF NEW YEAR’S DAY
celebrate new beginnings? Under Caesar and subsequent rulers, the Roman Empire expanded its reach, carrying its calendar with it. While much of Europe adopted Caesar’s calendar, New Year’s Day remained a hot-button issue for centuries. Thanks in part to the spread of Christianity and to the colder conditions in Northern Europe, there was a lot of resistance to the January start date. Religious leaders
The calendar had long been a political tool in Rome. Depending on who was in power, Roman pontifices would add or subtract entire weeks from the year, manually adjusting the term limits of elected officials. As you could imagine, this caused a lot of chaos, because months frequently slipped out of time with the changing seasons. After becoming emperor, Julius Caesar brought about some much-needed reforms.
saw it as a pagan holiday, and much of Europe chose to restart the calendar on March 25, during the Feast of Annunciation. Much of Catholic Europe officially recognized Jan. 1 as the start of the new year after Pope Gregory reformed the solar calendar again, correcting certain mathematical errors made in Caesar’s day. There were still holdouts, however. In fact, England and its American colonies continued to celebrate New Year’s Day in March until 1752.
Inspired by the Egyptian solar calendar, Caesar fixed the Roman year at 365 days and instituted the leap year to keep months aligned with the solstices. He moved the new year from the spring to the day that elected officials traditionally began their year-long terms, Jan. 1.
So there you have it — we were very close to having our fireworks celebrations in lovely spring weather. Ultimately, the ubiquity of the Gregorian calendar won out, as the demands of our increasingly interconnected world made a shared calendar a necessity. So if you struggle to start your New Year’s resolutions this winter, blame Julius Caesar.
This choice carried spiritual significance, since January was named for Janus, god of doors and gates. What better month to
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