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4851WunnenbergWay West Chester, Ohio 45069
Walking Into Spring
Springtime Benefits — and Hazards — to Your Health E ach year, as the weather warms up and the ice melts off our lakes and rivers, I get excited about being on the boat and out on the water again. Boating is one of my favorite warm-weather activities, and I’ve often found that the boat is the only place where I can completely relax and take my mind off work. I spend these warm days basking in the sunshine and soaking up memories with my family. It’s picture-perfect. But as we get closer to spring, I’m also looking forward to many other outdoor activities, including one I’m hoping to make more of a regular hobby again. Biking is an activity I picked up in 2006. It’s a great form of exercise that works a variety of different joints throughout the body. It promotes healthy endurance, and best of all, it allows me to soak in the sunshine. The sun can be a valuable resource for your overall health. Sunshine provides the body with a natural way to produce vitamin D, and while supplements can help you fill in the gaps of your vitamin deficiencies, nothing can beat a natural source. Taking in the sun’s benefits does your bones and your mood a favor. Studies have shown that vitamin D is crucial to supporting bone health, and studies on seasonal depressive disorder have shown that long days without the sun and the vitamin D it provides can have a dramatic, negative effect on your mood. Just be sure to wear a hat and some sunscreen as you enjoy the sun. If you’re not one to hop on a bike, one of the easiest ways to relish in the spring and summer sun is to walk. Like biking, walking is a good way to move nearly every part of your body, and it stimulates otherwise stagnant joints that might be stiff or strained from long periods of sitting or standing. Our bodies were designed to be in motion, yet so much of our lives is focused on being still. Walking is a great remedy for this. However, walking without paying attention to what your body is telling you is dangerous. Improper movements or situations can have a negative effect on your joints, sciatic nerve, lower back, knees, and hips. The biggest culprit behind this pain may be the equipment you choose for your feet. When our
shoes don’t offer proper support, our feet suffer, and when our
feet are in pain, ripple effects are felt throughout our entire bodies.
Wearing a shoe designed for the shape of your feet that supports
your movements is the best way to prevent injury while enjoying the positive effects of walking. Shoe salespeople can measure your feet for the correct shoe size, but they are only looking to make money off your need for shoes. Once you have the correct size, a medical professional can help you determine the proper fit and level of stability needed for your movements. At Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness, our walking consultations can help you discover the kinds of shoes you should use, lifts you can wear that are both practical and fashionable, and ways to prevent injuries and pain from walking. This consultation can help you avoid problems in the future, and it can give you the optimal lift and motion needed to make walking as beneficial as possible for your body. (See this month’s insert for a special offer on our walking consultations!) Don’t let the fear of pain keep you indoors this spring. Lace up shoes made just for you, soak in the sunshine, and enjoy a fresh walk with friends, neighbors, and family. After a long winter indoors, your body will thank you. See you out on the trails!
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Donate With Care
The RightWay to Donate After Spring-Cleaning
spend hours of manpower sorting through things that end up in the trash anyway.
Spring is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate with another round of spring- cleaning. Banish the clutter and make room in your life for something new! Many charities see a sharp increase in donations as spring-cleaning season starts. Donating your used books, kids’ toys, and gently worn clothing allows your old items to have a second life. However, when filling that donation box, make sure you’re donating each item because it can do good and not just because you feel bad about throwing it away. Charities have a big problem with well-meaning citizens dropping off items that are better left in the trash. There are many items charities simply cannot handle. Most charities will have lists of items they can and cannot accept on their websites. Some items that you should not donate include:
This process can be expensive for organizations with already-strained resources. Some local charities spend over $1,000 a year on dumpster and trash removal fees for unusable donations.
While charities will have no choice but to throw unusable donations in the trash, there are services you can use to make your spring-cleaning eco-friendly, even for items you can’t donate. For example, if you have torn or stained blue jeans, reach out to Blue Jeans Go Green. This program keeps denim out of landfills by turning it into insulation. And while Goodwill can’t take your batteries or old flip phone, you can check out Call2Recycle.org to learn how to safely recycle your e-waste.
Tangled cords or phone chargers
Any broken, damaged, or dirty items
Loose remote controls
Personal care items, like soap, shampoo, or makeup
Your donations can be a big help to local charities. Just don’t “donate” your garbage.
These items may be unsafe to sell, costly to ship, or impossible to refurbish effectively. When a charity regularly receives items they cannot use, they have to
“I had a bad case of plantar fasciitis, for which I had to wear a boot and walk with crutches. I was not allowed to put any weight on my foot for about five weeks. After treatments, my doctor recommended that I go to physical therapy. A friend at church told me what a great experience they had at Stretch PT. I decided to give Stretch a try and I am glad that I did. You can be assured that the people at Stretch PT know what to do and how to do it right. As a bonus, they are very nice people to work with. Now I can do all the things I used to do without pain. Thanks Stretch!” –Jack W. OUR PATIENTS SAY IT BEST
HEALTHY & ACTIVE
Prepare Your Kids for Spring Sports With a Mobility Exam
As your little baseball or softball player begins oiling their mitt for the upcoming ball season, you’re probably coordinating their schedule and searching for their cleats. But in the midst of all the preparation, make sure their body is up to the task of staying healthy, fit, and mobile this spring season by scheduling a sports mobility exam at Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness. Many people know that physical therapy can help athletes and those in pain relieve their injuries, but most are unaware that it can also help people prevent injuries. Therapists are experts on joints, muscles, and movements, and they understand the recovery process. They not only help people find relief and rehabilitation; they also offer patients tools, tips, and tricks to avoid the injury again. That same knowledge is used by the experts at Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness to help our uninjured patients stay healthy. Getting your young athlete a sports wellness exam prior to taking the field can alert both parents and children to possible injuries the child could sustain during their sport. Specialists can pinpoint areas of an athlete’s body that are most susceptible to injury, and they can also provide information on common injuries for that sport. Knowledge of these complications can help your athlete prepare for the pain, take active measures to avoid it, and keep watch for potential warning signs.
Furthermore, a young athlete’s body is constantly changing, and that’s not just from regular growth spurts. A young athlete is also working their body in ways their peers may not be, and their bodies may be stronger in different areas. For example, what’s normal for your daughter who is a swimmer may not be the same for your son who plays baseball. Seeking an expert’s advice on how to prevent and mitigate injuries for each child is necessary for their total wellness.
Watching your child play their favorite sport can be a mixed bag of pride and nerves. Gain some peace of mind and schedule your young athlete for a mobility exam before their season begins. Call Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness at 513-874-8800 for more information or to talk to a scheduler.
HAVE A LAUGH!
Beet, Mint, and Ricotta Hummus
A delicious and healthy take on the classic Levantine spread, this hummus will brighten up your March Madness snack spread.
1 6-ounce beet (about the size of an adult fist), scrubbed 1 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• • • • •
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
• • •
1/3 cup tahini, well-mixed 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil, for garnish
Heat oven to 425 F.
2. Wrap beet tightly in foil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, roast wrapped beet until fork tender, about 60–70 minutes. 3. While beet is roasting, blend chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander until smooth. 4. Once beet is cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to remove beet skin. Trim root end and cut into small pieces. Add to blender or food processor, and blend until entire mixture is smooth. Add additional salt if desired. 5. Transfer to a shallow bowl, top with garnishes, and serve. 513-874-8800 Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine
Phone: 513-874-8800 www.stretchphysicaltherapy.com
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4851WunnenbergWay West Chester, Ohio 45069
The Health Benefits of Spring
Why Charities Hate Spring-Cleaning
Our Patients Say It Best!
Mobility Exams for Young Athletes
Try This Tasty Hummus Recipe!
Family Activities for St. Patrick’s Day
Celebrating St. Patrick’ s Day
Exploring Irish Culture Another way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your family is to sit down and read about Irish culture with your kids. Learn where the legend of the leprechaun came from or read other stories from Irish folklore. You can also watch videos of Irish dance performances and encourage the kids to make their own. There’s also fascinating history on St. Patrick and why he became the patron of the holiday that your family members can research together. If you have Irish roots, tell your kids about your heritage. Watch Irish Movies For a relaxing activity, settle down in front of the TV for a movie night filled with films related to Irish culture. Try “The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns,”“Song of the Sea,”“The Luck of the Irish,” or “The Secret of Kells.” Make an Impact Teach your kids how to be “greener” this month by doing more for the environment. Discuss ways to save energy and water in the home, and talk about the importance of taking a break from electronics and enjoying the outdoors. This list is not exhaustive by any means, but it’s a good start to get your family to create new ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You might even create family traditions that will last for years to come.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to mean heading to the local Irish bar and drinking a large green beverage. If you’re not
interested in going out this year and would prefer to do something at home with the family, here are a few
ways everyone can celebrate. Irish-Themed Food What better way to get festive than by making some St. Patrick’s Day-themed dishes? You can make rainbow cupcakes, green cookies, St. Patrick’s Day popcorn, or — for a more traditional dish — Irish soda bread. You can also cook up an array of greens for dinner on March 17, which could include Brussels sprouts, spinach, cucumbers, green beans, peas, or asparagus. A Mischievous Leprechaun To treat your kids to a fun game, leave green footprints around the house and participate in impish tricks! Empty a tissue box, hide the remote, swap out regular light bulbs with green ones, or draw rainbows on the windows. You’re only limited by your imagination.
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