Advanced Practice PT - January 2023

JANUARY 2023 | 406-770-3171


Hey, guys — it’s Kate, and I’m officially back from maternity leave! I’ve been back since October, but I know I might not have seen you yet. I’m looking forward to catching up and sharing photos of my sweet son, John, the next time you stop into the clinic. John was a great sleeper when we first brought him home, but the peace and quiet didn’t last. He is sure keeping us busy! I hope he’ll settle down again soon, but in the meantime, I have two goals for the new year while adjusting to life with a baby. 1. Get as much nighttime sleep as possible. (Although, who really sleeps these days?)

2. Do some kind of physical activity four days a week.

You may have picked that second resolution for yourself, too. If you did, I have good news: I’m leading a 6-Week Fitness Workshop this spring that will help you start 2023 strong. I recently earned a certification in Modern Management of the Older Adult (MMOA), and this workshop incorporates a lot of the latest and greatest knowledge about strength training for seniors. We’ll meet once a week for six weeks and complete exercises to build muscle strength, endurance, and resilience. On the first day, I will assess your vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen level, etc.) and baseline fitness level. We can address any concerns you may have regarding painful areas or joint replacements. Identifying those gaps in your fitness and movement will help me plan exercises to boost those areas and keep your health from slipping. The class will cover one or two fitness skills each week, like squats, deadlifts, burpees, and loaded carries. I’ll give you options to make each skill more or less challenging, and we’ll also work on ways to improve your balance and reduce your risk of falls. At the end of six weeks, you’ll have the experience and know-how to create circuit-style workouts and progress your fitness on your own. The exercises will

also boost your cardiovascular endurance, promote better sleep quality, and build your confidence in your abilities inside and outside of the gym. Six weeks of workouts might sound intimidating — especially if you’re on the older side of senior or recovering from a recent injury or illness — but I promise it’s a great next step after traditional physical therapy. The exercises themselves may be a challenge (they should be!), but I’ll guide you every step of the way and keep you from going too far and hurting yourself. The rest of the class will cheer you on, too. As the famous strength and conditioning coach Bret Contreras once said, “If you think lifting is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous.” I’d love to share more details about the workshop with you. If you’re interested in hearing about the specific dates and how much it will cost, call the office at 406-770-3171. I’d love to see you there. We can rebuild our strength and crush our fitness goals for 2023 together! –Kate Erickson

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While working with your physical therapist in person is a crucial part of recovery, the maintenance you do at home matters just as much. However, most people find sticking with their at-home therapy routine harder than expected. Sometimes we’re exhausted after a long day, have other plans, or simply forget to perform home therapy. It makes sense why so many people can easily fall behind on their healing. We’d like to help — so if you’re feeling unmotivated, try these four easy hacks. Educating Yourself The most straightforward way to ensure you follow through with your at-home therapy is to understand the benefits you’re receiving from it. If you feel it’s pointless to exercise at home — and you plan on just waiting to see your therapist — you will lose the motivation to accomplish what you should be doing to properly heal.

you’re getting from those at-home exercises. That way, when deciding whether to do them, you’ll know precisely how you may harm yourself by failing to follow through.

be, find these pockets of time and set an alarm as a reminder to do your physical therapy. Starting Earlier If you don’t want to use your lunch break or relaxation time for physical therapy, start your day earlier to fit it in. Set your morning alarm to go off only 10–15 minutes before it normally would — and get those exercises in! This way, you’ll feel more awake by moving your body first thing in the morning. Plus, you won’t have to feel anxious about completing your routine later in the day. Multitasking You don’t need to do your physical therapy alone in a silent room. If you like to watch TV in the evenings, complete your therapy while watching and exercising simultaneously. If your dinner has to bake for 30 minutes, use that time to do your PT. Before you know it, you’ll have completed your therapy, and you can be proud of how hard you’ve worked to improve your health.

Using an Alarm Once your at-home therapy is

prescribed, figure out when it best fits into your schedule. Maybe you have free time after dinner or during your lunch break. Whatever the case may

Next time you see your physical therapist, ask them about the benefits

Volunteer to Keep Your Body and Mind Active! Sharing Your Time Can Become Your Favorite Exercise

Staying active is increasingly vital to our health as we age. But pain, injury, or the lack of an exercise location can limit how we keep fit. But luckily, there is an easy way to have an active lifestyle without lifting weights or joining a gym: volunteer! Here are three reasons volunteering can be your new favorite exercise if you’re looking to flex some physical, mental, or social “muscle.” It moves you. Volunteering offers different ways to move your body! Even small things like strolling through a park to pick up litter, navigating around a soup kitchen, or directing visitors at your local donation center keep you active. Most organizations are happy to modify more strenuous activities (like lifting heavy boxes or walking up a steep hill) to fit your abilities. So, even if you’re just beginning an exercise habit, volunteering is a perfect initial step in your fitness journey. Your brain expands. When you volunteer with others, you usually have a common goal, like feeding the community, cleaning up a park, or planting

a garden. Joining others to accomplish a task provides a significant brain boost, and studies show camaraderie increases positive thoughts and feelings.

On top of feeling better, volunteering keeps your mind agile. By working hard to solve a problem, you’re using more neural pathways, which helps keep mental decline at bay. You form connections. As we mentioned earlier, when you show up to volunteer, others usually attend for the same reason. Socializing with the group can help you feel less isolated and more connected to others, and some of these people may even become friends when the job is complete. If you want to get active but don’t know of volunteer opportunities in your area, visit and enter your zip code to find local in-person options. Help yourself and others by making volunteer work your go-to exercise!


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the body fight against inflammatory diseases. Their abundant antioxidants fight free radicals that can damage our cells and contain very low cholesterol levels. To top it off, they have minimal carbs and sodium, too. Incorporating More Dark Greens Into Your Diet Unlike some people might think, you don’t need to eat a kale salad every night or Popeye your way through a can of spinach to consume a healthy amount of greens. Even if you’re in a rush, there are many simple ways to sneak some dark greens into your meals. • Wrap your favorite protein in a tortilla and add spinach, arugula, or kale. Whether it’s tuna salad or chicken breast, rolling it together with some dark greens and light sauce is an easy way to eat healthy while on the go. • Stir-fry your veggies with some chicken or tofu. Toss in greens like spinach, bok choy, or broccoli with garlic, onion, ginger, and soy sauce for an effortless weeknight meal. • Soften your greens in a soup. Even if you’re quickly making a can of Campbell's or ramen noodles, tossing your dark greens into the broth right before it’s done can help soften them. Just make sure to chop them so they’re small enough to slurp up from your spoon. Any way you prepare them, darker greens are better for your health. Try to incorporate them into at least one meal daily to receive the excellent benefits they provide.


After a long day of work, sometimes we want nothing more than to come home and relax, unburdened by the worry of whether or not our dinner is healthy. Unfortunately, these days add up, and the longer these unhealthy meals continue, the worse it can be for you. So how can you still eat a balanced diet even when you’re exhausted or busy? The answer is to add dark leafy greens to your diet. While any vegetable is better than a burger or a cookie, darker greens — like spinach, kale, bok choy, and mustard greens — provide many impressive health benefits. Because of their rich color, these greens have higher folate levels, a B vitamin responsible for promoting heart health and preventing cancer.

Along with B vitamins, dark leafy greens have tons of vitamin K. This protects bones from osteoporosis and helps

Air Fryer Roasted Salmon With Sautéed Balsamic Spinach


Inspired by



• 3 tsp olive oil, divided • 4 salmon fillets (6 oz each) • 1 1/2 tsp reduced- sodium seafood seasoning • 1/4 tsp pepper • 1 garlic clove, sliced • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes • 10 cups fresh baby spinach (about 10 oz) • 6 small tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat air fryer to 450 F. Rub 1 tsp oil over both sides of salmon, then sprinkle with seafood seasoning and pepper. In a greased air fryer basket, place salmon. 2. Cook about 10–12 minutes until fish flakes easily. 3. In a 6-qt stockpot, place remaining oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Heat over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in tomatoes; heat through. 4. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Cook until vinegar is reduced by half, then remove from heat. 5. Arrange spinach on serving dish. Place salmon over spinach mixture and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

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406-770-3171 |


1. The Fitness Workshop You Need in 2023 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

2. Hacks for At-Home PT Volunteer to Stay Active

3. Why Dark Leafy Greens Are Better for You Air Fryer Roasted Salmon With Sautéed Balsamic Spinach

4. 3 Easy Ways to Exercise


According to the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, depression affects 10% of Americans annually. And since the disorder doesn't pick favorites, anyone can suffer from its melancholy grasp. But there are things people can do to help. In fact, exercise has been known to help, but what if people are limited on time or motivation? New research by JAMA Psychiatry shows that completing just half of your recommended daily exercise (only 11 minutes!) can lower your risk of experiencing depression. So, when battling the blues, some exercise is always better than none. Here's how to squeeze that movement into your schedule. Increased Walking Time If you’re not exercising already, you don’t need to start running a 5K tomorrow. Take it slow before building on the activity that’s already in your routine. The easiest way to hit that exercise mark is by slowly increasing the time you spend walking each day. If you work from home and never leave the couch, consider taking a lap around your house every 30 minutes. If you need to go grocery shopping, make yourself walk through every aisle or park your car farther away so you have a longer distance to walk.

Get those steps in however you feel comfortable, but the goal is to walk for at least 11 minutes a day.

Workout Videos When you’re depressed or feeling down, following a peppy exercise influencer in a 35-minute YouTube video is probably the last thing you want to do. But remember, you only need to start with 11 minutes a day. Simply choose a video and plan to only complete a portion of it. You can even choose to follow the easy parts, but set your timer for 11 minutes and follow along the best you can. Once your alarm goes off, reward yourself for getting that movement in! The Benefits of Dancing Any movement counts, even dancing. And you don’t need to be good at it to participate, either. To meet your 11 minutes, simply put on four of your favorite dance songs and bust a move! Even if it takes months to get there, moving your body a little each day will help. So, push that cart, pop on that video, or pull out your best dance moves to fight depression.

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