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EastTennessee Wellness Chronicles
FROM THE DESK OF Dr. Smith
Here we are in the middle of summer, and Northeast Tennessee is a great place to be. Although it is hot here, we are much cooler than a lot of places in the U.S. We are “air conditioned by nature.” I trust everyone is enjoying the summer, spending time on vacation and with family and friends. We continue to stay busy at PTS, lots going on with our therapists, staff members, and students from across the country who come to Elizabethton to study with us. Currently we have two students from the University of Delaware as well as students from East Tennessee State University. Our staff continues to provide educational programs for physical therapists, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. We continue our work with Carter County Drug Prevention in tackling the opioid crisis in Carter County by providing an alternative to opioids for pain control.
F amily -F un A ctivities E njoy the L ast of the S ummer W eather
With school right around the corner, you might be thinking about taking your kids out for a bit of fun before the school year starts. If you’re fresh out of ideas on what to do, here are a few activities for your family this month.
TAKE YOUR KIDS TO THE MOVIES
There were many great kids’movies released this summer that you and your children can see as a family. “Incredibles 2” came out on June 15, 14 years after the first “Incredibles”movie. This time, watch as the character Jack-Jack explores his many superpowers. Several other films were released just last month, such as “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,”where the Count and his family go on a cruise. “Teen Titans GO! To The Movies,” also came out and includes the teen heroes experiencing their very first movie. This month enjoy “Christopher Robin,”which will be released on Aug. 3, and the adventures of belovedWinnie the Pooh and his friends. While taking your kids to a family-friendly film is fun, it doesn’t have to be the sole reason to get out of the house. Before or after the movie, you can take them to a local park to enjoy the playground or a pool.
As always, should you
have questions regarding our practice or the services we provide, please do not hesitate to contact our office. –Danny
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HAVE A PICNIC
When you get there, find a shaded place to set up your picnic — no one wants to sit under a hot sun. Also, make sure your family has applied enough sunscreen and that everyone has sunglasses to keep the sun out of their eyes.
tales of their own. After the sun sets, take some time to stargaze. Encourage your kids to see if they can spot constellations and point out the ones you know to them. Give your kids a last hurrah before they head back into the classroom. Don’t let this August slip through your fingers!
Going on a picnic is an excellent activity for the whole family. Not only does it give you quality time with the kids, but they can engage in the activity from start to finish. While preparing for the picnic, ask the kids what they would like — create a list of food that everyone suggests. Take the kids to the grocery store and let them help you pick out the items on the list. Teach them what to look for in ripe fruits and fresh vegetables. While packing for the picnic, let the kids wash the vegetables and fruits and help put smaller foods into zip-close bags or containers. Traditional sandwiches and juices can be on the list, but it’s more fun to include an assortment of foods. Create your own unique trail mix — combine everyone’s favorite dried fruits, salted nuts, and other small snacks. You can also make a homemade fruit salad by combining bite-sized fruits.
GO CAMPING IN YOUR BACKYARD
Preparing for a camping trip can be stressful and even expensive. Backyard camping can be a fantastic alternative for the family. Not only can you enjoy the pleasures of a campfire, cooked food off the grill, and s’mores, but you are also just feet away from a fully functioning bathroom and refrigerator. This activity can be a family bonding event and a chance to let the kids learn a few important values. Work together to set up the tent, and while starting the fire, take the opportunity to teach your children about fire safety. Play games in the backyard, tell a few campfire stories, and let your kids come up with a few
What’s at the Core of Your Back or Knee Pain? The Muscle That ’s Key to Your Mobility
If you’re not on close terms with your psoas, it’s time to get familiar. This muscle, pronounced “so-as,” is a key player in your core and comprises the group of muscles called hip flexors. As the only muscle group that connects your spine to your legs, the psoas has a big effect on mobility and posture. Psoas imbalances can contribute to back and hip pain because the muscles in these areas get overused to compensate. Imbalances are usually caused by short and tight or weak and overstretched psoas muscles. Activities that compress your hips, such as sitting, excessive running or walking, and excessive sit ups, can shorten your psoas and even lead to weakness. If your psoas muscles are short and tight, you may benefit from stretching and lengthening exercises. If the muscles are weak and overstretched, they may require strengthening
movements. Here are a few ways to begin addressing imbalances.
road trip, consider sitting with a rolled up towel under your sitting bones, which can release pressure on the psoas.
TRY THE CONSTRUCTIVE REST POSITION.
GET A MASSAGE.
This neutral position can help release tension in your psoas. Lay on your back with your knees bent and heels on the floor, and set your feet hip-width apart at comfortable distance from your buttocks. Don’t force your back to the floor, but simply rest your hands on your belly and let gravity do the work. Try this rest position for 10 minutes a day.
Here’s permission to treat yourself. Because of where the psoas is located, it can be difficult to stimulate, and a certified massage therapist will know how to access it. Regular massages can help with circulation and may improve function.
CONSULT A PHYSICAL THERAPIST.
SUPPORT YOUR SEAT.
If you’re experiencing pain in the lower back, hips, or knees, an imbalanced psoas may be to blame. A licensed physical therapist can recommend appropriate stretching or strengthening exercises depending on what’s right for your body.
Sitting for long periods of time can compress and shorten the psoas. To decrease this effect, take regular breaks to get up and move, and practice good posture. If you’re going on a
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Metabolic Fitness Training A Big Workout With a Small Time Commitment
THE SCIENCE BEHIND MRT
High-rep/high-volume workouts stimulate muscle protein synthesis (the process by which muscle is built) more effectively than splits that work single body parts. But perhaps the best part of metabolic resistance training occurs after you leave the gym. Because it takes longer for your body to return to its resting metabolic state after such an intense workout, you continue to burn extra calories in the hours and days after MRT, an effect commonly referred to as the“afterburn.” The key to metabolic resistance training is to keep your rest periods short, so choose exercises you can perform in one spot (or close together), and set up your equipment ahead of time; you don’t want your heart rate to go down while you walk between stations or mess around loading the bar. Do compound movements like dumbbell chest presses, burpees, and goblet squats to work multiple muscle groups at once. Metabolic resistance training is a hard workout and not for the faint of heart. But by pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, you’ll see greater results and have more time to spend on the other things you enjoy! HOWTO SET UP AN MRT CIRCUIT
Not everyone can spend hours at the gym each week. If you struggle to fit workouts into your busy schedule, metabolic resistance training (MRT) might be the perfect solution. This high-intensity circuit technique keeps your heart rate elevated while you bust out more reps in a shorter period of time. You may find that you need to reduce the weight a bit in order to perform so many reps with no rest, but that’s fine; the goal of MRT is to move constantly, not set PRs. You’ll burn calories, increase strength, and improve your cardiovascular fitness in one fell swoop— all without having to step on a treadmill! MRT offers the biggest bang for your fitness buck by squeezing as much work as possible into each workout. While this technique is the perfect way to build strength, lean out, and increase cardiovascular health all at once, it may not be ideal for anyone trying to add massive amounts of muscle, because it burns so many calories and uses a high-rep/low-weight protocol. Take a Break! THE BENEFITS OF METABOLIC RESISTANCE TRAINING
GREEN BEAN and Sesame Salad
3 cups green beans, ends trimmed 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 small red onion, finely chopped
Small bunch of fresh mint
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS 1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil; cook green beans for 4–5 minutes; drain well. 2. On a blender, mix finely chopped mint and parsley with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Blend until combined.
3. Add dressing, onion, and
sesame seeds to beans. Toss together. Cool dish, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Inspired by Delicious magazine
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Inside This Issue From the Desk of Dr. Smith PAGE 1 Enjoying Summer Vacation to the Very End PAGE 1 Why You Should Get to Know Your Psoas PAGE 2 The Benefits of Metabolic Fitness Training PAGE 3 Take A Break PAGE 3 Green Bean and Sesame Salad PAGE 3 The Best End-of-Summer Activity PAGE 4 Summer is drawing to a close, but there’s still time to make some great memories. Camping trips are a summer staple. Fortunately, you don’t have to drive hours into the mountains to find the perfect campsite. Your backyard is right there waiting for you! Here are a few tips to help your family say farewell to summer with a perfect backyard camping trip. Your back door is literally a few yards away, which can be great in the event of an emergency. But if the kids are running in and out of the house all night long, they might end up deciding they’d rather be inside playing video games after only an hour. Be sure to pack everything you would need if you were really going into the woods for the night so no one is tempted to go back inside. This means tents, sleeping bags, flashlights, pajamas, books, binoculars, a compass, water bottles, and a cooler of food with snacks and dinner. PACK FOR AN AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE.
Finish the Summer With a Family Camping ‘Trip’ JOURNEYTOTHE GREAT BACKYARD
Treat this like a “real” camping experience right from the beginning!
rather sleep inside, and that’s okay too. Your camping trip isn’t a failure because everyone spent the night in their own beds. It’s not about where everyone sleeps; it’s about how much fun your family had together before bedtime. The best part of backyard camping? It doesn’t take a lot of planning. Just grab your gear and your family and hike out into the great backyard.
FIGURE OUT THE CAMPFIRE .
Don’t have an in-ground fire pit? No worries! You can still enjoy hot dogs and s’mores with a charcoal grill or a store-bought fire pit. If you have enough room in your backyard, you could even try building a bonfire. Just make sure to check your city ordinances and get any necessary permits first. You can find advice for building the perfect campfire at Rei.com/ learn/expert-advice/campfire-basics.html.
REMEMBER: IT’S OKAY TO CALL IT A NIGHT.
For kids, the most exciting part of camping in the backyard is getting to sleep in a tent — that is, until they actually have to sleep. After stargazing, some kids will want to stay up all night whispering and giggling in the tent, and that’s great! But other kids might decide they’d
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