Focus PT - February - March 2020

Focus Physical Therapy Bi-Monthly 949.709.8770

February/March 2020

Date Night My Best (and Worst) Dates Ever

B ack when I was dating, I was lucky to not have too many terrible first date stories. The worst dates I’ve ever been on were the kind of dates where we didn’t have anything in common. My date was always very nice, but we couldn’t find any common ground. It was all small talk with lots of dead space in between questions and answers. I found myself looking at the clock, not wanting to be rude but wondering how long I had to wade through awkward silences until we could finally part ways. All of the best dates I’ve had were with my wife. Laura and I enjoyed many good dates before we were married and plenty of great dates after. The best date we ever went on was actually an extended trip. Laura and I took a road trip up the coast to Seattle with Laura’s best friend, Shannon, and Shannon’s boyfriend. The road trip was made up of a lot of fun dates, as we made plenty of stops and camped along the way. Shannon’s family lived on Hat Island, one of the little islands off the coast of Seattle. We stayed there and got to spend a day in the city. That was a really cool experience.

After we got married and the kids came along, date nights became much harder to come by. A lot of parents out there can relate to the struggle of juggling work, school functions, and child care. I thought it would get easier as the kids got older, but somehow, we have even less time! We have after-school activities, sporting events, and projects all over the calendar. It’s important for couples to have date nights, so Laura and I try to work around everything else. If we can get out together once a month, it’s a success. Of course, with Valentine’s Day coming up, we’re really working to make that extra effort. Laura and I never go out on Valentine’s Day. It’s always so crowded, and most restaurants have fixed menus that night. I like to get my wife flowers on Valentine’s Day, but when it comes to our date, we usually aim for the weekend before the holiday so we can avoid the crowds. This is usually a far more pleasant experience for us. My favourite date nights with Laura are when we go out to dinner and then walk down to the beach. A lot of people like movie dates, but that’s never been my thing. I like connecting with the person I’m with and catching up. I want to give them my undivided attention. In my opinion, a great conversation is the sign of a good match. So, it’s no surprise that Laura and I have had so many great conversations. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all. If you’re in a relationship, I hope you and your partner spend the holiday doing what you enjoy most. And if you’re single, I hope Valentine’s Day doesn’t end with a new bad first date story!

–Julian Manrique

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3 Reasons to Start Rock Climbing This Workout ROCKS!

fancy footwork, creative problem- solving, or going for a rock that seems out of reach. Teaching your mind and your body to work together while rock climbing can also build endurance and reduce stress.

“On belay?”

“Belay on!”

SUCCESS STORY “Focus Physical is the best. Julian and the staff are kind, caring, and skillful at what they do. They always smile. Laura Ward’s knowledge and expertise had helped me so much with my longtime lower back and sciatica problem. I am now pretty close to a full recovery. Rachel and Mark are always cheerful and welcoming. A big THANK-YOU to all of you! Congratulations to Julian for having a good and dedicated crew. I highly recommend Focus Physical Therapy.” No, these aren’t strange magic spells. They’re basic safety commands rock climbers use before they start their ascent. Rock climbing as a hobby and a workout has been growing in popularity over the last few years, thanks in part to popular documentaries like “Free Solo” and “Meru.” But if you’re still not ready to chalk up and start climbing, here are a few more reasons to add “belay on” to your vocabulary. It’s a fun full-body workout. Getting a full-body workout usually means hating every second of it. This isn’t the case with rock climbing, though. Most people take up rock climbing because it’s fun. Reaching the top of a wall is like solving a puzzle with your whole body. That said, fun doesn’t mean easy. An intense climb works out your back muscles, biceps, abs, and legs. Research published in The Scientific World Journal found that climbers can burn up to 10 calories a minute — without even getting drenched in sweat during their workout. It improves your shoulders and your mind! Physical strength alone won’t get you to the top of a wall. Rock climbing is a physical and mental challenge. Some problems call for

It strengthens your relationships. Rock climbing, especially top rope climbing, is one of the best workouts to do with a partner. Top roping is a type of climbing where you strap into a harness, tie yourself to a rope, and climb up a wall while your partner holds the rope, ready to catch you. In other words, your partner “belays” you. It’s the ultimate trust fall. Facing the challenges of rock climbing with your partner also teaches you how to overcome adversity together and improves communication as you both work to conquer the wall. The best part about rock climbing is that it’s easy to try out. Most climbing gyms rent out the supplies you need for a small fee. And with hundreds of climbing gyms open across the United States, there’s no wall blocking the way of you and your favorite new workout.

Focus Physical Therapy patients ENTER TO WIN Find the misspelled word in this

newsletter and call 949.709.8770 for your chance to win a $10 gift card CALL 949.709.8770 Contest for past and present Focus Physical Therapy patients only.

–Rosario Cadiz


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A Matter of Heart

Workouts to Prevent Strokes and Heart Attacks

February is a time to think about the heart. In February, we celebrate both Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month. If you haven’t been thinking about your heart health, it’s time to make it a priority. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States, claiming 610,000 lives every year. There are many types of heart disease, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Fortunately, most of these

diseases are preventable with good lifestyle choices. Not smoking, practicing good nutrition, and avoiding stress when possible all lead to a stronger heart. But the best way to protect your heart is with regular physical activity. It’s called “cardio” for a reason. Cardiovascular activity is a key part of maintaining cardiovascular (heart) health. When you get the blood pumping, you strengthen your heart and blood vessels, which improves the flow of oxygen throughout your body and lowers your blood pressure. Running, walking, swimming, cycling, jumping rope, and even dancing are all great cardio activities. The American Heart Association recommends five 30-minute moderate sessions of cardio each week. Cardio exercise can be physically demanding, which is why it’s so good for your heart. But if you’re struggling with pain or recovering from an injury, engaging in these kinds of activities can be dangerous. You don’t want to overdo it and turn a temporary injury into chronic pain. If you need help safely starting your exercise routine, be sure to call your physical therapist first. Your physical therapist can help create an appropriate exercise program for you, improving your physical fitness by addressing the root cause of your pain. Physical therapists are trained to help patients of all skill levels work out safely to improve their heart health. Customized workout plans, treating problem areas, and teaching proper form and posture are the foundations of overall well-being. While we can’t help you find the perfect date for Valentine’s Day, the team at Focus Physical Therapy can help improve your heart health. Call 949.709.8770 and ask how to make your heart health a priority without the pain.

HOMEMADE PALEO BREAD There’s nothing more comforting than a slice of homemade bread. Settle in with this paleo-friendly version of the ultimate comfort food.



• 5 eggs • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tbsp agave syrup • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

• 1 2/3 cups almond flour • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal • 2 tbsp coconut flour

• 2 tsp baking soda • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


1. Heat oven to 350 F, and line an 8x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, flaxseed meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. 3. Add eggs, olive oil, agave syrup, and vinegar and whisk until smooth. 4. Pour mixture into prepared 8x5-inch pan and smooth top with a spatula. 5. Bake for 35 minutes or until top is golden. Remove from pan and slice when cooled.

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Recipe for the Perfect Date 1 2 2 3 3 4 INSIDE THIS ISSUE You CAN Have Fun While Working Out Success Story Stop Dreading Cardio Homemade Paleo Bread Your Epic Adventure Awaits


O ne of the oldest stories in Western literature is with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. SICILY, ITALY One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught

mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ggantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. ITHACA, GREECE If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course.

GOZO, MALTA While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the


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