TheraFit: Staying Active and Becoming Better Balanced



Summa Cum Laude in 2017. Ashley hopes to utilize this degree to become a CSCS-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist to better serve her patients and those interested in improving their physical fitness and strength. Ashley also enjoys serving as a Clinical Instructor for Calhoun Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program. “It’s great to show students my day-to-day work and see them become more confident in treating patients themselves”, she says. Ashley also enjoys running 5k and 10k races. She married her husband, Nick, in 2017 and they live in Huntsville. Their most recent adventure in 2019 was a trip to India with a group from her church, Summit Crossing Community Church. The team was there from January 24 - February 3. This was Ashley’s first time overseas, but her husband’s second time to India. While in India, they worked with local pastors, nationals (local Christians), and translators to tell the Gospel to some who have never heard it before. Ashley was nervous and excited about this new endeavor and said, “Before meeting my husband this is something I would never have done, but after hearing stories from him and others who have been before I am excited to go!”

• Becoming Better Balanced • How Is Your Balance? INSIDE : Ashley Vaughan, LPTA began working at TheraFit Physical Therapy in September of 2013. Ashley is a graduate of Wallace State Community College Physical Therapist Assistant program. She graduated in 2012 as salutatorian of her class. Before coming to TheraFit, Ashley worked at an outpatient and aquatic therapy clinic in Huntsville. She has always had a heart for her patients and seeing them improve after surgery, injury, or disease. She began working part-time at TheraFit in 2015 to pursue a Bachelors of Kinesiology degree from UAH. Ashley graduated

• Exercise Of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight


STAYING ACTIVE AND BECOMING BETTER BALANCED There are a million and one tips that are passed down generation to generation about the key to a long and successful life. Some say the secret to a long and happy life is to focus on family; others say it all comes down to finding the right career. Whatever choices you make in your life, and whatever your values are, there are several fundamental truths that are almost always accurate: To stay healthy, you must stay active, and to stay happy, you must stay balanced. Mental and Physical Balance Staying active and staying balanced in many ways go hand in hand. Staying active refers to the amount of activity that you engage in daily. This of course can refer to how much time you spend at the gym, but it can also refer to how many steps you take in a day, how often you find yourself running around the office, and how frequently you head out to INSIDE : • How Is Your Balance? • Practice News

• Exercise Of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight

the backyard to run around with your children or your dog. Balance in many ways works on the same principles. There are some activities that you do every day because you have to do them — work often falls into this category, as do household chores. But what about the activities that you simply love to do? What about the activities that you enjoy? Think about the last time that you sat down with a book that you loved and made yourself a cup of tea or coffee and really enjoyed the moment. Perhaps it isn’t reading that you wish you had more time for, but instead it is a garden that has grown weeds as it has been neglected. It could be a project at your home that you have looked forward to completing or an old car that you’ve wanted to fix up. There are special hobbies and interests that appeal to each of us, and spending time with those hobbies can help you live a more balanced life.

Try this movement if you are experiencing hip pain. EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

How Is Your Balance? Alongside with the task of becoming more mentally balanced with the things that you spend time with in your life is the challenge of becoming more physically balanced. There are certain markers that typically indicate trouble with maintaining balance, such as frequently tripping and falling or feeling dizzy when standing too long. But even if you are not having fundamental issues with your ability to stay balanced in this way, you may still have difficulty with whole-body balance. Yoga is a great form of exercise to use to improve your ability to balance, as yoga helps to strengthen core muscles and improve coordination.

Strengthens Hips

HIP ABDUCTION While lying on your side, slowly raise up your top leg to the side. Keep your knee straight and maintain your toes pointed forward the entire time. The bottom leg can be bent to stabilize your body.

You can improve your physical balance by: • Increasing muscle strength • Improving stamina • Improving core strength • Practicing balancing techniques

In addition, taking steps to ensure that you are getting a full night of rest, that you are exercising regularly, and that you are eating a healthy diet are all strong components to ensuring you are well-balanced. Think about the percentage of time that you spend working during the week. For most people this number is well over 40 hours per week! Then consider how much time is spent driving to and from work and around town on errands, and then consider the time spent doing things you have to do at home, like the dishes or the laundry. Then really think about how much time you are spending doing the things that make you feel better — including those hobbies that you love, but also being active and engaging with the people you care about. Part of becoming a more balanced person means finding ways to spend your time more wisely and taking more time for yourself as needed. It’s Never Too Late You don’t need to grow up as an athlete to enjoy exercise as an adult. There is no point in your life where it is too late to start being more active than you currently are. There are plenty of ways to incorporate light activity into your lifestyle, such as: • Taking a walk in the evening with your family • Wearing a pedometer and trying to take more steps every day • Joining your local community center and using the pool to swim laps several times a week • Engaging in light weight training at home before work • Taking a yoga class These are just several examples of how you could incorporate more activity into your lifestyle without making many large changes to your way of life. If you feel that your physical health or an old injury is holding you back from being active, contact us. Working with a physical therapist can help you achieve improved balance and a healthy lifestyle.


Shamrock Smoothie

INGREDIENTS • 2 frozen bananas • 2 cups kale, packed

• 3 tbsp cocoa nibs • 2 tbsp hemp seeds • 2 tbsp chopped mint, packed • 1 tbsp maca powder • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder • 1 tsp wheatgrass powder • 2 cups coconut milk

INSTRUCTIONS Add all ingredients, in the order listed above, to a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve cold. Optional: You may garnish with extra cacao nibs and mint leaves.


Patient Success Spotlight

Practice News

Ashley and her husband Nick returned from a trip to India in February. This was Ashley’s first time to India and she says, “It was an amazing experience!”. They traveled with a team from all over the U.S. and once arriving in India they met with pastors and local Christians from the area. Ashley says that she was so nervous about going and speaking to people from a completely different part of the world but was blown away by the people’s hospitality. “We were welcomed into people’s homes, they served us delicious tea, and were just so excited to hear what we had to say. I couldn’t believe the peace I felt when walking through villages that a few days before I had been so scared to go to.” Ashley attributes this peace to the prayers she was receiving from friends, family, and team members. Ashley says what a special time it was for her and her husband to be able to share this experience. “My husband had been once before we met and always tried to tell me stories about what it was like, but it just couldn’t compare to getting to share it together.” $5 OFF SHOULDER PULLEYS HAVING SHOULDER SURGERY? COME IN AND PURCHASE A SHOULDER PULLEY USED TO PERFORM EXERCISES TO HELP IMPROVE THE RANGE OF MOTION OF YOUR SHOULDERS. These pulleys can hang over the door and are used to provide gentle, passive ROM. Questions? Just ask us! WE OFFER 2 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS Coupon Corner!

“They know what they’re doing and they have their act together.” “I love all the good people at TheraFit in Hazel Green. They are all so competent, so professional, and so extremely well trained. And extremely polite on top of all that. I had five broken ribs and back surgery recovery at the same time and they’ve figured out just how to treat it. They know what they’re doing and they have their act together. I’m regaining my strength, my balance and my confidence, as well as repairing all those wounded places. At my advanced age of 73 I think that says a lot. Thank you especially to Nicole, Colleen, Ashley, Dawn, Hazel, and Kaleigh (known as Buttermilk). They all even greet me by name when I enter. Had I decided to not have therapy I would have been simply a withered up old man. As we say here in the south they are “good people.” - David C. (Meridianville)


1. Use a night-light: We use our vision to help us balance. When it is dark, you can’t use vision so your vestibular system and other systems are challenged. If you have a problem in these areas, you are at risk for losing your balance. 2. Keep walkways clear: Don’t put extraneous things in walkways that would require you to walk around or over. 3. Non-slip Maps: Use non-slip mats in shower or tub to decrease the chances of slipping.

4. Hand Rails: Have hand rails installed in shower and/or toilet area.

PARK CITY, TN 931-557-5030

HAZEL GREEN, AL 256-829-9544

5. Keep one hand free: When carrying objects, don’t overdo it. Keep one hand free to catch yourself in case you lose your balance.


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