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A SEASON SPENT WITH WONDERFUL KIDS My Most Memorable Summer Job When I was going through high school and college, I was lucky enough to have a number of fun summer jobs that also served as great educational experiences. Among those gigs, the one that I remember most is the year I spent working as a camp counselor in New Hampshire. It was during my undergraduate studies, but I can’t recall if it was after my freshman or sophomore year — give me a break; it’s been a while since then. Anyway, this camp was for kids with disabilities. Going to work there every day was an unmitigated joy. In the mornings, the kids would go to school and we’d help out the teachers in any way we could. After class was over for the day, we’d take charge and do all sorts of fun activities with the campers. We spent afternoons playing caterpillar kickball, Marco Polo, and countless other games, but it’s the little moments that stick out most in my mind. It was the kids that made the job so incredible. One little boy, who must’ve been about 5 at the time, was probably the happiest and sweetest person I’ve ever met. Despite dealing with Down syndrome, he projected an energy that he didn’t have a care in the world. Without fail, he would jump into my arms and hug me every time we met for the day. Sharing these moments was so special to me. Of course, kids are also unpredictable, which I learned firsthand as a counselor. One day, the weather was unseasonably chilly, but some of the kids still wanted to spend the afternoon in the pool. One girl, who was adamant in her desire to swim, had forgotten to bring her bathing suit. We tried to find her some clothes to swim in, but couldn’t locate anything that would work. In my infinite wisdom, I decided that it would be okay for her to hang by the pool while the other kids swam. Did I mention that this young lady was strapped into her wheelchair?
wheelchair would result in her sinking like a stone. She just wanted to swim. I heard a splash, saw the terror on her face as she started to go under, and immediately jumped into that pool. Thankfully, she was only under for a few milliseconds and made it out with no harm done. We found her some sweats, got her dried off, and waited with terror for her mom to arrive. Now, it would’ve been reasonable for her mom to go absolutely crazy on us. We did, after all, let her child roll herself into the deep end. When the mom arrived, we were pleasantly surprised by her response. She couldn’t help but laugh at our misadventure. “That sounds like my daughter,” she said cheerfully. What a cool mom, right? I learned so much from that job, mostly from the remarkable children that I spent time with during that summer. Communicating with children is a unique skill, and you don’t realize how different it is until you have to talk to kids regularly. I also gained patience, understanding, and perspective that I never had before. Oh, and I learned that if you leave a willful child unattended, you never know what can happen.
I took my eyes off of her for a couple of seconds, and she made her move. Obviously, she didn’t think about the fact that being strapped into her
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WANT TO IMPROVE BRAIN HEALTH?
GRAB A SWORD!
THE BENEFITS OF OPEN-SKILL SPORTS but your body is doing the same thing during the entire workout. This makes it a closed-skill sport. The same goes for swimming; you might have different strokes to choose from when you jump in the pool, but your brain is focused on repeating the action while doing your laps. Open-skill sports require players to respond to unpredictable circumstances in unpredictable ways. Fencing is a great open-skill sport because, while you have to learn the right way to hold the saber and move your body, you also have to think on your feet and react quickly to your opponent’s attacks. Researchers from the Foro Italico University of Rome believe that it’s the required adaptability that makes open-skill sports so good for your brain. You challenge your body with complex motor movements and your mind with fast decisions. In the study from PSE, the researchers reported that “the open- skill athletes used less brainpower to do the same thing than the closed-skill exercisers did.” WHAT’S THE BEST OPEN-SKILL SPORT? If fencing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other great open-skill sports, including tennis, badminton, basketball, and racquetball. What are you waiting for? Swing by your local rec center and find out what open-skill sport will be your new favorite pastime!
COVER UP Did you know fencing is making a comeback? No longer just for
heartsick gentlemen of the Regency era, fencing is increasingly being taught in public schools, displayed in the pages of popular indie comics, and practiced among seniors. Plenty of baby boomers are
picking up swords, or “sabers” — and it’s not because they’re preparing to fight dragons. Exercise is important no matter your age, but some activities are more beneficial than others. Research published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise (PSE) suggests activities defined as “open-skill sports,” like fencing, can do more to improve brain health than “closed-skill sports.” OPEN OR CLOSED? The difference between an open-skill sport and a closed-skill sport lies in the dynamic nature of the activity. Going for a jog is great for your heart health,
MEET DR. LESLIE MONAGLE
A New Face at North County
We’ve recently welcomed two new physical therapists to the North Country Water & Sports Therapy Center, Dr. Leslie Monagle and Dr. Christopher Talambas. We’re thrilled to have them here and want to provide a space over the coming editions for you to get to know them a little better. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on Dr. Leslie Monagle. A lifelong San Diegan, Leslie Monagle received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from San Diego State University in 2015. “Initially, I thought I wanted to be a physician,” Leslie reveals. “Once I began pursuing that goal, however, I realized the patient interaction I was looking for was lacking. I didn’t want to simply write prescriptions all day; I wanted to really get to know my patients and help them. That’s what drew me to physical therapy.” When it comes to working with patients, Leslie enjoys the variety that our practice offers. “I enjoy working with everyone from top level athletes to older adults looking to get through the day without discomfort,” she says. “Beth’s approach to running a practice is perfectly aligned with my ideals of what physical therapy can be, which is one of the reasons I was so excited to work at North County — that and the incredible staff and patients here.”
going to the beach,” she says. “I also enjoy playing the guitar, though nobody would mistake me for Jimi Hendrix.”
Leslie is community-minded and values human interaction as an integral part of the recovery process. These qualities make her a perfect fit for our practice. We’re grateful to have her on the team. The next time you’re in the office, be sure to say hello to Leslie and ask her about her favorite beaches in the area.
When she’s not working, Leslie enjoys taking advantage of all San Diego has to offer. “I love hiking, swimming, and going to the beach — especially
IS IT THAT TIME AGAIN ALREADY? BACK TO SCHOOL!
Check out this video for parents on backpack safety: https://www.moveforwardpt.com/patientresources/videolibrary/ detail/parents-backpack-safety-kids Cute kids demonstrating
Does your back-to-school shopping list include a backpack? Here are some safety tips when it comes to wearing a backpack.
the wrong way to wear a backpack. Thanks to Ryann’s kids, Amelia and Joseph, for these demonstrations. Don’t forget teens! Thanks to Jan’s grandkids for demonstrating typical placement of a backpack.
Too big, one strap, and resting below lower back
Wear both straps. Using one strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight. Using both straps helps even the load and reduce the risk of injury and muscle imbalance. Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles. Pay attention to the position of the backpack. It should not extend below the lower back but instead sit evenly in the middle of the back. The straps should be loose enough for the child to get the pack on and off easily and allow arms to move freely. Lighten the load. For children, the weight of the back pack should not exceed 10–15% of the child’s body weight. Pack only what is needed for the day. Organize the contents so that the heaviest items are closest to the back and bottom of the pack.
One strap and resting below lower back
How a Physical Therapist Can Help (www.moveforwardpt.com) A physical therapist can help you choose a proper backpack and fit it specifically to your child. Children come in all shapes and sizes, and some have physical limitations that require special adaptations. Additionally, a physical therapist can help improve posture problems, correct muscle imbalances, and treat pain resulting from improper backpack use. Physical therapists can also design individualized fitness programs to help children get strong and stay strong — and carry their own loads!
BACK TO SCHOOL MEANS MORE TIME SITTING IN SCHOOL AND DOING HOMEWORK! Encourage healthy habits at an early age. Statistics have shown that the majority of young people do not meet the national exercise guidelines for children and teens, which recommends they be involved in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes each day. Ways to promote physical activity for your kids:
• Be a role model: If your children see you being physically active, they are more likely to be active themselves.
• Play with your kids; help them learn a new sport. • Give them active toys, like balls, bikes, and jump ropes. • Limit TV Time.
• Check out https://www. healthychildren.org. Look under the “Fitness” tab for articles and ideas on keeping kids physically active.
• Make it fun.
Studies have revealed that watching too much TV and other sedentary behaviors increase risk of obesity.
Children who watch more than 3 hours of TV a day have a 65% greater chance of being obese compared to those who watch less than one hour. Kids who have a TV in their bedroom watch 56% more TV on a daily average compared to those who don’t have a TV in their room. Lou, D. Sedentary Behaviors and Youth: Current Trends and the Impact on Health. San Diego, CA: Active Living Research; 2014. Available from: www.activelivingresearch.org.
Our staff encourages activity with their kids by going out and being active as a family! Here is Britani’s family being active together paddleboarding.
Don’t have any children? Share this with someone who does!
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. TRY THE CONSTRUCTIVE REST POSITION. 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 THE MUSCLE THAT’S KEY TO YOUR MOBILITY
at a 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. SUPPORT YOUR SEAT. 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 road trip, consider sitting with a rolled-up towel under your sitting bones, which can release pressure on the psoas. GET A MASSAGE. 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. 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.
TAKE A BREAK
If you need an easy, healthy side dish with plenty of flavor, this green
bean salad will be the perfect addition to your summer menu.
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil; cook green beans for 4–5 minutes; drain well. 2. In 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.
1 small red onion, finely chopped Small bunch of fresh mint Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups green beans, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
Inspired by Delicious magazine.
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Monday—Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (858) 675-1133 www.waterpt.com
15373 Innovation Dr. #175 San Diego, CA 92128
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
A Summer Job Unlike Any Other
Fence Your Way to Better Brain Health
Spotlight on Dr. Leslie Monagle
Why You Should Get to Know Your Psoas
Green Bean and Sesame Salad
San Diego Happenings
SEIZE THE END OF SUMMER
At These Awesome Local Events
42ND ANNUAL WORLD BODYSURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Summer may be nearing its end, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had before fall is upon us. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be trying to savor all the summer fun you can. Here are a few great ways to do just that. FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS When: Fridays through Sept. 28, 4–8:30 p.m. Where: Plaza de Panama/El Prado walkway, Balboa Park Want to enjoy a smattering of San Diego’s best food trucks in a beautiful setting? Head to Balboa Park on Friday afternoons all summer long for Food Truck Fridays. With a rotating roster of more than a dozen trucks per week, you can eat tacos one minute and lobster rolls the next. Food Truck Fridays also feature weekly live entertainment, like jazz bands and dance companies. It’s the perfect way to kick off a Friday night.
When: Aug. 18 and 19 Where: Oceanside Pier
Bodysurfing may not be one of the most popular sports in the world, but it’s certainly one of the coolest to watch in person. Seeing people ride waves with only the help of some flippers and their own hydrodynamic mastery never gets old. Stop by Oceanside Pier to watch these intrepid surfers tackle big waves, and maybe even give it a shot yourself. The World Bodysurfing Championships are free for attendees and participants alike. U.S. SAND SCULPTING CHALLENGE & DIMENSIONAL ART EXPO When: Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Where: Broadway Pier and Landing, 100 North Harbor Drive
sculpting exhibition. Over Labor Day weekend, artists from around the world will come together to try to one-up each other with their breathtaking creations that make your average sand castle look like child’s play. Ilya Filimontsev of Russia has won the competition for two years running but will face stiff competition this year. No matter who wins, you can be sure that the event will be equal parts fun, inspiring, and mind-blowing.
We have plenty of sandy beaches, so it makes sense that we’d be home to the world’s premier sand
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