The Physical Therapy Doctor - January 2023

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Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

January 2023



How I Survived as ‘Driving Instructor Dad’ A TIP FOR HELICOPTER PARENTS

My younger son, Matthew, just got his driver’s license — and he passed the test on his first shot. To say I’m a proud dad would be an understatement. Not only am I proud, but I’m also taking credit! Matthew only had a little bit of driver’s ed. The instructor taught him how to parallel park, and I taught him the rest. I won’t lie, though: I was nervous! I didn’t have an extra steering wheel or an emergency brake on my side of our Toyota Highlander, so I had to trust Matthew not to kill us both or let another car smash into us. Biting my tongue felt like the hardest part of each lesson because it went against all of my Italian instincts — but I did it. I knew if I jumped in and corrected Matthew too soon when he rolled through a stop sign, he would never learn from his mistakes. I’m a big believer in allowing my kids to mess up so they can learn firsthand how to do something right. I tell them the same thing I tell the therapists I mentor at the clinic: “I want to teach you how to fish — I don’t want to give you the fish.” Michael and Matthew have heard this so many times that it practically makes their ears bleed. As parents, we all want to protect our kids, right? When they’re little, we stop them from sticking paper clips into outlets and eating things they could choke on. But the older they get, the more we have to give up that helicopter parenting. Teenagers should have more freedom to try things out and learn from their screw-ups. And oh boy, if you don’t give them enough freedom, they will let you know it! One of the hardest things about parenting for me is deciding whether I should hold back my comments and opinions about the potential outcome of something. Should I tell my kid he might not like the way his room looks with black walls or should I let him paint it and find out? Now that Michael and Matthew are teenagers, I try to sound the alarm less frequently. I save my warnings for rare, critical moments — like when the car is about to crash. Then, I have

to pull the plug and let the Italian dad come out. The rest of the time, I save my ideas for the

rare moments when the kids come to me for advice.

I think I’m doing something right because both of my boys are great kids

and careful drivers. I didn’t freak out on them too much, and now they get to enjoy the independence of driving on their own. Plus, I think I made our lessons memorable. More often than not, Matthew and I didn’t just drive around Queens. We set our sights on the Cold Stone Creamery on Union Turnpike and jumped in the car on a mission for ice cream. Knowing there would be something delicious at the end of the drive calmed us both down and lightened the mood. I guess that’s another piece of advice: Ice cream rewards aren’t just for little kids — they’re for the little kid in all of us. If you’re a parent or grandparent, I hope you found some nuggets of wisdom in this driving story. Next time you want someone to teach you to fish instead of giving you fish, you know where to find me.

–Dr. Robert Morea

P.S. Hopefully, you are as careful on the road as my kids are, but if you’re ever in a car crash, don’t forget that physical therapy can help you recover. We have tools to ease your pain and get you back on your feet, whether you’re dealing with a broken leg or whiplash from the impact. Just call our office to schedule an appointment.

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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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718.747.2019 212-73 26th Ave. Bayside, NY 11360

Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.


1. Robert’s Best Parenting Tip 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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Bone Strengthening and Balance Training Workshop

Do you have osteoporosis or osteopenia? Could your bones withstand the impact if you fell? Learn how to increase bone density naturally to reduce your risk of breaking a bone. The bioDensity machine has been proven to build bone density at 2%–4% per year. It’s safe and easy! And covered by health insurance.

bioDensity machine (left)

Do you feel unsteady when you walk? Are you afraid of falling? Learn how to improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling! Protect yourself with advanced and effective Balance Training techniques.

Call us at 718.747.2019 to hold your spot at our upcoming workshop on Jan. 25 @ 2 p.m. FREE WORKSHOP

The Physical Therapy Doctor 212-73 26th Ave. Bayside, NY 11360 718.747.2019

Due to the high demand for improving balance in our community we are starting a “Boxing for Balance” program to help make people more stable on their feet and further reduce their risk of falling. We are learning every day that there are more ways than ever for people to enhance their quality of life and even build their power, strength, flexibility, and speed! This program brings you up close and personal with our hand-selected boxing trainers, creating an environment that will motivate you, push you to exceed your expectations, and get you believing that “Boxing for Balance” is the program that will change your life forever! BOXING FOR BALANCE

The movements in this non-contact, one-on-one boxing skills program provide you the confidence that carries over

to your real-world movements. Covered by Medicare Insurance

FREE boxing equipment if you sign up by Wednesday, Jan. 25! (Valued at $40)

The Physical Therapy Doctor 212-73 26th Ave. Bayside, NY 11360 718.747.2019

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