Thomas Physical Therapy - December 2018

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route. The gyms are usually installed in central locations, and they are open 24 hours per day. Better yet, the workout is free. The gyms can also serve another purpose for their communities. Cities can fill their vacant lots and parks with exercise equipment and promote healthy living. It encourages residents to engage with their communities through health and fitness. Many residents in areas with outdoor gyms have reported feeling a stronger sense of community because of the friends they meet at the site. Some outdoor gyms have also expanded to include“green”options, where users generate energy to light the space and the buildings near it. Other neighborhoods have begun to offer training and classes there, making personal-training expertise available for everyone.

for progression. Marathon runners or expert weightlifters may feel left out at these gyms, and as newbies gain experience, they could easily plateau. Furthermore, fitness trainers warn that these pieces of equipment are assembled with little to no education about the best way to use them. Fitness novices may feel overwhelmed

or use the equipment incorrectly. Others claim the equipment is a gaudy sight for neighbors to have to look at. Despite these drawbacks, many supporters are passionate about the health benefits of outdoor gyms. As communities across America begin to embrace the outdoor trend, prepare to see one pop up in your town!

THE DRAWBACKS

Despite the numerous benefits of outdoor gyms, they aren’t for everyone. While these gyms can help people get fit, they don’t allow

Slipping & Falling

Slick roads and icy sidewalks become part of the landscape every winter, and every year the risk of falling is very real. For many people, avoiding a fall can be difficult enough without ice coating every walkable surface. Young or old, here are a few ways you can stay on your feet this month. The correct footwear can save you from a nasty tumble or heart-stopping slip. Finding boots that are specifically designed to keep you steady on a slippery surface is a must. It’s also a great idea to buy waterproof footwear to keep your feet warm and dry in the snow. Ice cleats can be helpful as well; they slip over your regular shoes and give you the added grip you need. If you don’t want to wear your winter boots anywhere but outside, bring an extra set of shoes with you so that you can switch once indoors. IF THE BOOT FITS

will help you balance should you start to slip. It also helps to spread your weight out evenly by not walking with your feet close together. Try not to be distracted when you’re walking on ice — keep your eyes forward and make sure you know where you’re placing your feet. Unfortunately, even with all the precautions in the world, falls still happen. While no one has invented a way to trip and fall gracefully, there are a few ways you can avoid a serious injury when it does happen. If you find yourself starting to fall, lean forward to help prevent a direct impact to your spine or the back of your head. Try to roll with it, or, if you’re falling backward, try to land on your bottom. Also, try not to catch your full weight with your arms or hands, as that can lead to broken arms or wrists. If you do slip and fall this winter, it’s important to address your injury. It’s better to seek out medical attention than ignore the problem, which can only get worse the longer you put it off. KNOWING HOW TO FALL

ONE STEP AT A TIME

When You Can’t Stop the Fall, Roll With It

It’s important to move cautiously when you’re on an icy sidewalk. Make sure to keep your feet flat while you’re walking and your hands out of your pockets, which

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