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MY THEORY ON FRIENDSHIP
Last month, I got to catch up with five of my best friends from physical therapy school, and we had one of those conversations that make you realize how important friendship is and how grateful you are to have people who really “get you.” We’re living all over the country now — one friend is in New York, another is in California — and we hadn’t talked for quite a while, but it felt like we were right back where we’d left off, talking and joking as if no time had passed. It’s something pretty cool about best friends — no matter how much time has passed, you can pick up right where you left off. Throughout my life, I’ve been lucky to have a group of good friends by my side. They’re the people who helped me keep my head up during tough games in high school, the people who studied with me and provided moral support in college, and the people who’ve been cheering me on ever since. I have this theory: When you’re younger, your friends are the people who live next door to you. They’re your neighbors; you run to the house next door to see if they want to play basketball in the driveway. As you get older and have more freedom, you gravitate toward people you have common interests with. In high school, I was really into sports, and my friends were the people on my teams. In college, my friends were the people who had the same major as I did. While studying manual therapy in the Netherlands, I was lucky enough to meet the person who became my best friend for life. From the first time I met Emilie, I loved hanging out with her. We could travel together for weeks at a time, and I just wanted to spend more time with her. With true friends, you can go through anything and still want to spend time together. You develop that level
of trust and know you’re going to be there for each other. Friends are the people who show up through thick and thin; they’re the ones who stick with you and encourage you even when things get hard. Even if we have a disagreement or differing views on something, with good friends, I know it’s not going to get in the way of our friendship. Good friends compromise and try to see things your way, even if you ultimately have differing viewpoints. Nobody gets along all the time, but my best friends are the people who find compromise on the few points we don’t agree on. Catching up with them has reminded me of how important these connections are. No matter how much time has gone by, you can count on your best friends to be there for you on the other end of the phone.
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As we age, our bodies change, including our mental functions. Cognitive decline is one of the biggest fears of aging, but it’s not inevitable. Though we’re still learning new things about how our brains work, there’s a lot of scientific research that shows how
tend to cause low scores on cognitive function tests. But test scores aren’t necessarily a sign of future cognitive decline, and Harvard Health Publishing urges readers to maintain good mental health and get restful sleep, as they are “certainly important goals” for improving cognitive function and overall well-being. 3. STAY CONNECTED. It’s not enough to focus on yourself. In order to maintain your long-
to keep your brain young. If you want to keep your mind sharp throughout your lifetime, then follow this advice from Harvard Medical School.
1. GET A GOOD WORKOUT. Exercising regularly helps all the muscles and organs in your body, even your brain! A good workout can lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels, which help your brain and your heart. Harvard Health Publishing, a
term cognitive health, you should also focus on your connections with other people. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy.” Make new friends, stay in touch with family members, and maintain positive relationships in your life.
website of Harvard Medical School, also notes that “animals who exercise regularly increase the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the region of the brain that is responsible for thought.” 2. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. Poor mental health can lead to impaired cognitive function. Chronic anxiety, depression, and exhaustion
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly true when it comes to your brain health. Do what you can today to protect your mental functions tomorrow.
“As soon as I scheduled my total right knee replacement, I also scheduled therapy at Kinetic. A year ago, the therapist helped me work for better balance because I have neuropathy. Now I’m walking with better
“My experience here at Kinetic has been fantastic! Everyone is friendly and supportive, especially my therapist Amanda. I was barely able to do many things after surgery. My therapy has made a
huge difference for the better. Some of the things that have greatly improved for me are: balance, walking, showering, cleaning the house, standing for long periods while cooking, and grocery shopping. It is much easier getting in and out of the car. I feel more secure moving around and definitely stronger. Thank you!”
balance. If my doctor decides to do the left knee, I’ll be back!”
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Stretches and Strengthening Exercises You Can Do at Home
It can be challenging to remember to sit and stand up straight all the time, and unfortunately, poor posture can lead to neck and back pain. Even our physical therapists aren’t exempt — Mike has been doing exercises to ward off back pain he developed from sitting! Take a cue from Mike and start to incorporate these strengthening exercises and stretches to keep the pain away. POSTURE FIT FOR ROYALTY If you find yourself slouching when you sit or stand, start with two shifts to improve your posture and alleviate pain. First, pull your shoulders back. Secondly, keep your ears directly above your shoulder. Think about looking straight ahead rather than craning your neck up or down, which can put added pressure on your muscles. Adjust your computer so your eyes are looking straight ahead when you use it. When you’re using your phone or other handheld device, you might try holding it in front of you so you don’t have to crane your neck down to look at it.
Maintaining proper posture may feel difficult at first, but as you develop the muscles for it, it will start to become more natural. Keep a sticky note by your desk or couch to remind yourself to pull your shoulders back and keep your ears directly above your shoulders. BALANCE BETTER THAN A TAI CHI MASTER Sitting more can also affect your balance. One exercise that can help to improve balance is head rotations. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold on to a sturdy piece of furniture if you need help staying upright. Begin by slowly and carefully turning your head to the right, then to the left, then up and down. Do this for 30 seconds at a time. If you begin to feel dizzy, take a break or stop. Incorporate this movement into your weekly routine to improve your balance. If you’re experiencing pain or mobility challenges, physical therapy can also help. Our physical therapists excel at dialing in on the source of your pain or mobility challenges and finding exercises that help you overcome them. Give us a call and get on your way to being pain-free!
Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes
Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
INGREDIENTS • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 clove garlic • 1/2 tsp salt
• 8 Roma tomatoes • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)
• 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar • 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
DIRECTIONS 1. For marinade: In blender, combine olive oil, garlic, salt, vinegar, and basil. Cut 2 tomatoes into quarters and add to mixture. Cover and process until blended. Halve remaining tomatoes for grilling. 2. In bowl, combine chicken and 2/3 cup marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Reserve remaining marinade. 3. Heat grill to about 350–400 F. Lightly oil grates. Grill chicken until internal temperature reads 165 F, about 4–6 minutes per side. Grill tomatoes until lightly browned, about 2–4 minutes per side. Discard remaining marinade. 4. Serve chicken and tomatoes with reserved marinade.
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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
11920 Oak Creek Parkway Huntley, IL 60142
INSIDE How to Build Friendships That Last a Lifetime PAGE 1
Harvard’s Tips to Keep Your Brain Young PAGE 2
My PT Story PAGE 2
Exercises to Prevent the Painful Side Effects of Sitting PAGE 3
Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes PAGE 3
Botanical Gardens in the US PAGE 4
CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN In the spring, the Chicago Botanic Garden staff invited virtual visitors to join them for a nature moment. Garden staff shared images from around the 17 gardens kept there. The Chicago Botanic Garden continues to wow with virtual tours that, thanks to Google’s technology, make you feel as if you’re really there. Start your tour at ChicagoBotanic.org. WADDESDON MANOR AND GARDENS This historic site across the pond in England gives visitors detailed virtual views of the Waddesdon Manor and its stunning gardens. Each day at Waddesdon Gardens, the staff designates a specific area as a “Silent Space,” where visitors can go to disconnect and find peace. The Gardens also created a special message for their virtual visitors that we can all take to heart: “We encourage you to find a space in your garden or in your home that feels peaceful and designate a time each day to enjoy a quiet moment of reflection.” To see this historic site for yourself, visit Waddesdon.org.uk.
In 1842, the Wilkes Expedition returned from its trek across the Pacific Ocean on behalf of the United States government, having visited parts of Portugal, Brazil, Antarctica, and Fiji. Among the specimens the explorers brought back from their travels were collections of plants gathered from around the world — just what the young nation needed to start its very first botanical garden. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams had a shared dream of creating a national botanical garden, but the idea didn’t really get off the ground until the Wilkes Expedition brought back the garden’s first plants. The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) was established in Washington, D.C., and four of the plants on display there today are part of the original collection brought back from the expedition. Since it’s not always possible to go on vacation and visit far-off gardens, many botanical gardens around the world have started bringing the flora right to you with virtual tours. In addition to the USBG, which offers virtual tours at USBG.gov/ take-virtual-tour, check out these other gardens that allow you to explore without having to leave your home.
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