Physical Therapy Services of Tennessee -May 2019

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MEET NEW FRIENDS!

the council, every year, 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 and older falls in their home. Forming a habit of stepping outside for a walk every day could mean the difference between staying healthy or suffering a tragic fall.

While you’re strengthening your heart, you may find yourself creating strong bonds with other older adults — which can also be vital to your health! According to a study at the University of California, San Francisco, more than 40 percent of seniors experience loneliness on a regular basis. Spouses pass on, children become busy, and seniors may start feeling like they’re all alone. Living with constant loneliness can be just as detrimental as smoking 15 cigarettes every day! Studies have also found enhanced mental well-being when people remain active. So, joining an exercise class at your local gym or senior center can help you flex those muscles and build new relationships. Before you begin any physical fitness regimen, consult with a medical professional. They can give you advice on what types of activities to try and what pains to look out for. Whatever you do, just get out there and move!

HAVE FUN!

Spending even 20 minutes of every day devoted to some kind of physical activity is a huge benefit to your heart and joints. Yet, one of the biggest misconceptions about physical activity is that it has to be a specified workout regimen to qualify as physical fitness. Instead of slapping on your sweatband to get your heart rate up, try strengthening your body with leisurely activities or even household chores. Try a local dance class or spruce up your garden. Tackling the mess in the garage, walking to lunch with a friend, or volunteering to walk the dogs at your local humane society are all fun ways to work physical fitness into your daily life. The best part is you can mold your workout to your lifestyle. Do what feels right, fun, and active!

Brave Little Cher Ami The War Pigeon Who Saved the ‘Lost Battalion’ Long before the invention of radios and cellphones, homing pigeons were used to send messages as early as the sixth century. DuringWorldWar I, war pigeons carried lifesaving messages past enemy lines for the American and French armies, often being wounded in the process. In 1918, Cher Ami, a black check hen used by the U.S. Signal Corps, became the most famous of them all. On Oct. 2, the United States 77th Division was trapped behind enemy lines in the Argonne Forest during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, a three- month push by the Allies during the final throes of WorldWar I to force the Germans to surrender. It became the bloodiest battle in U.S. history. For six days, the encircled division endured relentless attacks and suffered heavy casualties, but their orders were clear: don’t retreat and don’t surrender. The division dispatched two homing pigeons with requests for help, but both birds were shot down. When friendly fire began raining down on the 77th, Major Charles WhiteWhittlesey felt he had no choice but to send the last pigeon, Cher Ami. The pigeon’s desperate note read:

As Cher Ami rose from the brush, she was shot down, to the despair of the watching soldiers. However, after a few seconds, she fought her way back into the air, flew through a torrent of gunfire, and made it to division headquarters 25 miles away. She had been shot in the breast, the eye, and the leg. Because of Cher Ami’s brave flight, 194 of the original 554 men of the 77th Division survived the battle. One month later, WorldWar I came to an end. Cher Ami survived the war as well, thanks to the surgeons who performed emergency surgery on her. One soldier even carved her a little wooden leg. She became a well-known hero to both soldiers and children in the States. For her service in Verdun, the French Army awarded her the Croix de Guerre, and she was inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame. Cher Ami finally succumbed to her wounds in June of 1919 and is now on display in the Smithsonian alongside Sergeant Stubby, a terrier who served 18 months on theWestern Front.

“We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.”

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