PAUL'S POINT OF VIEW JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021
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barbecues, and playing our favorite summer sports — including cricket! (The photo was taken in 1967. I was 5 years old at the beach!) Outside of this town was a volcanic mountain about 8,000 feet high. As a child, I wanted to climb it. And when I was 9 years old, I got my wish! My father and I
By the time you read this, 2020 will finally be over — to the relief of many. I hope your holiday season was fun, safe, and free from illness and that you and your family were able to enjoy time together, whether in person or virtually. Over the holidays, I couldn’t help but reminisce about Christmases past. One thing you may not know about me is that throughout my childhood, my Christmases were a little different than the Christmases celebrated in the United States. In New Zealand, my Christmas and New Year’s Day fell during summer. This meant the days were long and the temperatures were nice and warm. Because we were off from school, we could play outside all day and well into the evening. There were times I wondered how Santa managed to get through the evening while wearing his warm suit. The Santa at the mall could barely stand the heat in the red and white suit! It always seemed so strange to me to see Christmas in movies, on cards, or in books with their depictions of sleighs, reindeer, and snow. As a young boy, I had never seen snow outside of movies or pictures. How did the reindeer pull a sleigh without any snow? While we may not have had any snow during our summertime Christmases, our traditions were very similar to those in the northern hemisphere. We had a Christmas tree complete with presents underneath, stockings carefully hung up, and a big turkey dinner with extended family. After we opened our presents, we would play with our new toys and games outside for hours on end. We had so much daylight to play in! Then, by New Year's, we would have gone on our annual trip to visit my mother’s extended family; we would all pile in the car and travel to a town about 200 miles away from home. Those trips were filled with beachcombing, swimming,
hiked up to the top. To my amazement, as a 9-year-old, the top was covered in snow, even in the middle of summer. This was the first time I had ever seen snow. My first Christmas away from home was in 1984. I was 22 and living in London. It was cold and gray, and there was even some snow, as I recall. I was homesick for my summer Christmas in New Zealand because for me, Christmas just wasn’t the same without warm, sunny weather. Even today, I can’t help but miss that New Zealand Christmas. I wanted to share this story with you because there’s one important thing to remember. While this holiday season was different than in years past, it doesn’t make these holidays any less joyful. They may be different from what we expect or hope for, but we should still appreciate what we do have. Hopefully, 2021 will bring a sense of normality back to our lives. There are still some challenges ahead, but there are also many things to look forward to in the months to come. Happy New Year! Stay safe and be well!
–Paul Kane, P.T., BSC, CMP
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WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT YOUR PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH
bridges, squats, and cat/cow pose. While improving your pelvic floor health, try to avoid doing other exercises that can strain it, such as running or heavy lifting. (As your pelvic floor gets stronger, you can slowly add these exercises back into your routine.) Consulting with a physical therapist and developing a regimen to improve or maintain your pelvic floor health is a great way to treat or prevent pelvic floor weakness. The best part? As your pelvic floor health improves, other components of your life will too. You’ll see improvement with your digestion, you’ll never have to worry about sneezing or coughing too vigorously, and your personal relationships can improve. It’s worth having a discussion with a professional. Contact your physical therapy team today to learn more about how to improve your pelvic floor health, and, ultimately, get your life back.
musculoskeletal systems, so any time you eat, use the restroom, or simply sit or walk, your pelvic floor is working. But when it’s not working properly, many patients — primarily women, but men can struggle with pelvic floor health, too — experience pain during bathroom visits and sex (or an inability to do either), pain in the lower back, digestive issues, and leaking. This can happen for a variety of reasons. For women, pelvic floor weakness or prolapse is often the result of labor, but age, traumatic injury, and genetics can also affect your pelvic floor. Though pelvic floor issues are relatively common, patients may be embarrassed by the associated symptoms, and as a result, many avoid seeking treatment. The good news is that strengthening the pelvic floor often involves simple exercises and stretches, like glute
It can be awkward to talk about, but pelvic floor health can have a significant impact on your lifestyle and happiness. For many, the pelvic floor is a source of pain and incontinence, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Your pelvic floor is just like any other body part; with proper strength, it can function normally and pain-free. The pelvic floor consists of the pelvis and the muscles and organs that protect it and are housed within it. It functions with the urinary, reproductive, digestive, and
THESE CELEBRITIES ARE SOBER BY CHOICE
AND HERE’S HOW YOU CAN BE, TOO!
Step 3: Celebrate with a mocktail! Alcohol does not equate with fun! Just look at Kate Moss, who often abstains from drinking and has been known to have just as much fun — if not more! — while sober. Moss has even mentioned that she orders mocktails.
up drinking? Why do you want better skin or fewer hangovers? Why do you want more time with your family? These reminders can help you keep going! Step 2: Don’t quit cold turkey. Jennifer Lopez isn’t one to toast with water. The pop star is often seen taking a sip of alcohol after “raising a glass,” but that’s as far as she goes! J-Lo reportedly doesn’t like the adverse effects alcohol can have on the skin. According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, moderation might be better for your overall goal than quitting altogether. One study found that when drinking was so ingrained in patients’ daily lives, they found better success weaning off over time or practicing moderation. By creating your own plan to lessen your alcohol intake, you can improve your relationship with alcohol and better strive for your sobriety.
Making a conscious decision to live a sober lifestyle can be powerful. For some, it’s a necessity spurred on by addiction, while others choose to stay sober for their health. Alcohol has been linked to skin damage, cognition issues, high blood pressure, sleep dysfunction, and weight gain. So, if you’re considering making Dry January more of a year-round habit, get started with these three steps. Step 1: Consider your motivations. In 2019, Anne Hathaway announced she was giving up drinking for her son. She wanted to add more value to the mornings she got to spend with him instead of nursing a hangover. Finding a reason to stop drinking can make you more motivated to stick with it. In moments when you want to drink, write down your motivations and really dig into them. Why do you want to give
Why not have all the fun of cocktails without
the adverse effects? The best way to enjoy the moments traditionally filled with alcohol is to find a new way to appreciate them. Find a new hobby or make a fun, alcohol-free drink for your celebrations. There are plenty of ways to partake in these moments while staying sober!
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SOUP’S ON! PERFECT YOUR SOUP RECIPE WITH THESE 3 TIPS
and/or pasta can become mushy and underwhelming.
add vegetables to your soup based on cooking time and flavoring. Carrots, onions, and celery should “sweat” in the pot with oil and seasoning before you add the broth to capture the fullest flavor of these ingredients. Potatoes
Soup is perfect for sick days and alongside grilled cheese, and Grandma always seemed to have a recipe to make everything better. For as simple and comforting as soup can be, recreating those memories from your stovetop includes a few tedious steps. Become a soup master with this go-to guide to winter’s favorite dish. Mind your peas and carrots. The magic of a hearty minestrone or old-fashioned chicken noodle soup comes from the flavors of vegetables to create the perfect blend of comfort and taste. However, overcooking or undercooking vegetables can ruin this delicate balance. So, consider the vegetables you want in your soup and plan accordingly. Start by chopping vegetables into bite-size pieces that will easily fit on a spoon. No one wants a spoonful of soup that’s just carrots after all! Then,
Season gradually — but generously. No one enjoys a bland soup, but too much seasoning can overpower the natural flavors of your ingredients. Add your
and other root vegetables can be added in the
seasoning to vegetables as they sauté in the pot
before adding the stock. Then, add the stock and the
while leafy greens only need minutes in the pot toward the end to capture their full flavor.
remainder of your ingredients. Only add more
seasoning as the soup simmers and do a taste test. Add a bit of
salt and pepper until it’s perfect! If you over-salt, don’t panic. Adding more stock, potatoes, noodles, or cream can fix your soup in a pinch. Bonus Tip: Always serve your soup with bread, toast, or crackers. It’s the perfect vehicle to soak up all the flavors!
Simmer to blend flavors. Simmering is the key to a great soup. Once all your ingredients are in the pot, reduce the heat to a low simmer. This allows the flavors to play together without overcooking. If a soup is boiled for too long, the vegetables, meats,
EASY ONE-POT LENTIL SOUP
TAKE A BREAK!
Inspired by MinimalistBaker.com
• 2 tbsp coconut oil • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 shallots, diced
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and sauté garlic, shallots, carrots, and celery for 4–5 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. 2. Add potatoes to pot, along with more salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. 3. Add vegetable broth and herbs, then bring soup to a simmer. 4. Add lentils, stirring until soup returns to a simmer. Then, turn the heat to low and cook soup uncovered for 15–20 minutes. 5. Finally, add kale and additional salt and pepper as needed. Cook for 3–4 minutes, thin soup with additional vegetable broth as needed, and serve!
• 4 large carrots, sliced thin • 4 stalks celery, sliced thin • Sea salt, to taste • Black pepper, to taste • 3 cups red potatoes, cubed • 4 cups vegetable broth • 2–3 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme, chopped • 1 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and drained • 2 cups chopped kale
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1. COVER TITLE 1. UNCONVENTIONAL CHRISTMAS INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2. DON’T SHY AWAY FROM TALKING ABOUT YOUR PELVIC FLOOR 3 STEPS TO A SOBER LIFESTYLE 3. 3 STEPS TO PERFECT, COMFORTING SOUP EASY ONE-POT LENTIL SOUP 4. MAKE RESOLUTIONS EASIER WITH FITNESS CHALLENGES
ARE YOU UP FOR A CHALLENGE? FOCUS ON FITNESS FOR 30 DAYS
regularly hitting a number that is at least 5,000 steps beyond your baseline! (If you don’t have an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or other fitness tracking device, find an old- fashioned pedometer and get to work!)
Everyone’s done it. We’ve rung in the new year on the promise that this is our year to get healthy. We’re going to finally lose the weight, eat healthier, and feel better than ever. Sadly, many of us fail at this endeavor every single year . Let’s make 2021 different! Work toward your wellness goals by trying monthly challenges. These challenges allow you to focus on one area of your wellness each month, which will ultimately ensure you create sustainable habits. Here are three challenges to get you started!
February: Drink Up
March: Bulk Up
Tracking your water intake and challenging yourself to drink more can help you feel more energized and make progress on your other goals. Start by calculating how much water you need to consume. Experts suggest taking your body weight, dividing it by two, and drinking that many ounces of water each day. (For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds should drink 75 ounces of water.) Can you drink that much water each day for 30 days? If not, drink more each day throughout the month until you reach your goal. Give it a shot. We guarantee you’ll have more energy!
Choose one area of your body to focus on this month. Want to improve your arm strength? Work your way up from five to 50 pushups throughout the month. Follow the same formula with squats if you want to focus on your legs. Or, try planking to strengthen your core. Start the month by holding the plank for 30 seconds and work your way up to 2–3 minutes! As you progress in each challenge, you’ll notice significant improvement. For the best results, rest whatever area of your body you’re focusing on during your regular exercise routine. (That’s how muscle grows!)
January: Step Up
Getting extra steps in during the day is the quickest way to introduce more activity into your life. Start easy and just track your regular steps for one week. Then, set a goal to get 1,000 more steps than that in the following week and build from there. Keep going until you’re
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