P ickleball THE SPORT THAT’S TAKING SURPRISE BY STORM! When I began working as a physical therapist in Surprise, I kept seeing patients with meniscus tears, Achilles tendon strains, and rotator cuff tears from a sport I knew absolutely nothing about: pickleball. To find out why this sport was wreaking havoc on my patients, I drove out to a pickleball court to see the game for myself. If the first server wins the rally, the team members get to switch places so the next teammate can serve. If both players lose their rallies, the opposing team gets to serve and earn points. Unlike tennis, only the serving team gets to score points, and the first team to score 11 wins.
Unlike tennis (invented in the 12th century) or basketball (invented in 1891), pickleball has a short history. According to the United States Pickleball Association, the sport was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington state, and Bill Bell, a Washington-state businessman. The two men invented the game after Bell and his family visited Pritchard’s home and no one could come up with an entertaining activity to pass the time. To cure their families’ boredom, Pritchard and Bell took ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball to the property’s old badminton court, determined to create a game that was fun for the whole family. After that first weekend, they wrote down rules for the game so other families could also play the new racquet sport. Ten years later, the first pickleball tournament was held in Tukwila, Washington. Much closer to home, pickleball was introduced to the Arizona Senior Olympics in 2001. The first tournament, held at Happy Trails Park in Surprise, Arizona, drew 100 players, and was the largest pickleball event yet. Over the next few years, the event grew to 300 players. Pickleball has taken Surprise and Sun City West by storm ever since. The fact that these towns have more pickleball courts than tennis courts is further proof of the sport’s popularity.
Pickleball is a combination of ping-pong, badminton, and tennis, but is played on one-fourth of a tennis court instead of a full court. The game is played with paddles and a small, perforated ball similar to a whiffle ball. While the game can be played with one person per team, doubles are more common. Players start by serving the ball from the right side of the court. The ball must make it past the non-volley zone on the other side of the net and bounce once before the receiving team can return the ball. If the ball doesn’t go past the non-volley zone, the serving team loses the rally, and it’s their teammate’s turn to rally. Vital Care Patients ENTER TO WIN Find the misspelled word in this newsletter and call (623) 544-0300 for your chance to win a $10 gift card! CALL 623-544-0300
smaller court size and the abrupt stops that the sport requires. In tennis, you can run a bit before you stop, but in pickleball, you’re forced to stop quickly. These abrupt, high-impact stops tear up your knees. The motions required to hit the pickleball can also cause strain on your shoulders, knees, and calves. For some, the addiction of pickleball is real. When a pickleball player comes to the clinic with an injury, the first thing that is asked is “How soon can I play again?” When it is suggested to take a break from the sport for a few weeks to allow healing time, it is very disappointing to the patient. This is often very hard to do for many people, and some will try playing again before ready, and re-injury occurs. The only way to truly avoid injury in pickleball is to have an exercise routine, including cardiovascular and strengthening activities outside of the sport. If pickleball is the only exercise you’re getting, you are more prone to injury.
From a physical therapy perspective, pickleball poses unique strains on the body due to the
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M eet O ur P atient , L ogan G uertin !
In a regular week, Logan Guertin, a 15-year-old patient at Vital Care, goes to school everyday and has soccer practice three times per week. When he’s not at practice, he goes to the Exos facility to train with professionals and work on core exercises, strengthening, and proper running techniques to stay on top of his game. “Most days, I get home from school at 4 p.m. and have an hour or two to do homework,” he said. “My practice is an hour and a half away in Scottsdale, so by the time I get home, it’s usually around 10 o’clock at night.” Every weekend, Logan has at least one scrimmage with his teammates, if not a full- blown soccer match or tournament. On his rare day off from the sport, Logan enjoys watching TV and hanging out with his friends, who also play soccer. “The last time I went over to a friend’s house, we ended up playing soccer on Xbox,” he said, laughing. “I eat, breathe, and sleep soccer.” And remarkably, that’s just practice time.
But the 15-year-old wouldn’t have it any other way. When asked about his favorite aspect of soccer, Logan said, “I like the competitiveness and the excitement of it. The games are always close, and to be honest, being good at it also makes it fun.”
“Last year, we didn’t have an off-season because the national championship was in July. After winning state and regionals, we practiced twice a week for an hour and a half during the summer to get ready for nationals,” Logan explained. But his hard work paid off. At the culmination of the National Championship, Logan won the award for National Champion at the club level. And Logan’s mother, Sonja, has good reason to be proud. The National Champion award is the highest honor a high school soccer player can earn until the college level! But Logan didn’t stop there. Recently, he came back from Italy, where he trained with the European teams for Future Olympic Athletes, a rare and exciting opportunity to work with the best of the best in soccer. In Italy, Logan and his team won three out of four games. “I had never played the forward position before, but after they told me a little bit more about it, I scored three points in the first 10 minutes!” Logan exclaimed. tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves, and strained eyes and muscles. And if you’re not in good shape (because you sit all day at work), you’re more likely to get injured doing other activities in your life. Levine says that, ideally, you should spend four hours a day on your feet. Of course, that may not be an option for many of you, especially if you work a desk job. We recommend getting up at least once an hour and walking around for a few minutes. Even a trip to the water cooler is better than nothing! But the real way to combat a sedentary job is to live an active life after hours. A lot of us want to plop down in front of the TV, but we’d be better off taking a long walk after work and spending some time cooking in the kitchen — on our feet, of course.
Logan kicked his first soccer ball at 4 years old. He and soccer have been inseparable ever since, and it shows. Logan’s remarkable proficiency at the sport has led him to awards and opportunities that not many 15-year-old athletes have under their belts.
G et U p O ffa T hat T hing ! I f Y ou W ant to L ive M ore , S it L ess
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” Those are the words of Dr. James Levine, who made headlines back in 2014 when he released the results of years of research into what’s really killing Americans. Just as cigarette use was killing Americans in droves back when the population still smoked, the prevalence of desk jobs is a huge health risk today. Humans, it turns out, are meant to be on their feet and on the go — just like our ancestors were. “We have created for ourselves a modern way of living that clashes with the way we’re meant to be,” Levine says. We’ve seen that sitting can also lead to other health issues, like carpal
You can also go to a standing desk, or even a treadmill desk — which Levine invented.
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SHORT-DISTANCE RUNNING MIGHT BE BETTER FOR OVERALL HEALTH M ake the 5K C ool A gain
SOCCER PLAYER WITH EXTRAORDINARY TALENT!
But like any star athlete, Logan’s 11-year-long journey in soccer hasn’t exactly been injury-free. “In 2013 or 2014, I dislocated my shoulder. It was painful, but Vital Care made it a lot better,” he said. More recently, Logan
returned to Vital Care to heal two torn muscles in his lower back. “After going in for an evaluation, I did physical therapy for a few weeks and was able to get back out there and play.” Logan couldn’t express his appreciation to Andrea and the Vital Care team enough, and added, “They are
O ne -P an M exican Q uinoa • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 jalapeno, minced • 1 cup quinoa • 1 cup vegetable broth • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned, or roasted • 1 teaspoon chili powder • 1/2 teaspoon cumin • Salt and pepper to taste • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and diced • Juice of 1 lime • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves INGREDIENTS Thanks to Vital Care, Logan left physical therapy feeling even better than before. “My surrounding muscles were stronger, and I was even faster than before,” he said. “The second time, I hurt my back two weeks before Italy, and I went in the next day for help.” Thanks to Vital Care, Logan was healed, injury-free, and ready to show Italy what he was made of. 1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 1 minute. 2. Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in avocado, lime juice, and cilantro. 3. Serve immediately. DIRECTIONS always friendly and have so much fun there. They all love each other and make you feel like family. Sometimes, I even just go there to visit because I like them all so much.”
We’ve all seen the stickers — 26.2 inside a circle on someone’s back windshield. It’s impressive, just like its younger sister, the 13.1 sticker. But why don’t you ever see a 3.1 sticker? After all, five times as many people ran 5Ks last year than half- or full- marathons, according to a survey by Running USA. It’s because there’s a belief that running in a 5K isn’t something to boast about. It’s lost its competitive edge, thanks, in part, to people calling them “fun runs.” But fitness websites are abuzz with claims that racing short distances is better for overall health. Sure, the discipline it takes to a train for a marathon is worth noting, but whether you should focus on long- or short-distance running depends on you. How long do you want to run? Running for over 26 miles in one go is a lofty goal. Of course, humans operate at their best when they’re climbing metaphorical mountains. But if you don’t like running for extended amounts of time or if you’re looking to take on a more long-term hobby that you can enjoy for years to come, a shorter race might be more your speed. Shorter interval work is better for weight loss than distance running. It requires speed and strength, as well as endurance. It’s also notable that 5Ks are more readily available than marathons, so in most parts of the country, you could compete in several a year. Think of it like eating: It’s much healthier to have smaller, more frequent meals, than to occasionally gorge yourself. The same is true for exercise. If you are goal-oriented, you can channel that through competing in 5Ks rather than simply completing marathons. The 5K is synonymous with being family-friendly and sponsoring charities, but it’s also an Olympic event . Most marathon runners are only focused on one thing: finishing. The most important part is to get fit and stay fit, however you choose to do so. But it’s time we made the 5K cool again. After all, the fastest 3.1 miles ever run — by Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia — happened in 12:37. Now that’s a number that belongs on a bumper sticker.
Recipe adapted from DamnDelicious.net.
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The Sport That’s Taking Surprise by Storm! PAGE 1
Meet Our Patient, Logan Guertin! Get Up Offa That Thing! PAGE 2
Make the 5K Cool Again Recipe of the Month PAGE 3
The World’s Happiest Vacations PAGE 4
VISIT THE HAPPIEST PLACES IN THE WORLD — IT’S CONTAGIOUS D estination : H appy P eople
Visit a hustling, bustling tourist trap and what do you get? Crowds of competitive travelers and a local population that is sick to death of them. Visit a place with happy people, and you get good service, friendly faces, and you’ll learn firsthand what Harvard researchers affirmed in a 2012 study: Happiness is contagious. Luckily for the average traveler, the places that topped a nationwide Gallup poll and the United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report have plenty to offer in addition to cheerful locals. If we were to tell you that Hawaii is the happiest state in the country, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. And sure enough, Hawaii ranked first in overall happiness for the sixth consecutive year. The sunny beaches, rich culture, and perfect weather give tourists a taste of paradise that the natives enjoy all year long. The Happiest States in the U.S.
Next in line is a state that has little in common with the Aloha State. Alaska came in second place for the third consecutive year. With eight national parks, including Denali, Glacier Bay, and Gates of the Arctic, Alaska’s 663,000 square miles are filled to the brim with the wonders of nature. Denmark has long been the standard-bearer in this category. This year, it relinquished the title to its Scandinavian sister. Norway is home to some of the most breathtaking vistas on earth, most notably its western fjords like the world-famous Geirangerfjord and Nærøfjord. For the city wanderer, you’ll find choice seaside restaurants and walkable streets in towns like Bergen, the country’s second-largest city, which sports rainbow architecture and a 15th-century waterfront. The Happiest Country in the World
Knowing the heart of a destination begins and ends with its people. Tack on beautiful scenery and daydream-worthy activities, and you just found yourself the perfect vacation.
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