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EastTennessee Physical Therapy News
We rate our services based on the satisfaction level experienced by the patients, their progress with functional activities and whether or not their goals have been reached while in therapy. The results over the past few months based on patient responses are as follows: Satisfied with the level of care you received: 30 out of 30 responded VERY SATISFIED Rate your progress with functional activities since the start of therapy: 28/30 rated EXCELLENT 2 rated GOOD Have your therapy goals been reached: 29/30 answered YES, one answered NO. We are very proud of our staff of physical and occupational therapists. Mitzi H. wrote, “Appreciate all the wonderful help. I feel 100 percent better. Exercises were extremely helpful. Instructions were thorough and the therapist made sure I was doing them correctly. FROM THE DESK OF Dr. Smith • • •
T he 4 T ypes of E xercise A nd W hy Y ou N eed T hem A ll
From the Thighmaster to the Shake Weight, every era has had its own ridiculous fitness fads. However, in a world that’s increasingly obsessed with health and fitness, silly, single-use items have given way to complex workout methodologies. Instructors and gyms now offer varying programs for success, and each will tell you their system is the best way to get and stay fit. While the debate over the best way to work out continues to rage on, one thing remains indisputable: Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle. According to the Harvard Health Letter, there are four types of exercise everyone should do. Each provides unique benefits to your overall health and wellness. Rather than deciding that one is better than the others, it’s smart to make sure you’re mixing them all regularly. “People do what they enjoy or what feels the most effective, so some aspects of exercise and fitness are ignored,” says Rachel Wilson of Brigham andWomen’s Hospital. Don’t end up overlooking an integral aspect of any well-rounded fitness regimen. Examine the four most important types of exercise and ask yourself if you’re getting enough of each. Aerobic exercise, which is comprised of any cardiovascular conditioning (cardio), speeds up your heart rate and breathing. Whether through walking, swimming, running, cycling, or another mode of repetitive movement, cardio increases your endurance and works out your heart and lungs. Your cardiovascular system is the pump supplying fuel to your muscles. If it’s not firing on all cylinders, you’ll never perform at your best. That’s why regular aerobic exercise is so important. As Anthony Joshua, the heavyweight champion of the world, says, “Cardio is a nice way to start the morning … it’s good to get up, get the body active.” AEROBIC EXERCISE
Would highly recommend
this facility. Feel certain this saved me from surgery.”
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That’s not the case for older adults who need to stretch in order to stay limber. Regular stretching will increase your range of motion while reducing your chances of injury — a win-win. Begin by warming up your muscles with dynamic stretches like arm circles or walking in place. Once your blood is flowing, move to static stretches that require you to hold a position. Areas like the calves, hamstrings, shoulders, neck, and back are particularly important to stretch. Balance is the result of many systems — vision, the vestibular system, leg muscles, body mechanics —working with one another. As we get older, these systems suffer wear and tear and begin to break down. Balance exercises allow you to keep these systems healthy and well-functioning. BALANCE EXERCISES
incredibly easy to start at any point in your life because they don’t have a high barrier of entry. Even if you don’t have balance issues, you may want to consider trying them out. Alternatively, those already dealing with problems should consult a physical therapist, who will provide you with a specific set of exercises designed to recover your lost balance. Many sources will tell you that one type of exercise reigns supreme. The problem with this thinking is that it inhibits all the advantages you can gain from a multifaceted fitness plan. There’s no rule that states you can only pick one or two of the four essential types of exercise, so why limit yourself? Like a balanced diet, the best fitness system is the one that covers all the bases. B OTH/AND, NOT EITHER/OR
Where aerobic exercise targets the cardiovascular systems, strength training is all about building muscle mass. “Regular strength training will help you feel more confident and capable of daily tasks like carrying groceries, gardening, and lifting heavy objects around the house. Strength training will also help you stand up from a chair, get up off the floor, and go upstairs,” says Wilson. You don’t need to lift massive amounts of weight to get the benefits of strength training. Bodyweight exercises, like squats and pushups, are a great way to strength train. Because muscle mass is actually built during rest periods, be sure to schedule recovery days each week.
When you’re young, it’s easy to take flexibility for granted. A middle schooler can run around all day without warming up and have no fear of straining a tendon or overworking a joint.
Some types of exercise, like yoga and tai chi, help maintain your balance. They’re also
Strength of Mind Tips to Keep Memory Sharp and Improve Cognitive Function
Irish poet Oscar Wilde once called memory“the diary that we all carry about with us.”Of course, inWilde’s time, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years old. As modern medicine continues to enable people to live longer, these “diaries”tend to become muddled. Fortunately, there are ways to counteract the natural dulling of our memory that comes with time. Just like any other muscle, our brain needs a workout in order to stay strong. As Dr. Celeste Robb-Nicholson of Harvard Medical School writes,“Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells.”Activities like solving puzzles, learning a musical PUZZLE YOURSELF
instrument, or picking up a new hobby work wonders to keep your mind active and your memory sharp. These mental exercises are especially important after retirement, often to make up for the loss of stimulating challenges that work used to provide.
exercises like swimming and running keep the part of our brain responsible for memory from shrinking.
SPEND TIMEWITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Humans are social creatures. Many studies have shown that being a part of a supportive social group can significantly benefit our physical and mental health. In fact, the American Journal of Public Health reports that people who have daily contact with friends and family cut their risk of dementia and mental impairment almost in half. Our mental diaries may be longer and fuller than they were inWilde’s day, but if we fill those pages with hobbies, exercise, and close friends, our memories will remain sharp and vivid for the rest of our days.
Taking care of our physical health has also been shown to help brain function. According to a study by Sydney University in Australia, aerobic exercise is particularly good at jogging our memory. The researchers note that“aerobic exercise acts by preventing the usual decrease in neurogenesis associated with aging, thus resulting in greater retention of neural matter —particularly in the hippocampus.”In short,
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Daily Habits That Impede Your Healing What ’s Stopping You?
Physical therapy can help your body harness its healing power, but without a lifestyle change, you may actually be hurting your body. Add these three tips to your PT regimen to help your body heal as well — and as quickly — as possible.
its job. Smoking also makes exercise more difficult because of the toll it takes on your cardiovascular system. Painkillers can also inhibit the healing process because they mask pain without treating the source. Use them when necessary, but don’t rely on them for a long-term solution if you can avoid it.
TOO MUCH YET NOT ENOUGH
EAT FOR YOUR JOINTS
Rest is necessary for healing, but when you rest too much, you do more harm than good. Nursing an injury by using crutches for too long or favoring a limb encourages unhealthy movement and keeps your body from healing normally. On the other hand, not resting enough can be harmful. So be active but take it easy, and avoid spending hours on the couch or the treadmill.
You already know that food is fuel for your body, but what you eat can also affect your quality of life. Ingredients that cause inflammation — such as saturated fats, alcohol, and sugars — can increase pain in your joints and put extra strain on them. Instead, stick to a healthy diet of lean proteins, leafy greens, low-sugar fruits, and complex carbohydrates to give your body the boost it needs to heal. Making or breaking a habit can take weeks, so take it slow, understand that change is a process, and ask your physical therapist for advice. It may make your healing process more challenging, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
SNUFF YOUR HABIT
Take a Break! Smoking comes with a long list of health risks, and “inability to heal from an injury” is on that list. Nicotine, the powerful chemical that makes tobacco so addictive, keeps your immune system from doing
Edible Valentine’s Day Cookie Cards
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Royal icing, sprinkles, and edible markers, for decorating
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour with sugar and salt. Add butter and combine using a mixer at low speed, until butter breaks down into small, crumbly pieces. Increase mixing speed tomedium andmix until butter and flour clump. 3. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract to bowl, returnmixer
to low, andmix until dough congeals. 4. Carefully roll dough into a sheet 1/16-inch thick and cut into 4x6- inch cards. 5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, bake cookie cards for 6 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 6. Let cookies cool completely, decorate, and distribute.
Inspired by Delish
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P hysical T herapy S ervices , P.A.
Each Valentine’s Day, people all over the world rush to the store to buy chocolates and all the ingredients necessary to whip up a romantic dinner for two. Unfortunately, these calorie-laden holiday traditions can undermine the fitness resolutions you made just six weeks before. Instead of throwing your goals by the wayside this February, why not make fitness a couples activity? The National Library of Medicine published a study showing that couples who focused on their health together went to the gym more often and reported feeling more connected in their relationship. These findings were corroborated by a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Scientists claimed that partners who exercised together reported higher levels of happiness and satisfaction in their relationship. If you and your sweetheart are looking for a romantic way to burn some Inside This Issue From the Desk of Dr. Smith PAGE 1 The 4 Essential Types of Exercise PAGE 1 3 Ways to Improve Your Memory PAGE 2 Healing Tips: What Helps and What Hinders PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Edible Valentine’s Day Cookie Cards PAGE 3 Couples Who Sweat Together Stay Together PAGE 4
Why You Should Exercise With Your Significant Other COUPLES WHO SWEAT TOGETHER STAY TOGETHER
calories this month, here are some great workout ideas for two.
PLAY CATCH! Grab a medicine ball and do some overhead passes, feet-to-feet situp passes, and back-to- back twists with each other. All of these easy at-home workouts help build a solid core. GO FOR A RUN! If the weather is nice, the two of you can lace up and hit the pavement together. You could even make a couples playlist to listen to as you run. If the cold temperatures are preventing you from enjoying the great outdoors, head to the gym and challenge each other on side-by- side treadmills. TRY SOME ROCK CLIMBING! This is a great way to get a good workout while simultaneously building trust with your partner. Most rock-climbing gyms offer classes
in belaying, and staff members can give you tips to improve your form. Sign up to work with an instructor and test your personal limits together.
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