THE THOMAS TIMES
IS YOUR CIRCLE OF FUNCTION GROWING OR SHRINKING?
Can you get up out of a chair without using your arms? Can you walk down the stairs without holding the handrail? Can you get up off of the floor confidently to return to the standing position? Sometimes we shy away from activities such as these only to find that we are becoming less and less competent with our physical movements. Our circle of function begins to shrink. In the outer rings of the circle of function we find ourselves playing singles tennis. In the next ring in we’re playing doubles tennis. In the next ring in we’re watching tennis on TV. Soon we find ourselves unable to get up off the floor or lacking confidence to go down an escalator. Our circle of function continues to shrink and we find ourselves less and less able to function normally. When you find that you’re unable to perform activities that used to be easy for you, don’t just accept that you can’t do it anymore because you’re getting older. If you can’t put four stacked plates in the cabinet anymore, try three. But each time you do it, add one more repetition until you regain the ability to put four stacked plates in the cabinet. If you find that it is too painful to progress with these activities on your own, remember: physical therapists are the experts at restoring normal function!
AndWhy YouNeedThemAll THE 4TYPES OF EXERCISE
From the Thighmaster to the Shake Weight, every era has had its own ridiculous fitness fad. However, in a world increasingly obsessed with health and fitness, silly, single-use items have given way to complex workout methodologies. Instructors and gyms now offer varying pro- grams 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 is indisput- able: 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 together 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 over- looking an integral aspect of any well-rounded fitness regimen. Examine the four most-import- ant types of exercise and ask yourself if you’re getting enough of each.
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Aerobic exercise, which comprises 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
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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.”
tear and begin to break down. Balance exer- cises allow you to keep these systems healthy and well-functioning. Some types of exercise, like yoga and tai chi, help maintain your balance. They’re also incredibly easy to start at any point in your life because they don’t have a high barrier to 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 ex- ercises 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 ad- vantages 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. BOTH/AND, NOT EITHER/OR
When you’re young, it’s easy to take flexibil- ity 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. 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.
Where aerobic exercise targets the cardiovas- cular 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 gro- ceries, gardening, and lifting heavy objects around the house. Strength training will also help you stand up from a chair, get up off the floor, or get upstairs,” says Wilson. You don’t need to lift massive amounts of weight to get the benefits of strength train- ing. Body weight 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.
Balance is the result of many systems — vi- sion, the vestibular system, leg muscles, body mechanics — working with one another. As we get older, these systems suffer wear and
What’s Stopping You? Daily Habits That Impede Your Healing
SNUFF YOUR HABIT 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 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.
EAT FOR YOUR JOINTS You already know that food is fuel for your body, but what you eat can also affect your quality of life. Ingredients that cause inflamma- tion — such as saturated fats, alcohol, and sug- ars — 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.
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. TOO MUCH YET NOT ENOUGH 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.
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How Super Bowl XXXIVMade an Icon Out of a Grocery Store Clerk One for the Ages
Going into the 1999 NFL season, no one expected anything from the St. Louis Rams. When starting quarterback Trent Green went down with a gruesome knee injury in the preseason, ESPN The Magazine slated the Rams to be the worst team in the NFL that year. With few options, coach Vermeil named a virtually unknown player as his new starting quarterback, humbly stating in a press conference,“We will rally around Kurt Warner, and we’ll play good football.”
Trophy, but the late Steve McNair and the Titans had different plans. The Georgia Dome was rocking after two Eddie George touchdown runs, and a field goal brought the Titans level at 16–16, with just over two minutes of play remaining. In response, Warner dropped back and found receiver Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 23–16 with 1:54 left on the clock. But the Titans weren’t done fighting. Quickly moving the ball down the field, Titans quarterback Steve McNair found himself with a third and 5 inside the Rams 30-yard line with 22 seconds left. Scrambling around and fighting off two players trying to pull him down, McNair threw the ball to Kevin Dyson at the 10-yard line. A quick timeout left six seconds on the clock, and the Titans were one play away from tying the game. What proceeded was a play that will be forever known as“the tackle.” McNair found Dyson on a quick slant, and when he caught the ball at the 4-yard line, it appeared a touchdown was imminent. Suddenly, linebacker Mike Jones wrapped the receiver up at the hips. As he fell to the ground with the ball in his hand, Dyson extended his arm, but when he hit the AstroTurf, he was 1 yard short of the goal line. The Rams had pulled off the impossible, earning their first Super Bowl title ever.
Five years before his start, 22-year-old Kurt Warner was stocking shelves at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for $5.50 an hour. However, he had amassed a whopping 16 snaps in the NFL prior to taking the reins for the 1999 season, and what proceeded to transpire on the field was utter pandemonium, giving the Rams the nickname“The Greatest Show on Turf.” This improbable season and the resulting MVP award for Warner set the stage for one of the most dramatic games in Super Bowl history. After going up 16–0 against the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, Warner and the Rams looked poised to coast on their way to the Lombardi
Clinic/ Workshop Upc ming Workshops MARK YOUR CALENDAR Our workshops are full of great information to help you lead a healthier and more active life!
SPICY SALMON TARTARE
1. Place salmon in freezer for 20 minutes to make slicing easier. 2. Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients for mixing. 3. Thinly slice salmon into sheets and cut sheets into strips and strips into cubes. When finished, you should have 1/8-inch cubes. 4. In a mixing bowl, combine salmon with all other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Garnish with chips or crackers and serve.
1 8-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillet 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
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Clinic & Workshop
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup cucumber, seeded and finely diced 1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeno peppers, seeded andminced 1 1/2 teaspoons shallots, minced 3/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chives, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons grapeseed or vegetable oil Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste Crackers or chips, for serving
Sarah Thomas, PT
Low Back Pain & Sciatica
Randy Thomas, PT
Cheryl Wynn, DPT
Low Back Pain & Sciatica
Randy Thomas, PT
Note: All clinics and workshops are free and are held 5:30–6:30 p.m.
RSVP TODAY 386-257-2672
Recipe courtesy of Epicurious
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Thomas Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy www.ThomasPhysicalTherapy.com
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE Randy’s Ramblings PAGE 1 The 4 Essential Types of Exercise PAGE 1 Healing Tips: What Helps andWhat Hinders PAGE 2 The Most Iconic Super Bowl in NFL History PAGE 3 Upcoming Workshops PAGE 3 Spicy Salmon Tartare PAGE 3 3 Ways to Improve Your Memory PAGE 4 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.” Activi- ties like solving puzzles, learning a musical 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 PUZZLE YOURSELF
STRENGTH OF MIND Tips to Keep Memory Sharp and Improve Cognitive Function
SPEND TIMEWITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
make up for the loss of stimulating challenges that work used to provide.
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 mem- ory. The researchers note that“aerobic exercise acts by preventing the usual decrease in neuro- genesis associated with aging, thus resulting in greater retention of neural matter —particularly in the hippocampus.”In short, exercises like swimming and running keep the part of our brain responsible for memory from shrinking.
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