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ARE YOU READY FOR A HEART TO HEART? PTA ANNA STOICK TALKS VALENTINE’S DAY AND HEART HEALTH
typically pretty active people, but we got out of our fitness routines when our gym shut down. I’ve been trying to work out more often, but I’m definitely not back in the swing of things yet. This month, I’m going to push myself to do better. As a PTA, I know that heart health is everything! When you exercise regularly to get your heart rate up, you help ward off potentially deadly conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The scary truth is that someone in the U.S. dies from heart disease every 36 seconds, according to the CDC. I don’t want to be part of that statistic, and I don’t want you to either. Luckily, we can keep ourselves safe by following these exercise recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM):
Hey there, it’s Anna! So much has happened since I last wrote you one of these newsletters in July. The world finally said goodbye to 2020, Advanced Practice PT celebrated its ninth anniversary, and most importantly of all (at least to me), I got a new last name! That’s right — my husband, Brian, and I officially tied the knot in August, and I went from Anna Fry to Anna Stoick. If you’re a patient of mine, you probably already know all about the wedding. But I might not have mentioned that now, every box of candy at the store and heart-shaped emoji on Facebook reminds me that this month will be our first married Valentine’s Day. A few people have asked what we’re planning, and I have to admit there’s nothing big in the works. Usually we keep things low-key on Valentine’s Day. The most important thing to me is that we spend the day together, so most years, we cook something special for dinner, like steak, lobster, or crab legs. This year will probably be more of the same! I’m really looking forward to it. We got a lot of kitchen gadgets as wedding gifts, and we’ve been having fun playing with them and exploring new recipes. At home, all things heart-shaped remind me of Valentine’s Day, but at work, the symbol reminds me of my actual heart instead. February is American Heart Month, so I’m not the only PTA with cardiovascular health on my mind. To be honest, my heart could probably use a bit more exercise. Brian and I are
Folding laundry, cleaning, and walking around your house all count! If you’re working from home, even standing up every few hours or strolling the neighborhood on your lunch break can make a big difference. This applies whether you’ve had COVID-19 or not. Personally, Brian and I have been getting a little more exercise by entertaining our newly adopted cat, Verne. Studies show that physical activity is down 33% since lockdowns started, but we can reverse that trend. If you want to get back in the groove but aren’t quite sure how to get started, let me or another PT at our office know. We can help you build a routine that’s safe, effective, and healthy for your heart.
• 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week (or 2 1/2 hours total)
• 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise 2 days a week (or 1 hour total)
These guidelines are for healthy adults, so they might not be the best option for you if you’re still recovering from an injury or a battle with COVID-19. I’ve noticed that my patients who’ve had the virus have lower endurance and more trouble breathing when they come back to PT afterward. If you’re in that position, make sure you take it slow to build up your strength again.
Happy Valentine’s Day, and happy American Heart Month!
As I keep reminding myself, exercise doesn’t have to happen at the gym.
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EVEN THE PROS USE IT! WHY PHYSICAL THERAPY IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE
neck injury that required surgery to repair. His prognosis was grim, and few thought it would be possible for him to return to the NFL. Manning sought the aid of a Denver- based physical therapist who helped him strengthen his back and shoulders and recover from his neck injury. After a year off from football, he was back on the gridiron. Manning stayed in Denver, joining the Broncos and leading the team to a Super Bowl championship in 2016 before his retirement — five years after his career was “over.” Kobe Bryant The late Kobe Bryant was world famous for his accuracy and championship- caliber play on the basketball court. From winning five championships to being named the league’s MVP multiple times, Bryant is regarded as one of the best basketball players to ever step foot on the court. But he was able to
We laud professional athletes for their amazing feats of strength, but few of us actually know how much dedication goes into their record-breaking performances. For many, the little- known heroes behind these athletes are their physical therapists. Professional athletes have been relying on physical therapists to help them recover from devastating injuries for decades, but these two athletes are proof of just how powerful physical therapy can be. Peyton Manning Son of the great Archie Manning, Peyton Manning made himself a household name as the mind-bending quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. He knew how to manipulate defenses with precision, leading the Colts to a 2008 Super Bowl championship. Sadly, just three years later, Manning was benched after sustaining a devastating
compete at such a high level thanks to Dr. Judy Seto, the Los Angeles Lakers’ physical therapist. Bryant reportedly trusted Seto more than anyone. He went so far as to recruit her to travel with him to Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics where Team USA took home the gold in basketball. Seto helped the Lakers avoid virtually any injuries during the 2011– 2012 season and guided Bryant through an ACL tear that could have been career-ending. Like Manning, Bryant recovered and continued to perform at a high level until he passed away in January 2020. It’s not just pro athletes who can benefit from PT. Get started on your next chapter after a debilitating injury by reaching out to us today!
COULD BE THE KEY TO THE COVID-19 VACCINE THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
that researchers think mTOR may contribute to failing immune systems in humans, so blocking the production of this protein could drastically improve the success rate of a COVID-19 vaccine in older adults. As promising as these results and many other studies are, medical experts are quick to remind the public that more research is needed to understand the possible link between anti-aging medications and their effects on the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine in older adults. These medications include treatments that indirectly affect aging like some diabetes medication. The good news is that you don’t have to wait for researchers to find a “miracle pill” to boost your immunity. Incorporate natural remedies into your routine instead! Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other foods rich in vitamin D that boost your immune system — like salmon, mushrooms, and greens — and remember to drink plenty of water. While you’re at it, wear sunscreen to prevent the sun from aging your skin prematurely and increasing your chance of having other health issues. It’s important to stay optimistic and do what we can with what we know now while researchers work toward an effective vaccine.
Vaccines have been the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel we call the COVID-19 pandemic, but scientists don’t yet have a full picture of the virus or its treatments. In an effort to better understand the coronavirus, researchers are looking at how medical professionals can better treat our most vulnerable populations or prevent them from ever contracting COVID-19.
Experts have long feared that a COVID-19 vaccine may not help the older adults who need it most, as these
individuals are often more at risk of contracting the disease and having a weakened immune system. However, some researchers hypothesize that anti-aging medications may boost the effectiveness of the vaccine for older adults, and there are some promising results from early studies. One study published in Nature found that a drug that limited the creation of the protein mTOR lengthened the lifespan of fruit flies and mice. Anti- aging expert Jan Mannick explains
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THE SKINNY ON OILS WHAT TO USE AND WHAT TO AVOID
Coconut oil is 350 degrees F. Canola oil is 400 degrees F. )
stir-fry for a great-tasting meal with added perks. ( Smoke point: 350–410 degrees F. ) Good for Regular Use: Coconut, Olive, and Canola Olive oil can be a good substitute in a pinch, but don’t expect all the benefits that come with the extra-virgin type. However, of all the oils, coconut gets a lot of love these days! What makes it so great? Coconut oil is vegan-friendly, and since it can be substituted
Cooking oils have experienced a renaissance in recent decades. Today, health experts point to oils as essential sources of key vitamins and nutrients. So, why did we ever give up oils in the first place? Well, not all oil is created equal! Some cooking oils are good for you while others should be enjoyed sparingly. Worry in the grocery store no more! Here’s our comprehensive list of cooking oils and when and how to use them. The Top Oil: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil This is simply the best cooking oil you can find. Extra-virgin olive oil contains pure oil from pressed olives, and many studies tout its heart and anti-inflammatory benefits and its antioxidant properties. When you use extra-virgin olive oil — as opposed to standard olive oil, which is processed with other oils — you’re only consuming olives and all of the great properties they possess. Use it to sauté, bake, and
Only Use When Needed: Vegetable We’re not going to bash vegetable oil, but studies have shown that it just doesn’t have enough benefits to outweigh some of the concerns. In particular, experts point to oils like sunflower, corn, and
soybean as containing too much omega-6, which is dangerous for the heart. Instead, opt for other choices and only use vegetable oils when needed. ( Smoke point: 450 degrees F .) As a final reminder, the key to using cooking oil is the same as any other food group. Use oil in moderation, and you’ll reap the benefits without the downsides of extra fat.
1:1 for butter, it’s perfect for use in baked goods. Outside the kitchen, it can be used
as a substitute for shaving cream, hair treatments, and aloe vera! While canola oil does have some
great properties, they’re not as plentiful, so be mindful of how much you use! ( Smoke points: Olive oil is 350–410 degrees F.
STRAWBERRY KISSED ALMOND BUTTER MUFFINS Inspired by AmbitiousKitchen.com
TAKE A BREAK!
• 1 cup ripe bananas, mashed • 3/4 cup natural creamy
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners and spray with nonstick cooking spray. 3. In a large bowl, mix bananas, almond butter, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. 4. Stir in oat flour, baking powder, and salt until smooth. 5. Evenly divide batter into liners. Add 1 tsp strawberry fruit spread to the top of each muffin. 6. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the spread into the batter. 7. Bake for 22–27 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. 8. Transfer muffins to wire rack to cool and enjoy!
almond butter (can substitute creamy peanut butter)
• 2 large eggs • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey) • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 1 cup oat flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 1/4 tsp salt • 1/4 cup strawberry fruit
spread, divided (we recommend Bonne Maman INTENSE)
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
PT ANNA STOICK’S VALENTINE’S DAY TIPS FOR HEART HEALTH
2. HOW PHYSICAL THERAPY HELPED GREAT ATHLETES ANTI-AGING MEDICATION AND THE COVID-19 VACCINE 3. YOUR GUIDE TO COOKING OIL STRAWBERRY KISSED ALMOND BUTTER MUFFINS 4. YOU’RE BUILDING MUSCLE WHILE YOU REST
RELAX A LITTLE WHY REST DAYS ARE GOOD FOR YOU!
quickly, and you will find that you can do more as you properly incorporate rest days into your schedule. Fitting rest days into your daily routine is easier than you may think, but it sadly doesn’t involve sitting on the couch for too long. You should always find a way to move at least once each day. If you want to try running, start out by running three days each week. On your “off” days, incorporate some yoga, go for a leisurely walk, or focus on your arms and shoulders. This gives your legs and core a break from running while you still get the benefits of movement. (Plus, on the days you run, you will get a break from yoga or weightlifting!) It’s okay if you haven’t met your resolution goals just yet, but don’t give up! Find a way to add more rest into your routine, and you just might be more invigorated than ever before.
help your body perform daily functions with ease. But that’s not when your body gets stronger. It’s actually on the days you choose to rest that your muscles and joints improve as a result of your exercise. Exercising creates tiny tears in your muscles. (Maybe that’s why it burns so much!) In the regeneration process — aka your rest days — the muscle is built back stronger than it was before. That’s why incorporating rest days into your workouts ensures you can climb up from 5 to 10 to 15 pounds for dumbbell curls or run more miles in a faster time than last week! Beyond the improvement and fitness goals you have, rest days can also be essential to preventing injuries. Your body won’t become overworked, and your muscles get the necessary respite they need. Fatigue won’t set in as
February is the month when many of us give up on New Year’s resolutions. We lose motivation, or life simply gets in the way. If you find yourself sitting on the couch more than you did in January, when you may have been actively pursuing your fitness goals, consider this permission to sit a little while longer: Rest days are good for you! Here’s why. Your body needs to move. Exercise has many benefits, but from a survival standpoint, exercise and movement
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