6 habits for a healthier heart
in honor of American Heart Month 2018
Most of us know that exercise improves your cardiac health — you get moving and your heart pumps more, which helps your heart remain strong. But what else can you do to improve your heart health?
A few years ago, the American Heart Association, or the AHA, created Life’s Simple 7: seven ways to improve your cardiac health. One of those seven is exercising more. Your PT can help you create an exercise regimen to help you get moving, in the best way for your particular body. Use our locator to find a Physiquality therapist in your neighborhood.
Here are the AHA’s six other ways to make your heart stronger and healthier.
Sarcopenia and loss of strength
with advice from Daniel Butler, CEP
Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass, is a part of what has been called “the slippery slope of aging.”
As people age, they often start to experience sarcopenia, as well as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Having weaker muscles and bones, plus the arthritis caused by years of wear and tear, can make movement more difficult and painful. The pain leads to less activity, which contributes to weaker bones and muscles, making it even more difficult to move. And so on.
Doctors and scientists are still not quite sure what causes sarcopenia, but they have linked a number of factors to its development, according to the Mayo Clinic: age-associated hormone changes, physical inactivity, inflammation, and diseases like cancer and diabetes. Because inactivity can lead to sarcopenia, doctors encourage older adults to exercise more to build muscle mass.
Five ways to beat fatigue and have more energy
Winter is coming. As December begins, so does the holiday whirl. Office parties. Family get-togethers. Late nights spent trying to put together toys that have instructions written in a foreign language.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed, and feeling tired will make it more difficult to get through the month. So here are five ways to beat some of that fatigue, giving you more energy to face whatever is on your calendar.
Fueling your workout
with advice from Angela Mader
You’ve made a commitment to get healthy and lose weight.
You’ve trimmed unhealthy foods that have lots of sugar and trans fats from your diet and added in more fruits and vegetables, and you’re doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, but you’re not seeing any weight loss.
Not so great.
Angela Mader, the creator of the fitbook™ (a Physiquality partner program), recommends taking a look at what you’re eating before workouts to make sure that you’re eating the best foods to energize you and maximize your results. As she explains it, “food is fuel. It might be time to take a look under the hood to make sure you’re properly fueling (and re-fueling) your body to optimize burning fat while gaining lean muscle.”
What are the benefits of aquatic physical therapy?
Consider getting wet in order to get better.
with advice from Kelly Lenz, PT
and Blair J. Packard, PT, MS
When most people think of physical therapy, they probably think of treadmills and stationary bikes, hand weights and elastic bands — plus the medical tables on which patients can be treated. Without getting wet.
So why might aquatic physical therapy be just as beneficial, or even better?
“Aquatic therapy allows a gravity-reduced environment in which to exercise,” explains Kelly Lenz, a physical therapist and co-owner of Clinton Physical Therapy Center, a Physiquality network clinic in Tennessee. “This allows a variety of patients to move more freely without undue stress on their body.”
How to play hockey safely
with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS
Hockey may not initially inspire thoughts of the world’s safest sport. With a reputation for brawls on the ice and toothless grins, parents may be understandably cautious about signing up their kids for the community hockey league.
However, with the proper precautions (and protective gear), the game can be played safely while those on the ice reduce their chance of injury.
Hockey is a unique sport, says Mark Salandra, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and the founder of StrengthCondition.com (a Physiquality partner program). “It incorporates speed, agility and strength in ways that no other sport tests the body,” he explains. As with any sport, injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including the level of participation, player position, protective equipment, violent behavior, and personal susceptibility due to pre-existing injuries and style of play.
Running away from injury
with advice from
Lori Francoeur, PT, MSPT, CSCS,
Jeff Rothstein, MS, CSCS, TSAC-F, CES, USAW and Polar
Running is a common way to stay fit — in theory, all you require is a good pair of running shoes. But running can also lead to a variety of injuries. Our experts talked to us about the most common running injuries and how to avoid them.
According to Jeff Rothstein, the Director of Sports Enhancement for the PT Center for Sports Medicine, a Physiquality clinic in Akron, Ohio, the most common running injuries are to the foot, knee and back. Jeff notes that having the right running shoes is essential for avoiding injury.
Lori Francoeur, a physical therapist at Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Center in Arizona, agrees. She explains that runners should wear a “good supportive shoe that will provide adequate support and cushioning for your arch and heel.”
Working out while on the road
with advice from Richard Baudry, PT, DPT, OCS,
Yousef Ghandour, PT, MOMT, FAAOMPT, and Brian Klaus
With Memorial Day behind us and Independence Day quickly approaching, many of us have plans to travel in the next couple of months. If you’ve been trying to stick to an exercise regimen, here are some ideas for how to continue working out when you leave your regular routine behind.
“Exercise that doesn’t require bulky equipment or a lot of space is best while traveling,” advises Brian Klaus, the Vice President of Stretchwell, Inc. (a PTPN preferred vendor that offers a variety of progressive resistance products). Why take up space in your luggage with heavy weights or bulky equipment?
Physical therapist Richard Baudry, the founder and CEO of Baudry Therapy Center (a Physiquality member in New Orleans), agrees. Richard reminds readers that walking is the easiest exercise to do while traveling. “Make a point to stand tall, take long strides and swing your arms,” he adds.