Improving your health in the new year: 5 resolutions to make for 2017
We all get into bad habits in our life, in one way or another. Perhaps you don’t talk to your grandmother enough. Or you eat too much fast food. Or you stopped working out. Setting resolutions for the new year is a good way to try to work on these bad habits.
There are many habits that can be damaging to your health, but here are five resolutions you can make for the new year to improve your health. read more
The new nutrition guidelines: What you need to know
with advice from Anna Dark
Every few years, the Departments of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services analyze their nutritional recommendations and release a new set of guidelines. If you don’t feel like reading through the three chapters and 14 appendices of the latest release, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutritionist and personal trainer Anna Dark will take you through the latest changes and updates.
Anna, who works at the Take Charge Fitness Program (a wellness program at Clinton Physical Therapy Center, a Physiquality member in Tennessee), says there are three big recommendations that have been added to this edition:
How Pilates and PT help you stay active as you get older
with advice from Rachelle Hill, PT, MSPT, CSCS,
Kristina Holland, PTA,
Jessica Loncar, PT, MS, OCS, Cert. MDT,
and Mika Yoshida, CSCS, EP-C
As we grow older, our bodies change. While it may sound counterintuitive, staying active is the best solution when our joints start to ache and our energy starts to fade. (Isaac Newton probably had no idea he was also talking about the human body when he explained that a body at rest stays at rest, and a body in motion remains in motion.)
Two ways to remain in motion as we age are physical therapy and Pilates. As we’ve pointed out in the past, physical therapy helps maintain and improve your health as you age. “Therapy helps to promote an increased awareness of your body,” says physical therapist Rachelle Hill. At Moreau Physical Therapy (a Physiquality member in Louisiana), Rachelle and her fellow PTs apply therapy to improve posture and reduce back pain, evaluate gait to make walking more efficient and less painful, and improve balance to reduce the risk of falls, she explains.
How will rehabilitation therapy help me get better?
with advice from Randy Gustafson, PT, MS, MOMT, OCS,
Michelle Kessell, OTR/L, CHT,
and Jan C. Key, MA, CCC/SLP
The goal of rehabilitation therapy is to improve a patient’s health and wellbeing after an injury or illness. It’s a broad umbrella term that covers a variety of therapies. At PTPN, the parent company of Physiquality, therapists fall into three categories: physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech/language pathology, sometimes referred to as speech therapy.
Physical therapists are experts in biomechanics and the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. In other words, says Randy Gustafson, the owner and director of Mesa Physical Therapy (a Physiquality network member in San Diego, California), “Their advanced degree focuses on learning everything about how the body moves.” Physical therapy incorporates specific exercises to strengthen muscles and improve function. Therapists utilize an integrated approach that includes modalities and manual therapy, he adds.
Will overspeed running help me?
with advice from Daniel Butler, CEP,
Chelsea Cole, PTA and
Mark Salandra, CSCS
With margins in elite competitions getting smaller and smaller — Usain Bolt won his gold medal in Rio by running the 100 meter dash 0.08 seconds faster than Justin Gatlin — many advanced athletes, particularly in track and field, are constantly looking for ways to grow stronger and improve their times.
Overspeed training is one way that runners (and other athletes) try to strengthen the muscles used in short bursts of movement, by using some type of external assistance to run faster than one normally would run, about “8% to 13% faster than the athlete’s fastest speed.” Daniel Butler, a clinical exercise specialist at the Take Charge Fitness Program, a wellness facility run by Clinton Physical Therapy Center (a Physiquality network member in Tennessee), explains that there are several ways to do this. Tail wind running is the simplest method, running with a wind at your back. Similarly, slight downhill running is running down a hill with a slight grade. (A study in 2008 used NCAA sprinters to determine the best grade of hill for improving sprinting times; the authors concluded that a hill with a grade of about 5.8 degrees was optimal for improved performance.)
What is dementia, and how does rehabilitation therapy help?
Getting older can be scary. We worry about weaker bones and osteoporosis. We worry about losing our balance and falling, which can lead to serious injury. And many of us worry about losing our memory. Older adults and their family members should know that there is a difference between becoming a little more forgetful (what some elders call their “senior moments”) and the early signs of dementia.
Dementia is more than being forgetful; it’s categorized by the loss of cognitive skills, or the way that a person can consider and make decisions. The National Institutes of Health explain that compared to mild forgetfulness, dementia impacts daily life, interferes with decision-making, and affects every-day tasks. Dementia can affect “memory, language skills, visual perception, and the ability to focus and pay attention.” It is caused by damage to brain cells; when the brain’s cells can’t communicate properly, the way we navigate the world around us is affected.
with advice from Hunter Joslin
Surf’s up! The beaches are full of bikinis and surfboards. While communities in popular surfing areas like Southern California and Hawaii may surf year-round, summer is often a time when people new to the sport hit the water.
Whether you’re a newbie like Johnny Utah, on a board for the first time, or a seasoned surfer, there are a few things to remember in order to reduce your chance of injury, in and out of the water.
According to Hunter Joslin, a lifelong surfer and the creator of the Indo Board, “surfing is a great sport that utilizes the entire body, from paddling out to the lineup and catching a wave to standing on your board and balancing while maneuvering the board through your ride back to the shore.” For many beginners, simply standing on the board in the water takes a great deal of work and practice.
Proper nutrition during pregnancy
with advice from Ann Cowlin, MA, CSM, CCE
and nutritionist Alyssa Cellini
When pondering the parameters of pregnancy, there are many things that expectant mothers will research in order to be as healthy as possible. It can be confusing to consider how much weight one should gain while pregnant, as the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies give different ranges based on the pre-pregnancy weight of the mother.
Ann Cowlin, the creator of Dancing thru Pregnancy, one of Physiquality’s partner programs, points women to the paper they published in 2009 for their recommendations: An underweight woman (with a BMI of less than 18.5) should gain 28 to 40 pounds. A woman of average weight (a BMI between 18.5 and 25) should gain 25 to 35 pounds. Women considered overweight (BMI of 25 to 30) or obese (BMI is more than 30) should gain less weight, 15 to 25 pounds, or even less if obese (11 pounds).
Most of us don’t usually know our BMI, so if you want to calculate it, use the one posted by the National Institutes of Health. And keep in mind that a) BMI doesn’t take into account your fitness level, only your weight and height, and b) it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor about the proper weight gain for your body.