Category Archives: Blog

how to run with bad knees

How to Run with Bad Knees: Pain Prevention & Care

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how to run with bad knees

The biggest fear of every runner is that their joints are going to start to ache and prevent them from running. You can actually never know when something like knee or ankle pain could occur, but you should know the most common reasons that happen and how to prevent it.

Maybe you had a knee injury when you were younger and it could start showing up again while running. Also, a meniscus tear is another problem that could make your knees ache as well as the jumper’s knee. There are simply many reasons for this pain to show since knees are gentle and the impact of feet to the ground puts too much stress on them. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent this and take proper care of your knees and tendons around them which will enable you to run without any difficulties.

Wear the Right Shoes

Feet are very complex and if you don’t take care of them while running, you will find more problems occurring in them, your knees and even hips. It is all connected and you have to protect your foot in order to avoid any further aches and problems. Running is a high impact sport and puts plenty of stress on feet, ankles, and knees and wearing proper shoes will help you run easily and reduce any risks of injury and pain.

Your job is to find the right shoes that will provide proper support for your toes, heel, and arch. Also, the sole should be comfortable and thick enough to provide amortization during running. Not only will running become even more fun, but you will manage to save your knees from stress, provide comfort for your feet and avoid and prevent any ankle pain and injuries.

Don’t Skip the Strength Training

Strength training is good for your entire body. Proper strength exercises will make your muscles more strong and flexible which is an important part of preventing any pain and injuries. If your lower-body muscles are weak, you should try to make them stronger. You can perform plenty of different exercises, such as lunges and squats and you will manage to make your thighs and knees stronger and more balanced. Also, don’t forget to work on your core and stability, because those will keep your knees and hips protected while running and even help with performance.

Lean Forward While Running

If you’re experiencing any knee pain during or after your running session, it could be that your technique or posture is off. Maybe you are not leaning forward enough and this puts even more stress to your joints, making your knees hurt. So, to prevent this, lean your trunk slightly forward while running, and you will manage to reduce the load placed on your joints, including knees. This will in return lower the risks of discomfort and injury on your knees and ankles.

Don’t Overtrain

It is essential to know your body and listen to it and know when it’s tired. Too much intense training will only bring negative effects and increase the risks of injuries and pain. If you’re already experiencing knee pain, think about how much you’ve run in the last couple of days and see if that was maybe too much for your body. Your body needs proper rest in order to stay healthy, injury-free and to make progress. If you run one day, make sure to rest the next day, or adjust the amount of time you spend running in one take. Take care of your body, let it rest, and you will reach your goals fast and avoid pain.

Knees are delicate. No joint in your body will give in eventually if you’re putting too much stress on it every day. So, make sure your running technique is right, invest in proper shoes and take it easy. You will be able to run faster and longer if you gradually increase the intensity.

If you are looking for help with your knee pain or would simply like to improve your running posture please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local physical therapist. Many clinics have running programs that are designed specifically to help keep people on the pavement pain-free!

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PT News PTandMe

PT News February 2020

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout February 2020. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. 8 Great Pelvic Floor Stretches to do During Pregnancy

Written by Ability Rehabilitation with multiple locations throughout Tampa and Orlando, FL.

Stretching and strengthening your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy can help relieve your aches and pains — and alleviate stress and tension too. Pelvic floor stretches will also help you have an easier delivery and decrease your risk of urinary incontinence later on.  Read more

 

neck pain

2. Treat Your Back and Neck Pain with Our Advanced PT Methods

Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Greater Columbus, OH

Did you know that studies say approximately 90% of people will be plagued by back or neck pain at some point in their lives? While it is a common complaint, it can sometimes be difficult to determine where the pain is originating on your own. Read more

 

3. Older is Better: Strength Training for the Aging

Written by Wright Physical Therapy an outpatient physical and hand therapy practice with locations throughout Idaho.

Aging adults often attribute their aches, pains, and illnesses to “getting too old”. Age can be used altogether too much as a crutch to avoid exercise and activity. When it comes to health in general, the aging individual has so much upside to focusing on wellness in their lifestyle.  Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Can Knee Pain Cause Low Back Pain

Can Knee Pain Cause Low Back Pain?

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Can Knee Pain Cause Low Back Pain

Knee osteoarthritis remains a significant problem among US adults 60 years and older. A recent study suggests knee arthritis rates as high as 37 % with women showing higher rates vs men (42% vs 31%) and higher rates among those with significant weight problems.

As a result, many of these patients opt for a total knee replacement. However, patients often suffer from pain and have difficulty walking for many years before deciding to proceed with such surgery. Living with pain for an extended period typically causes changes in how a patient walks in an attempt to relieve the pain associated with knee arthritis. Sometimes this is even done subconsciously, but it can lead to additional problems, such as low back pain (LBP). An example of how knee pain can cause low back pain would be a knee flexed position that leads to a patient leaning forward when walking. This changes at the pelvis and contributes to low back pain.

Physical Therapy Can Help Your Low Back and Knee Pain

When a patient seeks help from a physician complaining of low back pain, they are commonly referred to a physical therapist for treatment. In treating these patients, physical therapists will provide a complete and individualized assessment of the causes of low back pain, which may include a thorough biomechanical evaluation and gait assessment. Patients that go to physical therapy with knee arthritis/osteoarthritis have likely developed a permanent knee bent posture (osteoarthritis patients almost always keep their knee bent at 10 degrees or more to relieve pressure or to prevent the sheering force on the knee).

Even though back pain and knee arthritis are significant problems there is a solution. Through aggressive physical therapy that is aimed at restoring normal gait patterns, spinal mobility, and conditioning, patients have had significant relief of back pain and are prepared for successful rehabilitation following a total knee replacement. By eliminating the knee bent position before surgery and normalizing gait patterns patients can exercise more effectively, improve cardiovascular conditioning and reduce the energy cost associated with changes in how they walk all while reducing back pain.

If you believe your knee pain is causing your back pain, you may benefit from physical therapy.  Through years of experience, we have seen that comprehensive manual therapy, aimed at restoring normal walking patterns in low back pain patients considering a total knee replacement, can result in a significantly easier recovery of normal function during post-operative rehab.

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Provided by the therapists at Life Fitness Physical Therapy – MD
www.lifefitnesspt.com

Avoid common baseball injuries

10 Ways To Avoid Common Baseball Injuries

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Avoid common baseball injuries

According to an article published by the Journal of Athletic Training, youth baseball players reported throwing-arm pain 74% of the time. They also reported that UCL reconstructions between 2003 and 2014 increased 343%, with 56.6% in those aged 15 to 19 years. With the increase injuries related to the pitching athlete, we wanted to take a minute and focus on what you can do to help prevent common baseball injuries from happening to your athlete.

WHAT ARE COMMON BASEBALL INJURIES?

  • The most common baseball injuries include mild soft tissue injuries, such as muscle pulls (strains), ligament injuries (sprains), cuts, and contusions (bruises).
  • Although baseball is a non-contact sport, most serious injuries are due to contact — either with a ball, bat, or another player.
  • The repetitive nature of the sport can also cause overuse injuries to the shoulder and elbow.

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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR THE SEASON?

  • Physical exam. A pre-season physical exam is important for both younger and older players. The goal is to prevent injuries and illnesses by identifying any potential medical problems. These may include asthma, allergies, heart, or orthopedic conditions.
    Warm-up and stretch. Always take time to warm up and stretch.
  • Warm-up with some easy calisthenics, such as jumping jacks. Continue with walking or light running, such as running the bases.
  • Gentle stretching, in particular your back, hamstrings, and shoulders, can be helpful. Your team coach or athletic trainer may provide a stretching program.

.

10 WAYS TO AVOID COMMON BASEBALL INJURIES

ASMI GUIDELINES TO HELP PROTECT PITCHERS FROM SHOULDER AND ELBOW INJURIES:

Pitching

.

1. Don’t throw too much:
Daily, weekly and annual overuse is the greatest risk to a pitcher’s arm health. Numerous studies have shown that pitchers who throw more pitches per game and those who do not adequately rest between appearances are at an elevated risk of injury. While medical research does not identify optimal pitch counts, pitch count programs have been shown to reduce the risk of shoulder and elbow injury in Little League Baseball by as much as 50% (Little League, 2011). The most important thing is to set limits for a pitcher and stick with them throughout the season.

2. Don’t pitch through arm fatigue:
Individuals are 36 times more likely to develop shoulder and elbow injuries when routinely pitching with arm fatigue.

3. Don’t pitch more than 100 innings per year:
If an athlete throws over 100 innings they are 3.5 times more likely to be injured than those who did not exceed 100 innings pitched.

4. Don’t throw more than 8 months per year:
Athletes who throw > 8 months per year are 5 times as likely to suffer an injury requiring surgery of the elbow or shoulder. Pitchers should refrain from throwing for at least 2-3 months per year and avoid competitive pitching for at least 4 months per year.

5. Don’t pitch on consecutive days:
Pitchers who pitch on consecutive days have more than 2.5 times greater risk of experiencing arm pain.

6. Don’t play catcher following pitching:
If the player catches the following pitching they are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a major arm injury.

7. Don’t play on multiple teams at the same time:
There is an increased risk of injury due to the difficulty in monitoring pitch limits and rest time. If the player is on multiple teams, make meticulous efforts to keep track of the number of pitches thrown to allow adequate rest.

8. Don’t forget the shoulder in strength and conditioning programs:
Numerous studies have shown that deficits in upper extremity strength and mobility are strongly correlated to serious arm injuries. Shoulder and forearm strengthening exercises can build strength, endurance and motor control which can prevent injury.

9. Be cautious with throwing curveballs and sliders:
While existing research has not consistently shown a strong connection between the curveball and injuries, Yang et al., found that amateur pitchers who threw curveballs were 1.6 times more likely to experience arm pain while pitching and Lyman et al, found that youth pitchers who throw sliders are 86% more likely to experience elbow pain.

10. Be cautious with the radar gun:
Radar guns do not directly cause harm to a pitcher, however, the gun may cause the pitcher to throw beyond their normal comfort level. This could create an arm strain.

Don’t redshirt this season. Physical therapists can work with athletes to make sure certain muscle groups can accommodate the strain and movements necessary to perform well in your sport. Be proactive and work towards a great season with PT!

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Safely get in and out of a chair after surgery

How To Safely Get In and Out of a Chair After Surgery

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Safely get in and out of a chair after surgery

After going through total replacement surgery, it can be difficult to move around. Shortly after discharge, but before outpatient physical therapy begins, most patients will be seen by a home health nurse or physical therapist. Their visits with you will focus on making sure the wound heals properly and that you are able to perform essential functions around the home. This can include bathing, getting in and out of bed, and even walking up and down the stairs. In this article, we want to focus on how you can safely get in and out of a chair after surgery. 

One of the easiest things you can do is to choose to sit in chairs that are at an appropriate height for you. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground and your hips should NOT be lower than your knees. Avoid low chairs and overstuffed sofas and couches as much as possible. The ultimate goal is to be able to go from sitting to standing, vice-versa with even weight distribution on both legs.

How to sit down in a chair after surgery

  • Back up with your walker until you feel the chair with your legs
  • Slide your surgical leg forward. Reach back for the arm-rests one hand at a time.
  • Lower yourself using your arms and your nonsurgical leg.
  • Scoot back into the chair using your arms to assist.

how to safely sit in a chair after surgery

How to get up from a chair after surgery

  • Avoid low chairs and chairs without armrests in your immediate post-operative phase.
  • Scoot to the edge of the chair keeping your surgical leg in front of you.
  • Push up using your arms and nonsurgical leg until you are standing. Do not pull up using the walker.
  • Reach out and take hold of your walker.
  • Make sure your balance is secure before you take your first step.

how to get up from a chair after surgery

Whether you are working to safely get in and out of a chair after surgery, make sure you DO NOT pull up from the walker or sit down holding onto the walker.

The tips above will work in most cases, but not all. It is important to follow the advice and restrictions given to you by your health care provider. In our next post about how to safely manage movement after a hip or knee replacement, we will be covering the proper steps for getting in and out of chairs and the bed. We wish you all the best in recovery. If you are looking for an outpatient physical therapy clinic please stop by the Find a PT page.

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More reading on total hip or knee joint replacement recovery:

manage movement after a hip or knee replacement

 

PT News PTandMe

PT News January 2020

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout January 2020. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. How to Keep Up With Your New Year’s Resolutions

Written by Momentum Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout San Antonio, TX.

Did you set a health or fitness goal for this new year/new decade? Maybe it was running, joining a gym, drinking more water or even getting more sleep. No matter what you choose, it’s important to have a goal in mind. We have all heard the statistics on resolutions, especially when it comes to fitness-related resolutions.  Read more

 

2. Winter Activities Foster Year-Round Fitness

Written by The Jackson Clinics, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Virginia and Maryland. 

The urge to “hibernate” in winter is strong, even for us humans. However, you are better off staying in shape than struggling to catch up come spring. And winter exercise benefits more than just physical fitness; it is also a powerful antidote for the winter blues. Read more

 

3. What is a Hand Therapist

Written by Desert Hand and Physical Therapy an outpatient physical and hand therapy practice with locations throughout Phoenix, AZ.

Physical therapy is something we may have all heard about, but hand therapy might be unfamiliar territory. Although physical therapy and hand therapy are similar, there are some major differences between the two that should be understood.   Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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recover from ACL Surgery

How Long Does it Take to Recover from ACL Surgery

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recover from ACL Surgery

WHAT IS THE ACL?

The knee is essentially a hinged joint that is held together by four ligaments. They include the medial collateral (MCL), lateral collateral (LCL), anterior cruciate (ACL) and posterior cruciate (PCL) ligaments. The ACL runs diagonally in the middle of the knee, preventing the lower leg from sliding out in front of the thigh, as well as providing rotational control to the knee. More information about how ACL tears can be found in our injury center

How long does it take to recover after ACL Surgery?

Though everyone is different we’ve compiled a standard rehabilitation program so you know what to expect in your recovery.

Pre-operative Phase
Goals: Decrease Pain & Effusion

  • Restore normal Range of motion (ROM), especially extension
  • Improve strength and neuromuscular control,
    combat quadriceps shutdown
  • Support patient education

Post-operative (Day 1-7)
Goals: Full Passive Knee Extension

  • Decrease pain and effusion
  • Increase knee flexion and restore patellar mechanics
  • Progressive gait
  • Improve muscle function including quadriceps control

Post-operative (2-4 weeks)
Goals: Keep Full Extension

  • Increase flexion
  • Abolish swelling
  • Establish good patellar mobility
  • Maintain single limb stance with slight knee flexion 15+ secs

Post-operative (4-10 weeks)
Goals: Push for Full ROM

  • Increase quadriceps strength to 4 to -4/5 (60-65% of contralateral side)
  • Increase proprioception and neuromuscular control
  • Increase endurance
  • Increase confidence

Post-operative (10-16 weeks)
Goals: Work to Normalize Strength and Increase Power Along with Endurance, Increase Neuromuscular Control, Progress Functional Training

  • Initiate a running program
  • Continue strengthening
  • Continue neuromuscular training
  • Progress all exercises

Post-operative (16-22 weeks)
Goals: Full Active Range of Motion (AROM), Passive Range of Motion (PROM), Functional Test of 90% SL Hop and SL Cross-Over Hop, Proprioceptive Test 100%, Functional Strength Test of 85% Quads and 100% Hamstrings

  • Continue with strengthening exercise, proprioceptive training/neuromuscular drills, plyometrics, and sport-specific training.
  • Functional strengthening program consists of a series of CKC exercises, strengthening is performed in 3 planes of motion at all joints, functional profiles are developed for all patients based on their findings during the evaluation process.

If you have experienced an ACL tear and are looking for post-operative care, you can easily find a physical therapy clinic near you by clicking the button below. By scheduling a visit before surgery you can meet your therapists and they can give advice on how to help you recover from ACL surgery as smoothly as possible.

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benefits of a home exercise program

Why Should I Do My Home Exercise Program?

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benefits of a home exercise program

When a patient walks in for physical therapy, one of the things they are sent home with is a home exercise program. But why do they do that? Aren’t they supposed to take care of everything while you are in the clinic?  These are questions that may run through your head, but what exactly are the benefits of a home exercise program? If you’re on the fence of whether or not to take your HEP seriously, we’re here to tell you why you should.

  • Continuation of forwarding progression in rehabilitation: Physical and occupational therapists tailor each program to the abilities and strengths of each patient. A patient that completes their home exercise program is more likely to excel in the one-on-one sessions at the clinic and experience fewer setbacks in rehabilitation.
  • Increases level of mobility and endurance: Exercise in the home is designed to continue the progress of the clinic visit by increasing a patient’s flexibility and stamina. A good home exercise program allows a patient to increase function and improve muscle memory so that progress is gained rather than lost from one visit to another.
  • For some patients, therapy doesn’t end at discharge: A home exercise program can help a patient remain pain-free and functional without having to pay for repeat visits and costly medical bills. For patients experiencing chronic pain – a home exercise program is a ticket to staying out of the doctor’s office.

Despite the benefits of a home exercise program, patients have trouble following through on their home exercise program goals. We’re going to go over some of the more common excuses:

  • I don’t have time, because life at home is too busy: It can be hard, especially for those running a household with multiple schedules to accommodate. However, a physical therapist can offer suggestions on working these into your schedule. Some exercises can be done at work, at home, on the playground. If time is truly a concern than don’t be afraid to let the therapist know.
  • It hurts: Some pain is considered normal – it’s a normal part of exercise. However, if you are doing an exercise and something feels wrong, let your physical therapist know immediately. Don’t wait until your next appointment and tell yourself you will take care of it then. It could be something as simple as not doing the exercise correctly and they can talk you through it over the phone. Communication is a large part of rehabilitation and your therapist wants to know if something is causing concern.
  • Not motivated: Not seeing the point of the exercises your therapist gave you – ask them why it is so beneficial. Going to see a physical therapist 2-3 times a week alone without doing home exercises will not be enough to maintain muscle strength and flexibility. Healthy habits begin with persistence. If you need motivation talk to your therapist, they are born motivators and want nothing more than to watch you succeed. Enlist the help of family or friends to keep asking about your progress.

Physical therapists may utilize print copies of exercises or they may choose to go utilize a digital version that you can access from a mobile device. No matter the delivery, the goal for each is the same. To help you heal more effectively. If you have questions about your home exercise program and what it contributes to your recovery talk to your physical therapist. Education and understanding are crucial to making sure your experience in recovery is successful. If you need help finding a physical therapist to answer your questions, we have you covered in our “Find a PT” section.

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Protect Seniors from Winter Injuries

5 Ways to Protect Seniors from Winter Injuries

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Protect Seniors from Winter Injuries

While winter is undoubtedly a time of joy – with the holidays and all the Christmas spirit – it is also a time of harsh weather, dark nights, and worsened moods.
Seniors can often feel winter more strongly than younger people do, as the weather conditions can limit their access to shops, family, and even doctors. It’s typically a time when they’re cooped up at home, afraid of harsh conditions and potential injuries, which doesn’t make for an enjoyable experience.

Here are 5 ways to help you protect the seniors in your life from winter injuries.

Bundle up

As we get older, we tend to lose body heat much more quickly, and we can even be unaware of how cold we actually are. This can lead to colds, pneumonia, or even hypothermia, which, in turn, can also lead to heart problems, kidney problems, or even death.

To prevent this, seniors need to dress in layers and stay as warm as possible. Remind them of the importance of wearing layers and make sure they have plenty of winter gear at the ready.

Stay active

On the other hand, the cold weather and snowfall will often mean seniors are stuck in the home for long periods of time, which will have a detrimental effect on their mood and wellbeing. This makes staying healthy in the wintertime that much more of a challenge.

Moving around is crucial, especially as we get older, as is keeping our moods up and eating healthy food. Try to encourage your seniors to do what they can – exercise at home, focus on the positive aspects of winter and the bad weather, and take it as a time to recharge rather than a limiting factor.

Help them move around as much as you can by taking them out, bringing them healthy foods, and encouraging them to stay active in the house as well.

Stock up on the necessities

Stock up their cabinets with food that can last for longer periods of time (for example, canned and frozen foods) well in advance, so that you won’t have to worry in case bad weather comes along and prevents you from getting to them. Also, make sure they have plenty of drinking water, and that their medicine cabinet is stocked up not only with their prescriptions but also with anything else they might need in an emergency.

Ask their neighbors to include them in their weekly shops for the things you can’t reasonably store, like bread, fresh veggies, and fruits. That way, they won’t have to leave the house and risk falling on the ice.

Talk to them about the weather

If there’s a severe storm coming, expected to affect either them or yourself, talk to them about it and help them understand what they can and can’t reasonably do. If you expect to be cut off from them for a while, help them understand it’s due to the weather, and that there is nothing you can do about it.

Have a communications system set up in case the power or phone lines are cut off. Once again, enlist the neighbors to check in on them, just to make sure they are okay and have everything they need.

Prevent falls and potential hip fractures

Broken hips are a common injury in seniors, and they can lead to serious health complications.

To prevent them, make sure they don’t venture outside before the ice and snow have been cleared up from their preferred paths. If they are going outside, try to encourage them to have an emergency kit with them, with a bottle of water, a whistle, a flashlight, and their most urgent medications. Of course, they should also have a cellphone on them, but in case they are not quite sure how to use it, a whistle can draw the attention of passersby.

You can also install a medical alert system in the home, or have them wear an emergency bracelet that they can use to call for help if a fall does occur.

Final words

Preventing an injury or illness is often better than actually treating it. By using the above ways to help protect the seniors from winter injuries, we hope this winter will be full of fun with as little stress and worry as possible.  If you do find yourself in need of a physical therapy team that can help a loved one recover from injury, please reach out to one of our partnering locations and let us help you get your 2020 back on track.

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exercise tips

Exercise Tips to Get You Moving

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exercise tips

Becoming physically active requires a conscious effort for most adults. Develop an exercise program to fit your individual goals. Be sure to consider ways to increase your activity levels throughout the day. Every little bit helps! If you find it too challenging to fit 30 minutes of activity into your day, break it up into 10 to 15-minute intervals and accumulate your activity throughout the day.

Exercise Tips to Activate your lifestyle.

Challenge yourself to move more! Find ways to become more active in your daily living. For example, you can:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Take a 10-minute stretch or walk break at work.
  • Turn on the music and vacuum.
  • Wash your own car – and your neighbor’s too.
  • Do strength-training exercises in front of the TV
  • Park in the furthest parking space and walk.

Make Fitness fun!

The secret to a successful fitness program is enjoyment! Choose physical activities that you enjoy doing. This could mean walking, playing tennis, biking or joining a team sport.

  • Consider trying something different, such as yoga or kickboxing.
  • Coach a youth sports team – your rewards will be many.
  • Enter a race – it will motivate you.
  • Plant a garden and share its beauty and bounty.
  • Make Sunday walks or hikes a weekly tradition.
  • Set up a morning walking or biking club; exercise buddies can help you be honest.

Anticipate the unexpected.

Lousy weather, travel (both business and pleasure) and the ups and downs of daily life can play havoc with your best-laid fitness plan. Always have a backup plan. If it is raining have an indoor activity to do, If you are taking a trip, throw in your walking shoes or a jump rope and fit in exercise when you can.

In addition to being stronger and more fit, aerobic exercise has so many health benefits. If you need help getting started or need some motivation to contact your physical therapist. They can work with you to create an exercise plan that works for you and your ability levels. You are never too old to be more active!

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