Category Archives: Sports and Fitness

common workout injuries

Common Workout Injuries and How to Avoid Them

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Nothing can put a halt in your fitness journey like a workout injury. As we start the new year, many will embark on a journey to achieve their own personal fitness goals. However, injuries such as sprains, fractures, lower back pain, and other injuries can stop you from reaching your goals. Making sure you are educated on the different types of injuries and how to prevent them can help you avoid the headache of a potential injury. If you do injure yourself, resting, icing the injury, compressing it and elevating it can help you recover from minor injuries and get right back into your fitness routine. If you are experiencing a lingering pain, please consult your physical therapist. Pain can be a warning sign from your body that an injury is likely to occur. Fitness19 has created an infographic highlighting the most common workout injuries and how you can avoid them. Check it out below for more information.

Common Workout Injuries and how to avoid them.

winter sports safety

Winter Sports Safety

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winter sports safety

The first snow fall is exciting. It’s a signal to strap on the skis and skates, or even jump on a sled. Days spent playing in the frosty snow can be jam packed with fun, but like any activity you need to play safely. Winter activities can lead to the same bumps and bruises of every sport, but there’s the added concern of how to safely stay outside in cold temperatures. To help with that we have compiled a few winter snow safety strategies to help you avoid some of the most common winter sport injuries.

General Guidelines
No matter what your winter sport is, it is important to take a few minutes and make sure you know how to be safe.
Suggestions include:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Start strength training the muscles you will need a month or so ahead of time. This will help you get into proper shape.
  • Make sure you are in good physical condition for activities in the cold. If you are unsure, check with your doctor.
  • Warm up with light exercise for 5 minutes before you engage in any sport.
  • Make sure your equipment and protective gear is in good condition and fits well.
  • Always wear the appropriate protective gear for your sport.
  • Dress properly for the cold. Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Wear several layers of tops and pants under warm jackets. Wear hats and water-resistant gloves. Face masks may be necessary for very cold weather.
  • Protect your eyes from snow glare with shatter-proof sunglasses or goggles with UV protection.
  • Take lessons to improve your ability. Better skills will allow you to adjust to changing conditions.
  • Many organizations, like the National Ski Areas Association, recommend the use of helmets for down hill winter sports to prevent head injury.

Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding have their own special equipment. The right equipment and the right fit are as important as knowing what you are doing. This will reduce your risk of injury.
Here are some other things you need to know:

  • Take lessons from an expert. Evidence supports that beginners are hurt more frequently. The quicker you improve, the safer you will be on the slopes.
  • Stick with your abilities. Do not attempt to ski a slope that is beyond your personal abilities. Ski marked trails and observe trail signs. Rest when you get tired.
  • Be sure that equipment is properly maintained and clean—no dirt or salt between boots, bindings, and the binding mechanism.
  • Properly adjust bindings to reduce the chance of leg injuries. Test your ability to escape bindings by standing in the skis, then twisting to release the toe and heel pieces
  • Wear the proper gear for snowboarding. This includes snowboarding pants, wrist guards, arm guards, and shin guards.
  • When approaching the lift, be aware pieces of clothing that could become entangled.
  • Wear a helmet specifically designed for snow sports.
  • Always ski or board with a buddy.
  • Know and observe all the rules about crossing a trail, passing, and stopping.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Wear bright colors.
  • If you are cross-country skiing for long distances, take snacks, water, extra clothes, and first aid supplies with you. Take a cell phone if you will be skiing in a remote area.

Skating
Skating injuries often result from tripping on bumps in the ice, colliding with other skaters, and falling through the ice.
Recommendations to skaters include:

  • Skate with a buddy or at least make sure there are other people around.
  • Stick to shallow flooded fields and supervised areas.
  • Avoid lakes, ponds, or rivers until the ice has been tested by a local official.
  • Never skate close to open bodies of water.
  • Supervise all small children.
  • Never build fires  or drive cars on ice.
  • In case of a fall into icy water:
    – Do not climb out right away. Kick into a horizontal position and try to slide onto solid ice.
    – When out of the water, roll away and do not stand until you put several body lengths between you and the broken ice.
  • To rescue others that have fallen through the ice:
    – Call emergency medical services right away and do not walk up to the break.
    – Use a reaching aid, such as a rope. If possible, form a human chain, each person holding onto the heels of the next person.
    – If you have to go onto the ice, distribute weight by lying flat over a wide area. Try to use another reaching aid to close the distance between you and the break in the ice.

hockey

Hockey
Hockey-related injuries can occur on the ice, street, field, or in the gym.
Recommendations for hockey players include:

  • Always wear protective equipment. This includes helmets, pads, hockey pants, gloves, athletic supporter or cup, and neck protector.
  • Make sure everything fits you properly and that it is in good condition.
  • Show good sportsmanship. Do not hit other players and bystanders who happen to get in the way.
  • Do not engage in fighting.

If you experience an injury while having fun on the slopes or in the rink, go see your physical therapist. A PT can evaluate your injury, start a treatment plan, and most importantly, make sure you’re able to get back out enjoying your winter sports and activities. They might even go back out with you.

by Amy Scholten, MPH

En Español

RESOURCES:
National Safety Council
http://www.nsc.org

US Consumer Product Safety Commission
http://www.cpsc.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Canada Safety Council
http://www.safety-council.org

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:
Castellani JW, Young AJ, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand: Prevention of cold injuries during exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006;38(11):2012-2029.
Concussion in winter sports. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HockeyConcussions. Updated December 24, 2012. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Extreme winter sports can lead to extreme injuries. National Safety Council website. Available at: http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/extreme-winter-sports-can-lead-to-extreme-injuries-2. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Frostbite. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 15, 2011. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Ice safety. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website. Available at: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/OutdoorRecreation/activities/iceSafety.html. Updated December 2, 2013. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Ice skating. Boston Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/~/media/Centers%20and%20Services/Departments%20and%20Divisions/Sports%20Medicine%20Division/Sports%20Medicine%20PDFs/InjuryPrevention%20Series/IceSkating.ashx. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Ice skating safety facts and tips. National Safety Council website. Available at http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/Resources/Pages/IceSkatingSafety.aspx#.VEU9aCLF-So. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Hypothermia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 11, 2014. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Safety tips hockey. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/sports/safety-hockey.html. Updated January 2014. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Safety tips sledding. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/sports_safety/safety_sledding.html. Updated January 2014. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Safety tips snowboarding. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/sports/safety_snowboarding.html. Updated March 2014. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Ski and snowboard safety facts and tips. National Safety Council website. Available at: http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/Resources/Pages/SkiandSnowboardSafety.aspx#.VEU6ZyLF-So. Accessed October 20, 2014.

Last reviewed July 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 10/20/2014

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

lack of exercise worse than smoking

Lack of Exercise Worse than Smoking, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

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lack of exercise worse than smoking

As physical therapists, it is our job to promote movement and overall well-being.  Exercising regularly is linked to better physical and mental health and can help to prevent or delay heart disease, strokes, certain types of cancer, and diabetes. What is perhaps less known is that not being active can be harmful to your health. This lifestyle, called sedentary, has been linked to a number of preventable diseases. Researchers wanted to assess the impact of a sedentary lifestyle on all-cause mortality. The study, published in JAMA, suggests that a sedentary lifestyle has a larger impact on our health than previously thought.

About the study
The study by Jama included 122,007 participants at an academic medical center. The mean age of the participants was 53 years and they were 59% male. Among these, 13,637 died during the study.

The study followed participants for median of 8.4 years. Their physical fitness was measured using exercise treadmill testing and they were arranged by age and gender into the following performance groups:

  • Low—less active than 25% of participants
  • Below average—less active than 49% of participants
  • Above average—more active than at least 50% of participants
  • High—more active than at least 75% of participants
  • Elite—more active than almost 98% of participants

The study found that death from any cause was lowest among elite category. Death rates were highest among those in low category. It also found that the increase in risk of death linked to sedentary behavior was equal to or greater than the risk of death from smoking, diabetes, and heart disease.

How Does This Affect You?

Cohort studies are observational studies. These studies simply observe events as they unfold, but do not interfere or introduce factors that can affect the outcome. While they can’t show direct cause and effect, they can show a possible link between two factors. A large number of studies have found that sedentary behavior affects health, however this is the first that showed it may be as significant as smoking, diabetes, or heart disease.

If you are sedentary, start moving. Make changes in small increments to help you adjust. Starting a workout routine can be a challenge, but with the help of a physical therapist, you can learn how to get started and safely build up to a regular routine. Work toward at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start with short episodes of activity. Try doing 3-4 bouts of walking for 10 minutes at a time, spread throughout the day.
  • Try out different activities to see which work best for you.
  • Look for opportunities to move during the day. Take stairs instead of the elevator, park a little further away, or walk instead of taking your car. Little bits can add up and help you reach longer goals.

If you are already active, keep it up! Make sure to schedule activity into your daily routine.

Need help getting started? We have some great ideas for you here!

exercise tips starting a workout program

SOURCES:

2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans Summary. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion website. Available at: https://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/summary.aspx. Accessed October 25, 2018.

Mandsager K, Harb S, et al. Association of cardiorespiratory fitness with long-term mortality among adults undergoing exercise treadmill testing. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(6):e183605. Available at: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2707428?resultClick=3. Accessed October 25, 2018.

PT News PTandMe

PT News October 2018

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout October, 2018. Featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Kicking injury aside Rebound Physical Therapy Review

1. Kicking Injury Aside and Back on the Field
Written by Rebound Physical Therapy with 10 physical therapy locations throughout Bend, OR and the surrounding communities.

Physical therapists help patients with all kinds of disabilities or injury. Read about Kaylee’s journey through rehab as she goes from being a soccer athlete to having to relearn how to walk, and eventually get back into her sport.  Read more

 

Transitioning Indoor Activities

2. Transitioning to Indoor Activities
Written by the Therapy Team at The Jackson Clinics with 18  physical therapy locations throughout Northern VA and soon branching into Maryland.

While summer offers opportunities to walk, jog, bicycle, garden, play sports and get into shape, cold weather brings the temptation to eat more, move less and hibernate indoors. Shorter days, frosty air and holiday parties can threaten the fitness gains you made during the summer.  Read more

women's health

3. The Importance of Physical Therapy on Women’s Health: All You Need to Know
Written by the Therapy Team at Cornerstone Physical Therapy with 5 physical therapy locations in Ohio.

Ever since the #1 New York Times bestseller entitled “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray was published, more and more people have asked the question “What makes men and women so different?” Read more

5 Most Common Sports Injuries

Top 5 Most Common Sports Injuries and How to Avoid Them

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5 Most Common Sports Injuries

 

Injuries are a byproduct of sports, no matter if you are a professional athlete or just a sports enthusiast. You may go to extra lengths to prevent them and avoid the pain and trouble, put prevention can only go so far when you’re trying to achieve performance. Depending on the type of physical activity that you are engaging in, some injuries might occur more often than others. In this article, we will be talking about the most common of them and also, what to do to avoid suffering from them.

1. Ankle Sprain

Scary official numbers tell us that every day, about 25.000 people end up spraining their ankle in the United States. This is probably the most common injury among people of all ages. However, it doesn’t necessarily result from playing sports. It can also happen while you’re walking on the street or walking down some stairs. Nevertheless, the problem with ankle sprains resulted from playing sports like basketball, soccer, tennis or volleyball is that they can be more serious because of the increased force and speed at which the injury occurs. Naturally, this means that the time needed for recovery is longer and the treatments costlier.

Ankle sprains have three degrees of severity, according to doctors:

  • Grade 1: Minimal damage to the ligaments, just some slight stretching;
  • Grade 2: A loose ankle joint and partial tearing of the ligament, more pain is involved;
  • Grade 3: The most severe case, very unstable ankle joint, a complete tear of the ligament.

The good news is that an ankle sprain is preventable if you truly want to avoid going through all that trouble and pain. Here are a few tips:

  • Practice ankle strengthening exercises and stretching before every exercise session;
  • If you’ve had a sprain before, always wear preventive braces before and while playing sports;
  • Practice balance training regularly so that your ankle will become stronger and your body will gain more control over various types of exercises and positions;
  • Wear proper footwear for the surface you’re exercising on and for the sport you’re practicing.

2. Shoulder dislocation

Shoulder dislocation is also among the most common injuries that you can get. It usually occurs when your upper arm bone goes out of the shoulder socket where it should normally stay. This kind of injury is often caused by a nasty fall, a tackle in football for example, or by any other type of strong collision. Apart from football, rugby and hockey are the two other high contact sports where shoulder dislocations occur most frequently. However, surfers, tennis players, weightlifters and cyclists can also suffer from it, but not as frequently.

A dislocated shoulder is a very visible problem, as you will immediately notice the deformed shape it will take after an injury and you will feel a lot of pain. If you’re lucky, your arm bone might go back into the shoulder socket on its own, but if it doesn’t do that, a doctor is the only one who can fix your problem. Thankfully, you can also prevent your shoulder from becoming dislocated:

  • Do strengthening exercises for your rotator cuff muscles so that you can decrease your chances of a shoulder dislocation;
  • Wear a shoulder brace or some kind of support while doing physical exercise or playing sports, especially if you have suffered from a dislocated shoulder before;
  • Invest in a resistance band and use it for exercises. Also, do some push-ups and shoulder shrugs to avoid a shoulder dislocation.

3. Knee Sprain

A knee sprain resulted from physical exercise is very similar to an ankle sprain. It happens when the ligaments in the knee become either stretched, partially or completely torn. The four ligaments in your knee that can be affected by a knee sprain are the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. People or professional athletes who play football, soccer, and basketball, as well as cyclists, tennis players and runners often end up suffering from knee sprains. Often, this injury is the result of an abrupt directional change or a hit to the knee area from either side of it.  There are a few ways in which you can avoid this very common injury. Here are some of them:

  • If you maintain your body weight under control and don’t go overboard you are less likely to injure your knee in any way because they won’t have to sustain so much pressure;
  • Warm up before your exercise session by biking, jogging or walking;
  • Strengthening exercises for your quadriceps, calf, and hamstring muscles will also help you prevent knee sprains.

4. Lower back injuries

Most people are affected by lower back injuries at one point in their lives, no matter if they’re professional athletes or not. However, people who play a sport or are physically active usually end up with common back strains. Those are, in fact, a group of injuries that affect the soft tissue of the spine like ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, and tendons. There are many causes of back strains like obesity, trauma, poor posture, etc. Even lifting something heavy or moving suddenly can cause such an injury. Here is how to prevent a lower back strain:

  • Stretching helps a lot in these cases. So, if you have a sedentary job, try to get up as often as possible and walk around;
  • Spine and lower back muscle strengthening exercises can help a lot when it comes to preventing injuries;
  • Always warm up your back before doing any type of exercise. Also, after your routine, apply some ice on your lower back area in case you feel it sore or tight.

5. Hamstring strain

A hamstring strain is definitely one of the most common sports injuries and regardless of what sport or type of physical activity you have done, you most likely suffered from it. The biggest problem with it is that it can last for a very long time, and sometimes, you carry it for your entire life. Stopping suddenly can cause a hamstring strain, as well as running and jumping. In most cases, it’s caused by failure to warm up before routines, and poor flexibility and balance. However, there are a few things that you can do to avoid and prevent it:

  • You always need to properly warm up before doing any kind of exercise;
  • Massage your hamstring before starting your routine;
  • Strengthen your quadriceps and glutes to relieve the pressure off your hamstring.

Conclusion
All in all, it seems that certain injuries resulted from various types of sports and physical exercises are very common among people of all ages. Fortunately, there are certain things that you can do in order to avoid them. The truth is that certain injuries are sometimes unavoidable no matter how hard you try, but just a bit of precaution might go a long way.

This guest post was writte by Benjamin Holeman, an amateur pickleball player and a writer for toppickleballpaddle.com.
He thinks that sport has many benefits and that’s why he wants more and more people to play sports.

soccer injuries

Prevent Common Soccer Injuries with Physical Therapy

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soccer injuries

Soccer is a great way to build endurance, improve speed, and stay fit, all while enjoying being a part of a team. However, it does not come without it’s risks. By regularly performing quick, complicated movements combined physical contact, injuries can range from mild sprains and strains – to those that may require surgery like a torn ACL. Risk of injury is no reason not to play soccer, though. Soccer players just need to be aware of the risks and know what steps they can take to play as safely as possible.

1. Sprains

Sprains are common soccer injuries. They often happen to the ankle or knee. The pivoting and lateral movements of soccer contribute to these injuries. To avoid unnecessary risk, always check the condition of the field before you play. Do not play on fields that are uneven or have holes or rocks on them. Also, proper footwear and appropriate strength and balance training are the key to prevention.

2. Strains

Muscle strains can be caused by:

  • Pulling a muscle too far in a direction it does not want to go
  • Contracting a muscle hard against resistance
  • Contracting a muscle hard when the muscle is not ready

The most common muscle strains in soccer occur with groin muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps. A muscle strain won’t send you to the emergency room, but it can be painful and can keep you off the field for a few days or weeks. Strains occur frequently in soccer due to constant stop and go movement, or taking a longer stride than muscles can handle. Good flexibility and strength can lower your chances of muscle strain. Start with a warm up, then stretch the areas that are most likely to suffer a strain. Make sure that you are also doing strengthening exercises before the season begins. Wearing well-fitted cleats with appropriate spikes (longer spikes in softer turf and shorter spikes on dry, hard turf) may also help prevent strains.

3. Fractures

The majority of soccer-related fractures are also in the lower extremities . Fractures often occur as a result of contact, so wearing protective gear like shin guards is important.

4. Head Injury

Closed-head injury is most often the result of a collision between players or from not heading the ball properly. Correct heading involves use of the forehead to contact the ball, the neck muscles to restrict head motion, and the leg muscles to to propel the body from the waist. You may want to consider strengthening your neck muscles to prepare them for heading. You can use your hand to provide resistance against your head. Then, use your neck muscles to turn your head right, left, forward, and backward. Wear a fitted mouth guard to protect your mouth and teeth. You may also want to consider protective eye-wear.

Preventing Soccer Injuries with Physical Therapy.

By working with a physical therapist for injury prevention you get the opportunity to work with an expert of the human body. A physical therapy team will be able to target specific muscles in the legs to strengthen and prepare for the movements performed regularly from athletes of all performance levels. For example, to help prevent an ACL Tear  they may provide an athlete with multi directional knee stability training.  In regard to head injuries a physical therapist may ask you to complete baseline testing, giving coaches and athletic trainers the ability to track your cognitive progress in case of a concussion.

Physical therapists can also help by working with teams to create more effective warm-up exercises designed specifically for your sport and ability levels.

After an Injury Occurs

If you have experienced a soccer injury that doesn’t recover after a few days of rest it may be time to consult a physical therapist or your primary health care provider.  Pushing through pain while trying to remain active in a sport may lead to a more severe injury as well as improper healing of the affected muscles. By going through a physical therapy program, athletes are not only given all of the tools needed to recovery from the initial injury, but also the education and exercises needed to prevent injury in the future.

REFERENCES:

Asken MJ, Schwartz RC. Heading the ball in soccer: what’s the risk of brain injury? The Physician and Sportsmedicine. 1998;26(11).

Boden BP, Kirkendall DT, Garrett WE Jr. Concussion incidence in elite college soccer players. Am J Sports Med. 1998;26(2)238-41.

Metzl JD, Fleischer GR. Sports-specific concerns in the young athlete: soccer. J Pediat Care. 1999 April.

Soccer and the brain. University of Washington website. Available at: https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/soccer.html. Accessed Accessed January 18, 2017.

Soccer injury prevention. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00187. Updated September 2013. Accessed January 18, 2017.

Soccer injury prevention. Stop Sports Injuries website. Available at: http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/soccer-injury-prevention.aspx . Accessed January 18, 2017.

Tips for Seniors: How to Avoid Injuries During Sports and Exercise

Tips for Seniors: How to Avoid Injuries During Sports and Exercise

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Tips for Seniors: How to Avoid Injuries During Sports and Exercise

Our bodies change with age. It may not be a pleasant thought, but at least most changes are gradual. One thing that does not change as the body ages is the need for physical activity. Physical activity promotes physical and mental well-being. Before you head out the door, learn why your risk for injury is higher as you get older.

As you age it’s possible to notice a couple of significant changes:

  • Tendons and ligaments lose some of their elasticity. This can lead to reduced range of motion in the joints, making these areas more prone to injuries. And unfortunately, older bodies tend to take a bit longer to recover from injuries.
  • A loss in muscle. This loss usually begins in the mid-40s (earlier if you are inactive) and may decline as much as 10% after the age of 50. This muscle loss can certainly mean a decline in physical abilities and make it easier to gain weight. Fortunately, regular exercise can significantly slow this muscle loss. If you do not use your muscles regularly, the tissues become weaker and less compliant.

Although older adults accumulate a variety of injuries, the most common injuries involve sprains (stretching or tearing of a ligament) and strains (stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon) around the shoulders, knees, and ankles. These injuries may only cause minor soreness or stiffness. People often do not recognize soreness as a problem, and they work through the pain. This may lead to more soreness and injury. Other common injuries include tennis elbow, Achilles tendinopathy, and shin splints.

How to Avoid Injuries During Sports and Exercise

To live a longer, more productive life, you have to exercise. You may need to exercise at a lower pace or for shorter periods of time than you did when you were younger. Remember that you may not be able to play hoops to the level of your 30-year-old colleagues, or play as many back-to-back tennis matches as you once could. This is a great time to make some changes to your routine and play smart. Before you get started, follow these tips so you can avoid injuries during sports and exercise:

  • Get a basic medical screening. Talk with your doctor. Find out if you have any conditions that would put you in jeopardy while exercising. If you have a chronic condition that is limiting, you may be able to work out an activity plan within the scope of your ability.
  • Find a balanced exercise program. Do not rely on one sport to keep you in shape. Follow a program that includes cardiovascular activity, strength training, and stretching.
  • Warm up before and cool down after physical activity. Adding a few minutes to your warm up can make your workouts smoother. Cold muscles are more prone to injury, which is why you are asking for trouble if you skip the warm-up. Try some light jogging or walking.
  • Keep it regular. You will not make gains in fitness by cramming your activity into the weekend. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Take lessons. Hire a trained professional such as a physical therapist or licensed athletic trainer to help you attain and maintain proper form in your sport, even if it is weight training.
  • Get the right equipment for your sport. You want to make sure the gear you use for your activity is in good shape and used properly. Think about the condition of your shoes, or if you will need a helmet.
  • Follow the 10% rule. When you are ready to increase your activity level, do so in 10% increments. In other words, increase activity small increments per week. This rule also applies to working with weights.
  • Be cautious about adding new exercises. Whether you are a seasoned fitness enthusiast or new to exercise, avoid taking on too many activities at once. Add activities gradually.
  • Listen to your body. Pay attention to the messages your body is sending you. If your knees hurt after you ski, find an easier ski run or maybe think about a different activity that does not hurt your knees.
  • Be careful about jumping right back into your routine. Gradually return to your workout routine if you had to take a brief time out because of illness or injury. If an injury requires additional help make sure to follow the return-to-play guidelines provided by your physical therapist.
  • Seek professional help if you injure yourself. Consult your physical therapist for injuries that are not relieved with home care. Some injuries require medical treatment and will not go away on their own.

Old age no longer means less activity. In fact, it means quite the opposite. The more active you are the better your body will age. Play smart, listen to your body, and you will find more abilities than limits. For help finding a workout that fits your lifestyle and ability levels don’t hesitate to call your physical therapist. They have the expertise and skills needed to help keep you active and safely avoid injuries during sports and exercise.

RESOURCES:

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
www.health.gov

Sports Med—American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
http://www.sportsmed.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Healthy Canadians
http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca

Public Heath Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Effects of aging. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00191. Updated September 2009. Accessed October 26, 2016.

Making physical activity a part of an older adult’s life. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/getactive/olderadults.html. November 9, 2011. Accessed October 26, 2016.

Physical activity guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines. Accessed October 26, 2016.

Sports injury prevention for baby boomers. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00178. Updated August 2011. Accessed October 26, 2016.

Last reviewed October 2016 by Michael Woods, MD  Last Updated: 12/10/2014

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 kick boxing.
  • 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 being stronger and more fit aerobic exercise has so many health benefits.  If you need help getting started or need some motivation 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!

This article was written by the physical therapists at IRG Physical Therapy Group  – with multiple locations throughout Washington State. For more information about IRG Physical Therapy visit them online at www.irgpt.com 

Pros and Cons of Carb Loading

The Pros and Cons of Carb-Loading

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Pros and Cons of Carb Loading

Carb-loading diets have recently become popular in the sports and fitness community as a way to improve stamina and boost energy levels by increasing muscle glycogen levels by about 50%. Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source when exerting yourself, and complex carbs such as legumes and whole grains are an essential part of every athlete’s diet. Carb-loading, however, is not a beneficial strategy for everybody. Loading up on carbohydrates has both its pros and its cons for different athletes.

What is Carb-Loading?

Carb-loading involves increasing carbohydrate intake around one to four days before a sporting event. Excess carbohydrates are stored in the muscle as glycogen, which offers a source of protein during physical exertion. The idea of carb-loading is to maximize glycogen stores in muscles before a competition, helping to improve stamina.

Loading up on carbs before an event works best for endurance sports such as marathon running, long-distance cycling, cross-country skiing, and lap swimming. It’s not as effective, however, for high-intensity team sports and everyday training. In general, carb-loading is best reserved for activities that involve more than 90 minutes of nonstop moderate to high-intensity exertion.

The Benefits of Carb-Loading

When applied to a training routine properly, carb-loading can help athletes to go for longer without experiencing fatigue. Normally, only small amounts of glycogen are stored in muscles, and when this supply runs out, exhaustion sets in. Carb-loading increases glycogen stores in tissues, giving individuals more energy at their disposal to use during a competition. Eating plenty of carbohydrates also helps to build muscle mass and prevent age-related muscle loss.

The Pitfalls of Carb-Loading

Following a carb-loading diet can cause more harm than good for certain populations. Casual gym goers and high-intensity sports teams should avoid too many carbohydrates, as such a meal plan can lead to water retention and weight gain. Not only will this affect physical performance, but may have long-lasting health implications. Carb-loading can also cause digestive problems such as bloating. Many foods that are rich in carbohydrates also contain dietary fiber which, while beneficial in small amounts, can lead to constipation and diarrhea in large doses.

While carb-loading can be beneficial for some individuals, it’s not necessarily an ideal strategy for all athletes. Eating an excess of carbohydrates only increases stamina for those who are competing in long-distance or endurance events. For daily workouts and most popular sports, carb-loading can actually detract from performance and lead to weight gain and digestive issues.

Hot Weather Exercise Tips

Hot Weather Exercise Tips

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Hot Weather Exercise Tips

As the temperatures continue to rise, we have decided to put together a few hot weather exercise tips to consider while staying active and for staying hydrated through the summer.

Set your alarm: Sunrise is generally the coolest time of day, so get up and get out early. It may be more humid, but it is generally still hot at sunset because the ground radiates accumulated heat.

Hydrate: It is recommended to drink at least eight ounces of liquids prior to heading outside to exercise and 6-8 ounces of fluids every 15 minutes, switching between water and an electrolyte drink. Remember to drink plenty of fluids post exercise to speed recovery.

  • Remember to drink water and other fluids throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you or grab a drink each time you pass a water fountain.
  • Drink 16oz of fluid 2-3 hours before exercise
  • Drink an additional 10oz of fluid 10-20 minutes before exercise
  • Consume 20-40oz of fluid for every hour of exercise
  • Always have water available. Take a bottle to work, the gym or wherever you are headed, and remember to use it.
  • Drink up any time you are in the sun. Just being outside can lead to dehydration
  • Children and the elderly are more susceptible to dehydration
  • Finally don’t rely on thirst as a signal to drink water. Thirst is actually a sign that the body is under stress and by the time you feel thirsty, dehydration has already begun to set in. Other symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, irritability, headache, weakness, dizziness, cramps, nausea and fatigue. Even mild dehydration can lead to diminished performance, elevation of core body temperature and increased cardiovascular strain.

Acclimatize: It is advisable to gradually build up your tolerance for exercising in warmer conditions

Wear Technical Fabrics: Technical fabrics wick sweat from your body to keep you cool. Also, wear a visor to keep sun out of your eyes, not a hat, which traps the heat.

Slow Down: For every 5 degree rise in temperature above 60 degrees F, slow down your activity intensity by 5%

Protect: Use sunscreen to protect your skin and prevent sunburn.

Be realistic: Do not overestimate your level of physical fitness; set realistic exercise goals.