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childhood obesity

Treating Childhood Obesity With Activity

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When talk focuses on childhood obesity in the United States, words like “critical” and “epidemic” are often used. The tried-and-true prescription of more exercise and better nutrition still holds true, but overweight children face unique challenges when it comes to weight loss.

Why Has Childhood Obesity Increased and What Are the Effects?
The statistics are disturbing. Not only are the overall obesity rates increasing, the heaviest kids are heavier than they were 30 years ago. Why is this happening? Experts who have studied childhood obesity attribute it to a change in lifestyle. The active lifestyle of the past—walking to school, playing outside, and engaging in after-school activities—has been replaced by a sedentary lifestyle of watching TV, playing video games, and using electronic devices like phones, computers, and tablets. Eating habits have changed noticeably, with convenience foods that are higher in fat and calories replacing fruits and vegetables.

The consequences of obesity are significant. A child who is obese may develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack and stroke. In addition, older teens who are obese may have an increased risk of death during adulthood.

Obesity can also affect emotional health. A child who is obese may have emotional problems in school, and struggle with low self-esteem and depression.

What Is One of the Best Solutions?
Exercise is one of the main tools to fight childhood obesity. The US Department of Health and Human Services encourages children of all ages to be physically active. If your child is overweight, obese, or even of normal weight, recommendations to improve your child’s health include:

  • Encouraging your young child (aged 1-4 years old) to actively play daily in a safe environment
  • Encouraging your older child (aged 5 years and up) to participate in moderate to vigorous activity every day—Your child should aim for at least one hour per day of moderate to vigorous activity. At least 3 days out of the week should be vigorous activity.

Since children often engage in shorter bursts of activity throughout the day, it is okay to count these times as exercise.

Examples of different types of physical activity include:

Moderate-intensity: Brisk walking, hiking, skateboarding, baseball, rollerblading, and bike riding
Vigorous-intensity: Jumping rope, running, and playing sports like basketball, hockey or tennis

The main difference between moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercises is the demand on the body. Vigorous activities force the body to work harder. The heart beats faster and breathing becomes more rapid, but energy is used up faster.

  • Rollerblading
  • Learning karate
  • Playing organized sports (field hockey, soccer, football)
  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Strength training with weights
  • Rock climbing
  • Cross-country skiing

Before your child jumps into a new fitness routine, it is important that you work with your child’s doctor. Being obese can put a strain on muscles and bones, possibly causing back pain and foot or ankle problems. The doctor can assess your child’s overall health and recommend safe exercises.

What Else Can Be Done to Encourage Activity?
Another important piece to the puzzle is to focus on screen time. Screen time refers to how many hours per day your child spends in front of a screen—whether it be watching TV, playing video games, or using electronic devices. These are sedentary activities that contribute to obesity. The NHLBI recommends that screen time should be limited to less than 2 hours per day, which leaves more time for exercise. You can further encourage your child to be active by planning family outings, like going on a hike, riding bikes, or playing flag football. That way, the whole family can become healthier together.

by Patricia Kellicker, BSN and Rebecca J. Stahl, MA

RESOURCES:
American Council on Exercise
http://www.acefitness.org

Shape Up America
http://www.shapeupus.org

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

Healthy Alberta
http://www.healthyalberta.com

REFERENCES:
Aerobic, muscle, and bone-strengthening: What counts? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/what_counts.htm. Updated June 5, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2016.

Chapter 3: Active children and adolescents. US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/chapter3.aspx. Accessed March 2, 2016.

How much physical activity do children need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/index.htm. Updated June 4, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2016.

Krul M, van der Wouden JC, Schellevis FG, van Suijlekom-Smit LW, Koes BW. Musculoskeletal problems in overweight and obese children. Ann Fam Med. 2009;7(4):352-356.

NCHBI integrated guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular risk reduction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 12, 2013. Accessed March 2, 2016.

Obesity in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 10, 2016. Accessed March 2, 2016.

Last reviewed March 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 3/2/2016

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.

Achilles Tendinitis

Treatment Options for Achilles Tendinitis

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The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run and jump.  Although the Achilles tendon can withstand great stresses from running and jumping, it is also prone to tendinitis, a condition associated with overuse and degeneration. Achilles Tendinitis causes pain along the back of the leg near the heel. If you suffer from Achilles Tendinitis – try these pain relief methods.

REST: Cut back your training by decreasing your mileage and intensity. Also avoid hills and speedwork. You may substitute running with swimming, running in water and biking to reduce the irritation.

ICE: Apply ice to the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes with at least one hour between applications. Do not apply ice directly to your skin – a pillowcase or dish towel works well as a protective barrier. Frozen peas or reusable gel packs are flexible and conform well to the injured area.

PROPER FOOTWEAR/ORTHOTICS: This situation can be corrected with arch supports or custom orthotics. Orthotics allow your foot to maintain correct position throughout the gait. Avoid walking barefoot and wearing flat shoes. If your pain is severe, your doctor may recommend a walking boot or to cast you for a short time. This gives the tendon a chance to rest before any therapy is begun.

NON-STEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICATION: Drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen reduce pain and swelling. They do not, however, reduce thickening.

PHYSICAL THERAPY: Achilles tendinitis can be painful, chronic condition if left untreated. Consult your physician to discuss physical therapy options. Licensed physical therapists coordinate with your physician to provide individualized care and treatment options for your specific needs.

CORTISONE INJECTIONS: Cortisone, a type of steroid, is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication. Cortisone injections into the Achilles tendon are rarely recommended because they can cause the tendon to rupture (tear).

January 2017 Events

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Check out our Physical Therapy Monthly Events Calendar! Focusing on events from PTandMe.com participating physical and occupational therapy clinics. Read more to find out what’s happening in your community in January 2017!

NEVADA PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

TAHOE MEADOWS, NV
DATE: January 7th, 2017, 9:00AM – 12:00PM (and every following Saturday until the snow melts!)
HIIT Snowshoeing Training Program
CLINIC: Custom Physical Therapy – Reno
Join Custom Physical Therapy and Sierra Strength and Speed in Tahoe Meadows for a 60 minute snowshoe High Intensity Training Program session with warm-up, aerobic and anaerobic challenges, and simple fun. The only prerequisite: want to have fun and challenge yourself with a group of other crazy people. It is just for fun and to build community in our area! For more information about Custom Physical Therapy, visit them online at http://custom-pt.com.

TEXAS PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

HOUSTON, TX
DATE: January 29th 2017, 12:15PM – 2:00PM
Fitness Expo 2017
CLINIC: Action Physical Therapy – Houston
Action Physical Therapy is proud to be a part of Houston First Baptist Church’s Fitness & Recreation Center Expo for 2017. Please stop by the Action Physical Therapy table. We’d love to get to know you and talk about the benefits of physical therapy. We can’t wait to see you there! For more information about Action Physical Therapy, visit them online at http://action-pt.net.

VIRGINIA PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

BLACKSBURG, VA
DATE: January 20th, 2017, 1:30PM – 5:00PM
WellFest 2017: Student Health and Wellness Fair
CLINIC: University Physical Therapy -Blacksburg
If you are a VA Tech student or staff member please stop by the University Physical Therapy table at this years WellFest 2017: Student Health and Wellness Fair located in McComas Hall. We would love to get to know you and talk about the benefits of physical therapy and explore opportunities that are available to keep you performing at your best! For more information about University Physical Therapy, visit them online at http://universityptonline.com.

WISCONSIN PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

JEFFERSON, WI
DATE: January 21st 2017, 10:00AM – 1:00PM
JUMP Community Health & Wellness Fair
CLINIC: Sport & Spine Physical Therapy – Jefferson
Sport & Spine Physical Therapy is proud to be a part of the JUMP 2017 Healthy Family Activities Event located at Jefferson High School. JUMP invites individuals of all ages to come to our community healthy activities free event. Activities for all ages, as well as demonstrations.
Water Aerobics 10:00AM – 11:00AM
Open Swim 11:00AM – 1:00PM
Open Gym 10:00AM – 1:00PM
The goal of JUMP is to continue to strengthen our community while working to improve our community’s health. For more information about Sport & Spine Physical Therapy, visit them online at http://sportandspineclinic.com.

bone health

Exercise and Bone Health

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ExerciseBoneHealth_FBsize

Bone is living tissue that is constantly undergoing a process called remodeling. In remodeling, cells called osteoclasts are breaking down old bone, as cells called osteoblasts are replacing it with new tissue. Many factors can affect the remodeling process and leave you with bones that are less dense and more fragile.

Some factors that interfere with bone health and remodeling are:
• Increased age
• Low vitamin D—The body makes vitamin D in response to sunlight. You can also get vitamin D by eating certain kinds of food or by taking a supplement.
• A diet low in calcium
• Smoking
• Lack of exercise—especially weight bearing and resistance exercise

Why Exercise Is Good for Bone Health
Regular weight-bearing and resistance exercise helps build muscle, as well as maintain and increase bone strength. Exercise causes the muscle to contract against the bone. This action stresses or stimulates the bone, and the bone becomes stronger and denser. The 3 main types of exercise are (some activities can be more than 1 type):

Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Exercises to Improve Bone Health
In aerobic exercise, you continually move large muscles in the legs, shoulders, and buttocks. This action causes you to breathe more deeply, and your heart to work harder pumping blood, thereby strengthening your heart and lungs. Examples include:
• Walking
• Jogging
• Running
• Aerobic dance
• Bicycling
• Swimming

Weight-Bearing Exercises to Improve Bone Health
In weight-bearing exercises, your bones and muscles work against gravity, and your feet and legs bear the weight. Your bones adapt to the weight and pull of the muscle during weight-bearing exercise. Examples of weight-bearing exercises include:
• Jogging
• Walking
• Stair climbing
• Dancing
• Soccer

Resistance Exercises to Improve Bone Health (Strength Training)
Resistance exercises use muscle strength to improve muscle mass and strengthen bone. Examples include:
• Weight lifting, using:
• Free weights
• Weight machines
• Elastic tubing

• Calisthenics such as push-ups and chin-ups

tennis guy

Tips for Beginning:
Aerobic or Weight-bearing Exercises to Improve Bone Health
• Warm up for 5 minutes before activity. This can consist of dynamic stretches that involve movement and a light walk.
• Start the activity slowly for the first 5 minutes.
• Slowly increase your intensity so that your heart rate increases. A person doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity can talk. A person doing vigorous-intensity activity cannot say more than a few words without stopping to take a breath.
• Gradually increase your workout until you are working out at least 150 minutes a week at moderate–intensity or 75 minutes a week at vigorous intensity.

Resistance Exercises to Improve Bone Health
• Begin each exercise with light weights and minimal repetitions.
• Slowly (over weeks) increase weight, never adding more than 10% in a given workout.
• Do these exercises 2-3 times a week. Allow for 1 day between each workout for your bones and muscles to rest and repair themselves.
• Gradually increase the number of repetitions to 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions with a rest period of 30-60 seconds between sets.
• Although stiffness the day after exercise is normal, if you are in pain, you did too much. Decrease the intensity or the duration of your exercise.

Before starting any type of exercise program, check with your doctor about any possible medical problems you may have that could limit your ability to exercise.

by Mary Calvagna, MS

RESOURCES:
National Osteoporosis Foundation
http://www.nof.org

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
http://www.fitness.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://www.canorth.org

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

REFERENCES:
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx#toc. Published October 2008. Accessed January 21, 2016.

Bone remodeling. University of Washington website. Available at: http://courses.washington.edu/bonephys/physremod.html. Updated March 30, 2007. Accessed January 21, 2016.

How much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html. Updated June 4, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2016.

Osteoporosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 13, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2016.

Skeleton keys. Smithsonian Museum of Natural History website. Available at: http://anthropology.si.edu/writteninbone/young_old.html. Accessed January 21, 2016.

Last reviewed January 2016 by Michael Woods, MD

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.