Tag Archives: Physical Therapy
Time to Get Moving
Unless they are avid skiers or snowboarders, most New Englanders tend to go into hibernation mode during the cold winter months. This generally means eating more and exercising less, both of which lead to unwanted weight gain.
Spring is sneaking up on us quickly. Before you know it, the days will be longer and the weather much warmer. As the ice thaws and snow melts, you may feel the urge to lace up your sneakers and get outside more often. One great way to shed winter weight is by consistently walking or jogging.
While regular cardiovascular exercise has many benefits, a sudden increase in activity level puts your body at risk for injuries. One way to prevent injury is by stretching the major muscle groups in your legs before and after activity. Doing the following stretches consistently will allow you to stay active, remain injury-free, and enjoy the beautiful weather that will be upon us in the upcoming months. Here are a few of our favorite stretches that you may want to try.
Hip flexor Stretch
Try holding each stretch approximately 20 seconds, for 3-4 repetitions on each leg. Maintain each position, without bouncing, until you feel a moderate but comfortable pulling in your muscles. If you have any previous medical issues that may prevent you from doing these exercises, consult your physician prior to beginning.
One other thing to consider as you get more active is trying to exercise within your target heart rate. Doing so will maximize the health benefits that you will receive through exercise.
Heart rate is measured in beats per minute (bpm). One way to monitor your heart rate is using the old-fashioned manual method by which you take your pulse rate by feeling the artery in your wrist. There are also different heart rate monitors that you can purchase. These can make it easier to ensure that you are staying within your target heart rate.
To determine your individual target heart rate for exercise, use the following formula:
1. Subtract your age from 220. Then, multiply by 50%.
(220 – your age) x 0.50
2. Subtract your age from 220. Then, multiply by 85%.
(220 – your age) x 0.85
Your target heart rate should remain between these two numbers.
For instance, if you are 40 years old
1. 220 – 40 = 180
180 x 0.50 = 90 bpm
2. 220 – 40 = 180
180 x 0.85 = 153 bpm
Your target heart rate for exercise should stay between 90 and 153 beats per minute.
Once again, always consult your physician if you have any previous medical history that may limit your ability to exercise at this level.
Questions? Email us at email@example.com
Harmeling Physical Therapy is located at 8 Blackburn Center in Gloucester.
Phone # (978)-283-0888
Check out our website at www.harmelingpt.com
Tip of the Month: December
Although this has been a “balmy” November, we all know that the snow and ice is just around the corner.
According to statistics, 80% percent of slips and falls are due to snow and ice with more than 50 percent occurring between 6 a.m. and noon. (https://www.wcfgroup.com/sites/default/files/slips.pdf)
With this in mind, here are a few exercises to improve your balance before those cold winter mornings come along:
EXERCISES SHOULD BE DONE IN A CORNER OR DOORWAY TO ENSURE SAFETY
1. Stand with one foot in front of the other (heel to toe), hold this position for as long as you can without looking at your feet. Repeat x10
2. Slowly march in place bringing your knees as high as they can go. Key is SLOW march. Repeat x30 lifts on each leg
3. Stand on one leg. Hold as long as you can. Repeat x10.
4. Fold a bath towel into a large square. Stand with feet touching and shift weight onto your toes, back to your heels and side to side SLOWLY. Practice this for 3-4 minutes
5. Walk heel to toe down a hallway, using the walls for support if needed
Have a safe and slip-free winter!
To find out more about Harmeling Physical Therapy please visit www.harmelingpt.com . Our Gloucester clinic is located at:
Blackburn Industrial Park
8 Blackburn Center
Sheela Zerilli, DPT
Harmeling Physical Therapy Tip of the Month From Tom Faulds MSPT
A great way to help prevent many foot injuries is to keep your calf muscles flexible and stretched out. This is especially important for running athletes where you execute thousands of high impact strides in any given workout.
You have two calf muscles, the soleus and the gastrocnemius. These muscles attach to the back of the heel bone (aka the calcaneous) via the achilles tendon. When you walk or run these muscles contract with great power to propel you forward helping you push off on your toes.
Often when these muscles and the achilles tendon are tight, it can put extra stress on other areas of the foot. This can cause painful injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinitis.
So spend a minute or two twice a day stretching your calf muscles! This is especially important before and after exercise. The common runners stretches most of us know will do the job nicely; below are some pictures.
In the first, Kelly is stretching her back leg; her heel stays flat on the ground and her knee and leg are straight. She gently lunges forward until she feels a stretch in the gastrocnemius muscle in the upper calf of the back leg.
The second stretch starts in the same position but this time Nikita bends her knees and drops her butt straight down toward the floor. Keep that heel flat. You should feel this stretch at the base of the calf or in the second of your two calf muscles, the soleus. Hold these stretches for 20 – 30 seconds and repeat it 2 times each side.
To advance these 2 stretches you can put a small folded towel under the toes to create your own stretch board.
Happy Calf Stretching!
Harmeling Physical Therapy Tip of the Month
Now offering Free ACL screenings and Sports Injury Evaluations Every Monday Night in Our Gloucester Office, 8 Blackburn Center @ 6:30 pm. Call 978 283 0888 to find out more.