How To Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and it’s important to learn more about recognizing the signs and symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease:

 

  • Decreased Balance
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Gait Changes
  • Altered Posture

 

In a recent Facebook video, I reviewed these signs and symptoms plus went into detail regarding a few solutions to improve these areas of difficulty.

 

I also encourage you to visit the Parkinson’s Foundation website to learn more about various resources available to you or a loved one. You can also take a short quiz at #KnowMorePD now

 

Exercise, physical therapy, and nutrition can play important roles for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. If you have questions, I encourage you to speak up and learn as much as possible so you can manage PD in the most optimal way. I’m happy to start a conversation with you!

 

To Your Best Health,

Dr. Jeanette

 

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Why Spring Cleaning Is Good For The Body

It’s that time of the year where many people move into deep clean mode for their house. Windows get washed, air filters get changed, the snow blower gets winterized, and the list continues.

 

What about Spring Cleaning for your body?

 

That’s right! Your body could need a Spring Tune-Up too!

 

It’s the perfect time to reassess your health goals.

 

Fitness, Food, and Rest goals

 

‍‍‍ Relationship goals with family and friends

 

Financial goals

 

Faith goals

 

Let’s dive in a little deeper to each of these areas - all of which I discuss in greater detail in my book that was published on Amazon this past December. 

 

Fitness, Food, and Rest 

 

Movement = medicine

 

When you move, you can manage an ideal body weight, lower your blood pressure, increase your blood flow, reduce stress, stay mobile, increase strength, increase endurance, increase your stamina, decrease your risk of...

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6 Tips To Reduce Falls At Home

I have fallen down the steps twice - once when I was in physical therapy school and once after I was married but before we had kids.

 

The first time I fell was because I was in a hurry so I was running down the stairs between the floors in my graduate housing apartment complex. Racing down any stairs can be dangerous but try doing that while also looking through your mail to make sure you put stamps on the envelopes!

 

Not a good idea!

 

As I looked at the last envelope, I thought I was on the landing to the next set of stairs and I missed the last step. I fell crashing down with my backpack on top of me and my envelopes all scattered about. Despite the pain, I hobbled my way to my physical therapy class. The lesson for the day was gait abnormalites and I was now the lead candidate for everyone to observe my antalgic gait pattern! Not fun! My left ankle was swollen like a tennis ball and very painful. I did receive the nice benefit of electrical stimulation and ice...

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What A Baby And Usain Bolt Have In Common

If you have ever watched a baby learning to walk, you can see them struggle to learn how to coordinate their balance for hands and knees crawling to walking on two feet. They typically pull themselves up by grabbing on to furniture or people to steady themselves. The name “toddler” implies toddling around as they continue to get a feel for walking.

 

Contrast the image of a baby learning to walk with an Olympic runner like Usain Bolt from Jamaica. This elite athlete has advanced his balance to a level where he propelled himself forward at speed so fast in 2009 that he broke the 100 meter dash record in 9.58 seconds. 

 

The image of the baby learning to walk and Usain Bolt crossing the finish line may seem like extreme opposites but they have one thing in common: BALANCE.

 

Both the baby and the sprinter must develop balance to propel themselves forward. The baby is at the beginning stages of developing balance when they are first learning how to pull...

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How To Prevent Boredom In Your Workouts

A year ago I was bored with exercise. I had done the same exercise video series for 8 consecutive years and I was losing motivation. With COVID-19 and quarantine just in its infancy, the last thing I felt like continuing was the same video series again.

 

I tried walking on my treadmill. I tried walking outside. I tried lifting weights. I became really frustrated because not only was I bored, but my fitness had plateaued. I gained 12 pounds because I was eating the same amount of food even though I was not exercising as consistently or intensely as previously.

 

I was in a rut.

 

Have you ever been in a rut?

Have you ever felt like you should be doing more yet don’t really know what to do?

 

That was me. And, what made it worse was that I was super motivated in creating exercise plans for my patients. I had endless ideas for them and they were having fun plus getting the results they wanted with the exercise programs I was creating for them.

 

But,...

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How About A Little Pre-Shovel Exercise Warm-Up For Muscles To Prevent Injury?

You may have heard of warming up your muscles before going for a run or swinging a golf club, but what about warming up before you shovel snow?

 

Shoveling snow is physical activity and it is recommended to warm-up before ANY type of physical activity so that your muscles are prepared to move the way you want them to move.

 

In a recent video that I created, I take you through a really cool warm-up that you can do before shoveling snow, going for a run, swinging a golf club, or shooting some hoops.

 

Why is it important to warm-up your muscles?

  • Prepares your muscles for more intense movement
  • Increases circulation
  • Increases heart rate
  • Improves range of motion
  • Improves dynamic flexibility
  • Improves mental clarity and focus when you visualize your upcoming workout as you warm-up
  • Reduces stiffness
  • Decreases soreness from previous workout
  • Reduces risk of injury

Next time you’re ready to shovel snow, clean your house, do some yard work, or exercise, keep this video ...

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Stepping Into Heart Health

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise because almost anyone can do it. It is easy to do, can be performed anywhere, and doesn’t cost a lot. 

 

Why is walking so beneficial?

  • It improves heart and lung health for overall cardiovascular fitness
  • It is a low-impact form of weight-bearing exercise that stimulates osteoblasts (bone building cells) to improve bone density
  • It helps build leg strength and endurance
  • It can help build arm strength if you pump your arms during quicker speeds
  • It contributes to a healthy body weight
  • It improves overall mood and can reduce signs and symptoms of depression

 

Walking can be a solitary activity or can be performed in a small or large group as a social activity or a friendly competition.

 

Walking can be slow as in a leisurely stroll or fast as in race walking events with USA Track & Field. Yes, race walking is an Olympic event!

 

Walking can be as simple as walking in the neighborhood.

 

Walking can be...

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How To Shovel Snow Without Back And Shoulder Pain!

As a Wisconsin resident, I have seen some serious snow this past week.  As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I have also seen quite a few injuries related to some serious snow fall.  The most common injuries I see are back pain and shoulder pain from shoveling.

People will arrive in my office 1-2 months following a heavy snowstorm and say, "Do you remember that real big snowfall 1-2 months ago? Yeah, that's when I started hurting."

I created a video on Facebook on how to shovel snow without back and shoulder pain for this reason. 

I encourage you to watch the video and learn how your legs should do most of the work so that your back and shoulder don't have to.

Other tips for snow removal:

  1. Use a snow blower if you have one available
  2. Recruit help if you can - other family members or pay for snow removal service
  3. Take short breaks every 20 minutes if you will need to be shoveling for more than that
  4. Stay hydrated by drinking water every 20-30 minutes (yes, it is possible to...
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How To Set S.M.A.R.T. Family Goals To Achieve Healthy Habits

With so many personalities within a family, how do you get your family on the same page to be healthier?

 

I hear this question a lot in my physical therapy practice as well as when I am coaching clients towards a healthier lifestyle.

 

For example, the Mom in the family is trying to lose weight and she wants to eat healthier but her family doesn’t want to eat salad every day. She struggles with trying to cook two different meals because that doubles her time in the kitchen and she is spending more money at the grocery store to satisfy two different menus. Inevitably this doesn’t work because the whole family isn’t working together.

 

If you can relate to this Mom, then I recommend creating S.M.A.R.T. goals the entire family can live with.

 

A S.M.A.R.T. goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

 

In the scenario above, one S.M.A.R.T. goal for this family may be:

 

We will strive to eat 1 fruit and 1 vegetable at...

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Wait and See Doesn't Work

Have you ever started a home project and reached a point where you realized you no longer could finish it on your own?

 

It’s the moment when you know that a ”how-to-video” isn’t enough and you need to hire a professional... or at the very least consult with an expert.

 

Perhaps you are at this point now and the project isn’t a home project but instead, it’s your health.

 

Many people wait weeks, months or even years to consult with a healthcare professional about their health because they choose the “wait and see if it goes away” approach. 

 

If your roof is leaking, the water coming into your home won’t go away until a roofer fixes your roof.

 

If the oven no longer heats your food, the problem doesn’t go away until the technician fixes it or you purchase a new oven.

 

You probably wouldn’t wait years to fix your roof and I doubt you would wait months to solve your oven problem...

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