How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

Sleep is underrated.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, people between the ages of 26-64 require 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Adults 65 years and older require 7-8 hours of sleep per night. In comparison, adolescents between the ages of 14-17 require 8-10 hours of sleep per night while school age children between the ages of 6-13 require 9-11 hours of sleep. Preschool children ages 3-5 years old require 10-13 hours of sleep while toddlers ages 1-2 years old require 11-14 hours of sleep per night. Newborns and infants up to age 11 months old may require 12-18 hours of sleep per night.

Here are some benefits of a good night’s sleep: 

  • Quicker pumping of cerebral spinal fluid across your brain to remove waste products so you awake with a clearer mind
  • Slower breathing and more regular breathing action of your lungs
  • Reduced heart rate and decreased blood pressure
  • Release of growth hormones to rebuild muscle and joints and allow your body to recover from the...
Continue Reading...

Fitness – What Does It Really Mean To Be Fit?

Anyone can be an athlete.

Think about that again.

Anyone can be an athlete.

Anyone can be fit.

According to the American Heritage Medical Dictionary, fitness is defined as “the state or condition of being fit.”

So what does that mean?

Being fit is being able to physically and mentally do what you want to do when you want to do it.

Anyone can be an athletethe question is what level of athlete do you want to be?

Do you want to be a spectator and watch everyone else play or do you want to get in the game?

What game do you want to play?

It doesn’t have to be a sport. Being fit may have nothing to do with playing an organized sport.

Any activity that burns calories can be your sport – as long as you are physically moving!

Children should play for 60 minutes per day and adults should play for 30 minutes per day.

Find an activity that you enjoy and get moving!

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cycling
  • Canoeing
  • Ballroom Dancing
  • Running
  • Tennis
  • Croquet
  • Gardening
  • Arm...
Continue Reading...

Good Pain vs Bad Pain

Pain can be both good and bad.

It is good because it warns you to withdraw like when you touch a hot stove and immediately withdraw your hand.

Pain lets you know that something is wrong like when you wake up in the morning and feel back pain. If this happens for several mornings, the pain will eventually prompt you to seek a qualified medical specialist like a physical therapist.

Pain can also create a muscle spasm to guard or protect the injured area of the body.

Pain is bad when you 1) have to stop doing what you want to do, 2) can’t do what you want to do without thinking about whether or not you have or are going to have pain, and 3) when your muscles begin to weaken from lack of activity or when your circulation becomes poor from lack of movement.

Pain that gets in the way of you being able to enjoy your life is absolutely bad pain that needs to go away ASAP!

What kind of pain do you have?

Is it dull? Achy? Comes and goes?

Is it sharp? Shooting? Feel Numb? Tingling?

If...

Continue Reading...

When a Headache is Not Just a Headache but a Disorder of the Nervous System

If you have ever suffered from a migraine, you are not alone.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 12% of the population experiences migraines. That’s roughly 38 million men, women, and children in the United States. The Migraine Research Foundation states that “Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world” and “is the 8th most disabling illness in the world.”

Many migraine sufferers do not seek medical care for their pain and are never diagnosed. Those who do seek treatment may be misdiagnosed with sinus-related disorders or hormonal imbalances.

Migraines are NOT JUST HEADACHES – they are actually a disorder of the nervous system and one of their symptoms is a headache. Other symptoms typically include light sensitivity, nausea, auras (changes in vision sometimes described as flashes of light), and sometimes vomiting.

If so many people, especially women, suffer from migraines, then why don’t they seek...

Continue Reading...

Ouch! My Jaw Hurts!

When pain occurs in the jaw, it can be difficult to talk and eat. The joint of the jaw is called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Jaw pain can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD.

What causes TMD and jaw pain?

1. Teeth that are not aligned (such as an under bite where the bottom teeth are more forward than the top teeth or an overbite where the top teeth are more forward and rest over the bottom teeth). Malaligned teeth can create abnormal forces across the TMJ.

2. The muscles surrounding the jaw are in constant contractionThis means that the muscles never stop working. For example, a person who has difficulty sleeping may not be able to find a comfortable resting position and this could contribute to their jaw pain. The function of the temporalis muscle is to close the mouth. It has to constantly work against gravity to keep the mouth closed so that a person does not walk around...

Continue Reading...

Running Basics: Running Terminology

Have you ever wondered what runners mean when they say, “I just did a tempo run” or “I’m really looking forward to my next fartlek run”? Running lingo can seem a little foreign if you are a beginning runner; however, learning the language is key to improving your run workouts and can help you enjoy the variety of workouts available.

Circuit Training: a medium intensity strength training exercise program where the participant moves quickly through a series of 8-10 exercises and performs either 10-25 repetitions or performs and exercise for 30 seconds-3 minutes http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/a-z/circuit-training

Easy Run: the “other day of running” or the day of running where the participant is building baseline mileage or running at a pace to recover from a more difficult work-out http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/the-easy-day-pace

Fartlek Workout: “speed-play” run where the participant runs quickly for a...

Continue Reading...

Seven Must-Know Tips to Taking Your First Step Toward Running

1. Wear the Right Shoes: Good shoe wear is a necessity! Be prepared to spend $80-100 for a high-quality pair of running shoes. Know your shoe type before buying to ensure proper fit. Consult your physical therapist to learn if you need a stability shoe, a neutral shoe, or a motion control shoe.

2. Walk First: You should begin a walking program to prepare your body for low-impact exercise BEFORE beginning a running program. Once you are able to walk 3 times per week for 30 minutes each time, then you are ready to start a run-walk program. Easing into a running program may take more time than you anticipated; however, you will save yourself many aches and pains as well as prevent injuries by taking the time to walk first.

3. Run Every Other Day: When you begin a running program, give your body a rest day between running days. Walk or lift weights on the days you don’t run. The rest day from running will allow your muscles to recover from beginning a new exercise...

Continue Reading...

Food and Water for Sport

Every person, athlete or non-athlete, functions best with good nutrition.

Athletic performance is influenced greatly by nutrition. Getting the right amount macronutrients and micronutrients can often be the missing link in improving performance.

Macronutrients = carbs, proteins, and fats

Micronutrients = vitamins and minerals

Let’s keep it simple.

Athletes will need the following macronutrients:

  • 45-70% of their diet from healthy carbs
    • Fruit
    • Vegetables
    • Whole grains
  • 15-25% of their diet from lean protein
    • Low-fat dairy - cottage cheese, milk, Greek yogurt
    • Chicken, fish, beef, turkey, eggs, tofu
  • 15-25% of their diet from healthy fat
    • Olive oil
    • Avocados
    • Nut butters
    • Coconut oil
    • Seeds
    • Nuts

Athletes will also benefit from the following micronutrients:

  • Calcium
    • Dairy
  • Vitamin D
    • Egg yolk
    • Fortified milk
    • Yogurt
    • Cereals
    • Fruit juices
  • Iron
    • Meat
    • Fish
    • Eggs
    • Lentils
    • Quinoa
    • Nuts and seeds
  • Vitamin C
    • Oranges
    • Strawberries
    • Broccoli
    • Spinach
    • Tomatoes
  • Electrolytes
    • Mixed...
Continue Reading...

How to Make a Homemade Ice Pack

Seriously, ice is super important if you have just suffered an injury because the more quickly you apply an ice pack after an injury – hopefully within the first 5 minutes – the less overall tissue injury will occur.

Don’t get me wrong, if you tear your ACL and apply ice, it doesn’t mean that your ACL isn’t still torn. It just means that the ice application will limit the effects tissue damage in the tissues surrounding the ACL.

For example, if you don’t apply ice then you will have a lot more swelling and inflammation. That extra fluid will create pressure on the other tissues in the knee and possibly damage them. Applying ice helps to keep swelling and inflammation under control so that other tissues are as negatively impacted.

You can learn more from a recent Facebook Live Class I recorded. The video class will talk about:

  • What happens to the body when ice is applied
  • Why we want to apply ice
  • When not to use ice
  • How to make a homemade ice pack
  • ...
Continue Reading...

Student Activities and Organization

With school, sports, music, theater, and club schedules often overlapping, the life of a student and a student’s parents or family can be a little chaotic.

When students participate in multiple activities, the schedule can be overwhelming, meal time is often on-the-go, and sleep schedules are often disrupted.

Keeping everything organized is the key to getting everyone where they need to go and keeping them healthy along the way.

Here’s a Few Tips to Help Stay on Track:

  • Get schedules early - once you receive a sports schedule or an extracurricular activity schedule, get it on the calendar to avoid double-booking events or overloading the schedule for that day or week
  • Select 1 sport per season - playing more than 1 sport per season can physically and mentally stress the body which increases the risk of injury due to fatigue and burn-out
  • Select 1 other activity per season - if your son or daughter plays a sport but has other interests, then you may need...
Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Close

“Fill Out The Form To Get YOUR Special Report That Answers The 48 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Therapy” (...It’s Currently FREE!)

Leave Your Details And Get All This Information NOW...