10 Easy Tips to a Healthy Body in honor of National Physical Therapy Month

Did you know that October is National Physical Therapy Month? The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) designated October as a time to cherish the value of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants. A specific theme is chosen each year and in 2011, the focus is “sports injury prevention across the lifespan.” If you’re getting treated with physical therapy this month, look out for free gifts at the clinic, as well as special events like posture screenings and balance assessments.

To celebrate National Physical Therapy Month, here are ten everyday tips from the APTA:

  1. When shoveling mountains of snow in the wintertime, avoid excessive twisting since the spine has very low tolerance for turning motions. Also try to bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible. Lift with your leg strength, not your back.
  2. When watching TV at home, families can engage in simple exercises together such as sit-ups, push-ups, or running in place. Avoid eating meals while watching TV.
  3. Be sure to plan ahead before lifting heavy objects. Clear the path for the lift so you can avoid awkward or unpredicted movements that can strain your muscles. Quick test: push the object with your foot before lifting to gauge its weight and whether you’ll need assistance.
  4. Proper shoe choice is important for engaging in healthy running. For those who have stiff feet with high arches,  improve shock absorption with more cushioning in shoes. Those with low arches should find stiffer shoes with more support and control.
  5. When biking, change hand position on the handlebars frequently for upper body comfort.
  6. When wearing a backpack, make sure to wear both shoulder straps for better weight distribution.
  7. When gardening, try to warm up before you begin. Consider taking a 10-minute walk beforehand to raise your heart rate followed by some stretches for your back, neck, arms, and legs. End your gardening session with another short walk and stretching.
  8. At the workplace, your keyboard is surprisingly important. Make sure the keyboard is at a height that allows you to have your forearms slightly greater than 90 degrees. Try to avoid placing the keyboard on top of your desk unless you can raise your seat.
  9. When lifting a child, use a half-kneel lift. Start by standing close to your child on the floor. Then, keep your back straight and place one foot slightly before the other. Bend your hips and knees to lower yourself on one knee, and once on the ground,  hold your child with both arms and close to your body. Finally, tighten your stomach muscles, and push with legs to return slowly to the standing position. Follow the same technique for placing your child back on the ground.
  10. Lastly a reminder, adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical workout. Children and adolescents should participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily.

Get Control of your Life

A perfect balanced body leads to a more fulfilling and successful life. Your full potential is possible only when you are at your peak physical condition.

At Dos Caminos, we aim to, not only rehabilitate you to your former condition, but we strive to help you create the best body you can achieve.

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