Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano BA-Kin, CAT(C), ISSA-CPT
Athletic Therapist, Personal Trainer
What is health? What does it mean when you’re being healthy? The dictionary defined health as, “the state of being free from illness or injury” and/or “a person’s mental or physical condition.”
We are now in a new world of facebook, instagram, twitter and other social media platform that we are bombarded by new diet and exercise programs that we forget one important aspect of health. Being healthy in the eyes of the general public seems to be just the physical aspect like, losing the weight. Let’s not forget the big elephant in the room or should I say the black dog.
Mental health is as important if not much more important to work on as well. It is often neglected because of the mere fact that it cannot be seen. As an athletic therapist, helping people get better with their injuries, the education and encouragement comes with the job. I know that if my clients believe that they will get better by performing combinations of rehab/home programs that they will see that the result will be on their favor.
In addition, as I continue to study the benefit of yoga that includes meditation, which I started to practice with my own daily routine, both of these activities enhance and improve physical and mental health. There is nothing to be afraid of the word “meditation” because a simple as deep breathing exercises for 5-10 minutes is enough to quiet the mind and get re-energized. Short walk can also be a form of meditation, enjoying the outdoors for example. Even sitting on a chair for 3 minutes of connecting your breathing with your mind is a proven fact to help with mental clarity.
BENEFITS OF YOGA
For the body:
• Increase core strength
• Increase flexibility
• Improve circulation
• Pain and tension release
• Improve Posture
• Weight management
• Improve digestion
• Lowers blood pressure
For the mind:
• Increase self-acceptance
• Improve concentration
• Focus on the present
• Increase confidence
• Neutralize stress
• Improve memory
• Increase mental awareness
• Unlock energy flow
I always tell my clients to be open to new ideas of fitness and what it offers because the benefits are endless. Finding something you enjoy is the first step to improving your health and well-being. It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you are starting somewhere. Simple as walking outdoors to get fresh air is a 100% amazing for you physically and mentally.
The one thing I want you to take from this is to help yourself feel good before we help others especially our children. They will follow what we introduce them to, so the sooner we adapt new ways of improving our health, the better it will be to encourage them in the future.
Outdoor meditation is so much fun. Enjoy the outdoors when you can before it gets really cold. You don’t need to sit on the ground or grass. Sitting on park bench will be good enough or short walks.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Written by: Taylor Post BA-Kin, CAT(C)
While it may seem counterintuitive, maintaining an active lifestyle should be a priority for individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. With an exercise program designed around “arthritis friendly” exercises, daily workouts can (and should) become a central part of the OA treatment program. In fact, exercise is considered by many to be the most effective non-drug treatment to reduce pain and improve mobility in osteoarthritis patients.
When selecting knee friendly exercises, it is important to look for movements that target the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. These muscles make up the main groups that support the knee. Exercises should also be low impact, minimizing excessive forces that will aggravate the knee unnecessarily. Here we look at a few key exercises to include in osteoarthritis rehabilitation programs:
Aerobic (cardiovascular) activities are key to improve endurance and maintain a healthy weight. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults (age 18-64) complete at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activities per week. They also specify that sessions should last at least 10 minutes to achieve health benefits. Walking, swimming, and cycling are all great examples of low impact cardiovascular activities. Circuit training is another creative way to increase your heart rate during a workout. Select a number of multi-joint exercises and perform them in a series with minimal rest periods in between.
Strength and Mobility Training
• Leg Raises
While lying on your back with your legs extended, raise one of your legs approximately 6 inches off of the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds before lowering the leg down. Be sure to contract the muscles on the top of your leg before starting this movement, to keep the quads activated throughout. Complete 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions before doing the other leg.
• Side Lying Leg Raise
Start in a side-lying position, keeping your shoulders, hips and knees in line. Using your arms for support, slowly raise your top leg into the air and then slowly lower it back down. Focus on leading with your heel, by pointing your toes toward the floor throughout the movement. Repeat 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions on both legs.
• Glute Bridge
Begin by lying face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down. Once you are comfortable, lift your hips and buttocks off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in, so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise. Hold this bridged position for 30 seconds before easing back down. Repeat 5-8 times and complete 3 sets of this exercise. If this is too easy, try performing this move one leg at a time.
• Mini Squat
Hold on to a chair or stable surface, with your knees about shoulder width apart. Bend at the hips and knees as if sitting down onto a chair, and then slowly stand back up. Repeat 10 to 15 times, for 3 sets. Make sure that your toes are pointing forward throughout the movement, and limit the depth of your squats to a pain-free range.
Lie on your side with your hip and knee bent to approximately a 90-degree angle, with feet together. While keeping your ankles together, raise your top knee up about 12 inches from the other, in a clamshell type motion. Repeat 10 to 20 times and switch sides. Perform 3 sets in total.
• Standing hamstring curls:
Holding on to the back of a chair or stationary surface, without moving hip, bend knee as far as possible, bringing your heel up towards your buttocks. Focus on a slow and controlled movement. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps on each leg.
These are just a few examples of exercises that are considered knee friendly for individuals with osteoarthritis. It is important to note that just because an exercise doesn’t appear on this list, it does not mean that it is unsafe to include in your workout program. At the end of the day, each person is different, and any movement is going to be better than none. To start, choose activities that you enjoy, and that don’t increase your pain. The best exercises will be the one you are willing to do and will keep doing regularly.
It is important to remember, that while this article presents many helpful tools to get started, not every injury or rehabilitation process will be the same. Always listen to your body and be sure to consult a medical professional as needed. Your local Athletic Therapist is a great resource for injury advice, and will design a program to suit your needs and fitness goals!
Team Insahyu: Certified Athletic Therapists.