Don't Give Up!
Perhaps your doctor has referred you to physical therapy to help you regain strength, endurance, range of motion, and functional mobility. Or maybe you have contacted us directly to start physical therapy because of some pain or movement issues you are having.
You start with hope and excitement as you begin your treatments. You feel encouraged after hearing success stories of past physical therapy patients, and you feel good after talking to other patients at The Smith Clinic for Physical Therapy. Your physical therapist has laid our your recovery plan after a thorough evaluation, and it is comforting to know there is an end goal to your pain.
But then you may realize that physical therapy is a lot of work, and sometimes exercises and treatments used in physical therapy can cause a little bit of pain. It can be easy to lose motivation, especially if your condition requires a longer course of rehabilitation. At first going to physical therapy was something you wanted to do, even enjoyable (we hope a lot of that has to do with our awesome staff!); but after a while it may be difficult to comply with your physical therapy regimen. Going to the clinic 2-3 times a week and completing your assigned at home exercises may get pushed to the end of your priority list.
In our society we are accustomed to quick fixes for most problems. We don’t have to wait for many things that we want or need. Physical therapy does not fit into that “quick fix” category. By design the therapy process is aimed at making you stronger and more flexible by taking the proper amount of time needed to help you heal, without rushing and causing further damage. When you are completely committed to your treatment plan, you hit this thing out of the park.
Here are a few tips:
Find A Purpose:
Maybe you want to play golf again, or pickup your grandchildren, or ride a horse. Associating your physical therapy with your purpose keeps you motivated. Our physical therapists will help you realize how certain exercises or treatments will benefit you, and eliminate certain negative things. Then we can show you how once you get better you will be able to do the things you love to do. Stick with that purpose and remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place.
Tape it to your fridge, put a post-it-note in your car. Whatever you have to do to remind yourself not to give up and keep going forward to reach your goal - because going backwards should never be an option.
Find the Right Place:
We hope that you will find the right place in The Smith Clinic For Physical Therapy. Since you work with your physical therapist and physical therapist assistants and techs often 2-3 times a week, it is crucial for there to be a trusting and comfortable relationship. When you enjoy coming into a facility that is uplifting and encouraging and not intimidating, it makes you want to go even on days when you might be tempted to skip your treatment. We focus on making The Smith Clinic for Physical Therapy have a familiar and friendly environment.
If you are struggling to stay motivated, or perhaps you are having concerns about your treatments, please talk to your physical therapist. We want to know what you are thinking and how you are feeling about your progress, because we at times might need to make some changes. We have been doing this for a long time, so we know some important things to do to help you get motivated again. Don’t just stop coming or give in to discouragement! We can help you get back on track! And in the end when you are doing those things that you wanted to do when you first started therapy, it will all be worth it.
We Sit Way Too Much
Unfortunately for most of us, the majority of our day involves sitting. When you drive – you sit. When you watch TV – you sit. When you have a desk job – you sit for eight hours straight. You would never guess it, but Many studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time can lead to some serious health effects. In fact, it has lead to the creation of the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking”.
Negative Impact Of Sitting:
What can you do to combat these effects?
* Use a standing workstation.
It is the same every time. You are convinced you are too obese and it is too late to do anything to control your weight…what’s done, can’t be undone. And you are firmly convinced that you will look positively weird while you workout and people will STARE!!
But to tell you the truth, all it takes is one determined step. And gradually, you will find yourself not only comfortably getting fitter, but also happier than you were! And you will look forward to the workout classes.
But before you start working out, there are a couple of things you should consider:
1. Consult your physician
Your physician can tell you whether you can work out safely without hurting yourself. You also need to find out how you can monitor your workout sessions, if you are taking any medications which can actually adversely affect your blood pressure or your heart rate. Also, ask your doctor what kind of exercises you can do and what you should avoid.
2. Decide what to wear during the session
It is difficult, but not impossible to find the right workout clothes for plus-size men and woman.
Whatever you choose, comfort and quality should be your goal. And if money is tight, then just wear whatever you are comfortable in, and you can reward yourself with better workout clothes later. The most important thing is to not wait until you feel better about yourself to workout, now is the time.
3. Start Easy
Walking is the least-intimidating and low impact, and all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes. Walk at your own pace and gradually increase the time, starting with 5 minutes at a time. Also, you can increase your speed after a few days. Make consistency your goal.
Biking is also a good option for someone who is just starting to exercise. Start out slowly and with smaller time sessions. Gradually increase the durations of these sessions and you will actually feel good about this exercise session.
Group exercise classes are another good option. One of the best ways to stick to an exercise program is to develop a social support system. Group exercise classes at The Smith Clinic For Physical Therapy are a perfect place to find friends. Our instructors understand that it takes an overweight exerciser more time to move through certain movements, so they give options for beginner and accelerated, so people can go at their own pace. Our instructors give plenty of advance warning for movement or direction changes.
4. Strength Training
There are many good reasons to start a strength training program. But for an overweight exerciser, there are special benefits. Strength training can correct postural issues that may arise from carrying extra weight. Strength training can also increase the range of motion in all of your joints. Finally, when you build muscle, you boost your metabolism when your body is at rest.
You can start lifting weights at home, but this is one instance where joining The Smith Clinic For Physical Therapy as a fitness member or hiring a trainer may be especially helpful. You can use a single session with a personal trainer to learn simple exercises to get you started and show you technique cues that will help you to keep your form in good shape.
Remember to start slowly and don't do too much too soon. Consistency is the most important element of your new workout program, so the worst thing you can do is to overdo it on your first day so that you have to take a week off.
A Plan That Changed My Life
A couple of months after beginning the medications my husband came home from physical therapy and began telling me about a trainer from The Smith Clinic named Angie. When Angie and I talked she made things so simple. She set me up with the initial 30 minute consultation, at which time she gave me her “21 Day Meal Plan”. This was the plan that changed my life. This plan gave me all the tools I needed to learn how to eat healthy; coupled with a regular exercise program devised specifically for me. I began to drop the pounds and to feel healthy again.
In September 2014 my doctor took me off my meds! It has been a year and a half since I began the clean eating plan and a regular exercise program. I have continued to maintain a clean eating diet and my fitness membership at Smith Clinic. I know that there will be times when I slip away from the healthy lifestyle that the plan has taught me, but I also know that the team at Smith Clinic will always be there to get me back on track. Since that first visit in February 2014, I have completed three of the diet and exercise challenges at The Smith Clinic. The challenge coaches take the time to know you as an individual and work to strengthen each member’s body and mind through positive reinforcement. I even won first place in the latest challenge and received a $250 gift card to Academy Sports as my prize! How is that for icing on the cake? When I went back to my doctor for my annual this year my numbers were great. No more need for meds!
I am ecstatic about my new healthy lifestyle that the team at Smith Clinic have helped me to maintain. I am even more grateful for the new lifelong friends I have made during this journey. Thank you Smith Clinic you truly are a lifesaver!”
It can be very frustrating when you work out but the pounds still do not come off like you hoped they would. Did you know that there are certain habits and physical changes that can undermine even the best weight loss strategies, especially after you reach age 40. These three targeted fat-fighting tips are the key to turning the tide—so your body will finally shed the weight.
1. Make some extra muscle
Lift weights three times a week. It's the fastest way to build muscle and get results when the scale is stuck. "Research shows that regular strength-training can increase your resting metabolic rate by up to 8%," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, fitness researcher in Quincy, MA, and author of Get Stronger, Feel Younger. In one 8-week study, women and men who did only cardio exercise lost 4 pounds but gained no muscle, while those who did half the amount of cardio and an equal amount of strength-training shed 10 pounds of fat and added 2 pounds of muscle.
Rest less: If you already strength-train, shorten the time you linger between sets. "Taking a brief, 20-second break after each set burns extra calories and accelerates metabolism more than waiting the standard 60 to 90 seconds, studies show," says Westcott.
Do double-duty moves: Trade exercises that isolate a single muscle, such as biceps curls, for multi-joint, multi-muscle moves like chest presses and squats. "The more muscles you engage at once, the more calories you'll burn," he says.
2. Outsmart a plateau
It's a common scenario: The first 10 or 20 pounds come off easily, but then the scale won't budge. Plateaus can happen in as little as 3 weeks, find Drexel University researchers. As you drop weight, your body doesn't have to work as hard simply because there's less of you to move around, says Michele Kettles, MD, medical director of the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. That means your workouts produce a smaller calorie burn. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds and lose 35, you'll melt about 100 fewer calories in an hour-long cardio class—which can slow down further weight loss. And as you get older, injuries or arthritis can make it difficult to do vigorous, high-impact activities that help compensate for this calorie deficit.
Diversify: The more comfortable you become with a routine, exercise class, or fitness DVD, the less effective it gets. To continue to lose weight, you need to challenge your body in new ways. "Even replacing one exercise can create enough of a surprise to keep results coming," says Kettles. Try this: The first week of every month, do a new upper-body exercise; the second week, a new lower-body one; the third, a new abs move; and the fourth, a different type of cardio (cycling instead of walking, for example).
3. Be a stealth calorie burner
It may happen subconsciously, but studies show that some people move less after they begin an exercise regimen. The reason for the slowdown, experts speculate, may be post workout fatigue or the perception that if you exercise, you can afford to skimp on the small stuff. Wrong! Little activities such as standing instead of sitting, and walking more throughout the day can add up to an extra 350 calories burned per day, according to Mayo Clinic studies.
Track non-exercise activity: Record your daily step counts a couple of days when you don't work out. Then calculate your average (add up your daily totals and divide by the number of days tracked). If you don't maintain at least this level of activity every day, your fat-burning ability will decline. For instance, if you normally log 5,000 steps a day but skip half of them on days you work out, it could slow weight loss by up to 50%—even though you're exercising.
Post reminders: One study showed that signs encouraging people to take the stairs increased usage by 200%. To motivate yourself, stick notes on your bathroom mirror, microwave, TV remote, steering wheel, and computer that simply say: Move more!
Set up weekly physical outings: You'll be less likely to blow it off if you make a commitment to someone else. Plan a hike or bike ride with your family, help clean out a friend's garage, or volunteer to walk your neighbor's dog.
Physical Therapy Is For Everyone
Are you a self described “non-athlete?” Do you subscribe to the myth that physical therapy is only for star athletes or those who have just had some kind of major surgery? Have you ever wondered, “Who is physical therapy for?” If so, we’ve got great news for you: physical therapy is for everyone.
Here is just a partial list of everyday folks who can benefit from seeing a physical therapist:
Do you have a child who is struggling with their weight and has never been involved in sports? A physical therapist can help develop an exercise program to get them active in a way that they enjoy. PTs can help diabetics find ways to stay active and help keep their blood sugar in check. People suffering from progressive conditions like Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis can also benefit from seeing a physical therapist for strengthening, mobility, and fall prevention.
A Body Needs To Move To Stay Healthy
Being healthy is more than just eating the right things. Having strong muscles and bones is essential for having a healthy body. Being active helps not only those things, but your heart, lungs, and brain as well. Consider this snippet on the benefits of activity to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease:
According to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percent. What’s more, exercise can also slow further deterioration in those who have already started to develop cognitive problems. Research suggests that exercise protects against Alzheimer’s by stimulating the brain’s ability to maintain old connections as well as make new ones. Reference: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia/alzheimers-and-dementia-prevention.htm
Being healthy is more than just weight loss, it’s being able to do the things that you love. Many people can be limited on what they can do based on injuries, illnesses, or conditions. A physical therapist can help to educate you on your specific situation and develop an individualized program that is made to help you meet your goals. Remember, this is about you being your best.
Contact us at 901-756-1650 to learn more about how a physical therapist can help you. We will be glad to explain how we can help you meet your goals.
Get to know Laurie Phillips
Laurie is a new fitness teacher on our staff, teaching several of our group fitness classes. This month she will also be one of our coaches for our Get Ready For Summer Challenge, so this was a perfect time to get to know more about her:
A: And now you don't have to say goodbye since you now work here! I completely understand that feeling, I had a similar experience when I was a patient, years before I became an employee. It's a wonderful environment with both the staff here and the amazing patients. You mentioned your husband, tell us more about your family:
L: My husband and I have been married 25 years, and have been blessed with two amazing children. Our lives are full watching them bloom as adults.
A: I know you run and are active in working out, but how did you get interested in actually teaching fitness classes?
L: I had a very sedentary lifestyle up until 2008, when I decided that I needed to do something for myself. Since then, my love for fitness slowly began taking over and replacing the sedentary lifestyle. After several years of working out at the gym, and finding a love for running, I found that I absolutely love having fitness as a part of my daily life. And now I am a two-time marathoner and a sprint triathlete!
The thought of becoming a group fitness instructor came up in 2015 when Angie mentioned it to me. With my love for fitness, it made sense! I decided to check into it, started studying and then took the test. I am so excited for the opportunity to have a job in the fitness field, and to be a part of The Smith Clinic.
A: Your story is very inspiring, a good reminder to follow our interests and be brave to try something new! Do you have any tips on staying fit?
L: I find that there are days when I don't feel like working out, but before I talk myself out of going, I put on my workout clothes and tennis shoes. Then my mindset will already be changed and I will be ready to head out the door and conquer the workout. Then it's over before I know it, and I'm left with a feeling of accomplishment.
A: Thanks Laurie that's so true about starting our day off in the right mindset, even something as simple as putting on our workout clothes first thing! I know you will be a wonderful asset to the clinic, especially during our upcoming Challenge!