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Resistance Training...Why Is It For You?

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As we continue through the new year, people are focusing more on exercise. Many new years resolutions are made involving “getting fit” or “losing weight.” Some people join a gym, while others start exercising at home. Whatever your choice of exercise or setting, it is essential to include resistance training in your exercise routine.

Resistance training is an exercise that causes your muscle to move against resistance. While it can mean lifting weights, it also includes using your own body weight or any other object that adds resistance (bands, balls, blocks, etc.).

In physical therapy, we use resistance training for many patients. Whether someone is recovering from an ACL repair, shoulder pain, or low back pain, resistance training can play an integral part in his or her recovery. 

So….what are some benefits of resistance training?

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Why Water?

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When you think of water exercise, what comes to mind?  Maybe you think of water aerobics classes or high school swimmers.  What you may not know is how water can help someone of any age and any condition.  Because of the buoyancy, when you are standing in chest level in water, you lose approximately 75 percent of your weight.  This decompression on your joints makes exercise more comfortable for persons with back pain, arthritis, joint pain, surgery, chronic pain, and for pregnant women.  Water exercise is a great way to increase strength and range of motion and improve balance. 

It’s almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or magazine without seeing an article on the benefits of exercise. The healthcare industry as a whole is looking for ways to increase the health of our nation while decreasing the high cost of health care.

 Recent studies have looked at how exercise programs can prevent or delay many common health care problems that increase with aging, and the overall agreement is that some type of exercise program is essential for maintaining a high quality of life. Studies have also shown that inactivity causes a loss of independence and health due to a lack of endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.

Exercising on a regular basis maintains the ability to walk, and improves and maintains balance and posture which reduces the risk of falls. It also improves bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis, and the repetitive motion of exercise promotes joint health by increasing joint lubrication.   Recently, exercise has been shown to maintain and even improve brain function and may help to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. The benefit of over-all health reduces the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes.

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Concussions and Sports

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The media is placing a great deal of attention on athletes at all levels and their injuries. It is important to understand what some of the most highly publicized injuries are and how are they treated.  Concussions in sports are one of those highly publicized injuries that can occur during many different types of activities.  A concussion is an injury to the brain that occurs from rapid shaking, coming to an abrupt stop, or a direct blow to front or side of the head.  These are just a few of the many ways an athlete can suffer a sports related concussion.   There are several different degrees of concussions with differing levels of severity and symptoms.

Sports concussions and its long-term effects are undergoing a great deal of research into the prevention, detection and treatment of these injuries.  The symptoms of a concussion can vary from a simple headache to dizziness, loss of memory, confusion, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to loud noises and loss of consciousness.  Each person responds to a concussion differently.  Athletes who experience a concussion can have symptoms that continue for days, weeks and even months. 

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