As the weather gets warmer, consider how you can establish or improve healthy habits to help you look and feel great. Watch the video below for 3 tips from ACPT Physical Therapy Assistant Conor Maloney.
Losing weight is hard, but you can tweak your environment to make the best of your health goals. There are hundreds of little changes you can make to your life to skyrocket your gains and achieve your goals. While you need discipline, well-planned nutrition and regular workouts, it helps to have the following on your way to a slimmer and healthier you.
It is obvious you need a scale when trying to burn fat. This simple gadget can make or break your weight loss progress. A scale lets you know how far you have to go on your way to the ideal body weight while also allowing you measure the success of your weight loss program, helping you to correct the course when things are not working. Regular weigh-ins help you notice changes in your weight and also make you a conscious eater, increasing your ability to make informed food choices. Research from Cornell University shows that daily weigh-ins and tracking the results can increase the chances of losing weight and keeping it off.
A food journal allows you to be accountable to yourself. With regular entries into the journal, it becomes easier to pinpoint the sources of those extra calories. You might be on a strict diet but still take 5 cups of sweetened coffee or three additional muffins after your regular meals. The extra sugar amounts to something. A food journal can also track the effects of certain foods on your digestive system. If you are allergic or intolerant to some ingredients, a food journal can point you in the right direction. That way, you can eliminate the problematic foods that may contribute indirectly to your weight from your diet.
Meal Prep Containers
Being in control of your diet is an essential factor when losing weight. Meal prep can help you eat food that aligns with your weight loss goals when you want it. But for that, you need quality meal prep containers. Life can be too complicated for you to make meal plans one hour before office time. With weekend meal preps, on the other hand, you can have a week’s worth of nutrition-dense meals ready for heating and eating. Failure to plan your meals can sabotage your weight loss goals.
If you want to be in full control of your nutrition, you can’t afford to eat out all the time. Not only do your chances of eating low-quality food increase, but you also spend a large chunk of your income on food. You can cut eating expenses and improve the quality of your nutrition by cooking your meals and packing lunch. A fashionable lunch bag not only lets you carry as much homemade food as you like, but it helps you do so in style.
Join a Support Group
When you don’t get desired results, it’s easier to continue your weight loss program if you have a supportive community around you. There are many offline and online communities that provide encouragement and support for members. A community helps its members achieve their weight loss goals through an easy-to-follow program. At ACPT we’re a proponents of the OPTAVIA program that focuses on making lifelong transformations, one habit at a time. One of the four components of support that the OPTAVIA program provides is an OPTAVIA Coach. Our office’s OPTAVIA Coach, Dr. T, works with you to help you achieve your weight-loss goals. Furthermore, the OPTAVIA Community supports you alongside your Coach through many mediums, including live and recorded video conferences and calls, nutrition support, and client-focused groups. Regardless of your weight loss destination, having a community to share your journey with makes the whole process worthwhile and less lonely.
Albany Chiro & PT Physical Therapist Assistant Conor walks you through 2 simple practices you can use to relieve back pain caused from sitting at a desk all day at work.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Guilderland. I graduated from Guilderland High School, got my Bachelor’s degree at Saint Rose, and my Master’s at SUNY Albany. I still live in the area with my boyfriend, Josh, and cat.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy exercising and lifting at the gym in my spare time. When I’m not at the gym, I love shopping and baking.
How has your experience at ACPT helped improve your quality of life?
I came to ACPT in November 2018 after a car accident and they have helped me TREMENDOUSLY. I’ve learned so much about my body and am improving every day. Thank you to all the staff for getting to know me and treating me like a friend – not just a number.The content of this article was taken from a Patient Questionnaire. While not written verbatim, the content above relays the patient’s sentiments.
86% of people working in America spend up to eight hours sitting down in the office.
Most likely, you are sitting down as you read this. Most likely, you have been sitting for a number of hours today. Modern technology is not helping. You no longer have to walk and get something; everything is just a single click away. This is a dangerous trend, as there are many health risks associated with sitting more than you move.These health risks include:
Computer Blue Light & Bacteria
Staring at a computer screen for hours can harm your eyes. You can experience migraines and headaches due to the unnatural screen light. Consider applying an eye protecting screen cover, such as Reticare, on your devices. Furthermore, the keyboards and the mouse are perfect grounds for bacteria to breed. According to microbiologists, the keyboard can have more bacteria than the bathroom. Keep your keyboard clean by wiping it down with disinfectant regularly.
Aches & Pains From Prolonged Sitting
Sitting down for long hours feels harmless, but after some time you start experiencing pains and aches. Excessive sitting can cause you to develop poor posture, reduced blood circulation, and weight gain, even if you work out regularly. Try changing your position every few minutes and get up and move around at least once or twice per hour.
Lack of Proper Sunlight
Staying indoors can mess with your internal clock, leading to lack of sleep and proper concentration. According to a study by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, employees who did not get natural light slept 46 minutes less every night compared to their peers who had access to the sunlight. Try heading outside on your lunch break to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
Working in an office can be inevitable depending on your career. Fortunately, you can seek creative but simple solutions to remain healthy while in the office and you can search for ways to get active outside of the office to reduce and reverse some of the dangers of this traditional office setting.
Perhaps it’s time to start a company softball team?
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a Colonie resident through-and-through. I went to Colonie Central High School and work in South Colonie. I have three siblings, one of whom is my identical twin.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy working out. I also enjoy riding my motorcycle with my family and spending time with my husband and two Yorkies.
How has your experience at ACPT helped improve your quality of life?
ACPT has literally given me my arm back after bicep tendon surgery. They are fantastic and I could not have done it without them! I am back to working out, something I love, including all training, cardio, and weight lifting. I’d like to extend a special thanks for Conor and Joe for working with me!The content of this article was taken from a Patient Questionnaire. While not written verbatim, the content above relays the patient’s sentiments.
Do you remember the fitness goals you set in 2018? These resolutions probably went something like: “I am going to hit the gym 5 times per week;” “I will do hot yoga at 6 am before work;” I’m going to cut out all carbs.”
When reflecting on the past year, think about your progress. Did you achieve these goals as expected? If not, you’re not alone. In fact, according to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution,
When considering your resolutions for 2019, you can promote a healthier lifestyle without focusing solely on fitness or dieting. There are a lot of other wellness goals you can set that are achievable but make an impact on your overall health.
Below are some unique and manageable goals you can set for yourself in 2019 focused on wellness, not fitness.
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Cutting out complete food groups can be a rather difficult feat. However, incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your daily diet is a simple yet effective way to promote disease prevention, longevity, and overall wellness. Try having at least one or two vegetables or fruits with every meal, perhaps even swapping out unhealthy choices to make room on your plate.
2. Drink enough water.
Drinking enough water helps to flush out toxins, increase your energy, boost your immunity, and improve your skin complexion. While the rule of thumb mandates 64 ounces of water per day, you may need more or less depending on your own personal situation, such as gender or if you are pregnant. Click here to discover how much water you should drink daily.
If you don’t like plain water, try infusing it with different fruit and herb combinations, such as lemon raspberry or mint lime. You can use a water bottle like this one from Amazon to make your infusion process simple.
Moreover, when you are considering your budget, going natural is best for you. It helps you save cost and at the same time promotes your overall wellbeing.
3. Find a workout buddy.
One of the reasons why people don’t stick to their fitness routine is because they do it alone. You can easily tire out and lose motivation when you go to the gym by yourself. This year, find a workout buddy to make your fitness routine fun and push yourself to achieve the fitness goals you set together. A workout buddy can also help you conquer the anxiety of going to the gym.
4. Practice meditation regularly.
Find a space in your home or office where you can meditate daily. Meditation doesn’t have to be you sitting cross-legged on the floor; instead, you can try journaling, praying, or studying. Meditation can help you recharge and stay motivated.
There are a variety of meditation resources, such as guided imagery, from iTunes. Headspace is one of the most popular guided meditation smartphone apps on the market.
5. Break down your goals into bite-sized pieces.
Be realistic and don’t try to do too much. Instead, break your goal down into sub-tasks and goals that are short-term and achievable. This will get you adapted and prevent the loss of motivation, while also ensuring you don’t hurt yourself.
6. Go natural for your bath and beauty products.
Some products that aren’t regulated can contain harmful chemicals. Consider swapping out your shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, and similar products with natural, organic versions.
7. Experiment with spices.
Some spices like turmeric, garlic, and cinnamon have a number of health benefits. For example, studies have shown that these spices contain antioxidants that help to lower inflammation. Experiment with different spices to create new flavors and promote a healthy lifestyle.
8. Eat more beans.
Beans provide protein and are high in fiber, which is good for your internal body processes and systems. Incorporate beans into your meals to enhance their health benefits. For example, add white beans to soups to make them creamier or add beans to your favorite pasta or “zoodles” dishes.
9. Keep healthy snacks close.
Sometimes you can get cravings for sweets or salty foods, especially is those items are typically in your diet. These cravings can tempt you to eat unhealthy foods, such as chips or candy. Keep healthy snacks close, like in your backpack, purse, and desk, to alleviate cravings with healthy ingredients.
10. Sip on hot water in the morning.
Start your morning with a cup of warm water, perhaps flavored with fresh lemon slices, to increase your energy level and rehydrate your body to promote proper functioning of your systems and organs.
This year, when setting your New Year’s Resolutions, don’t focus solely on fitness. Instead, consider overall wellness so that you can improve your overall health through manageable and achievable goals.
Shoveling snow during winter is unavoidable, especially in Upstate New York, and can sometimes be a risk factor leading to hospital visits. However, you can perform this chore without hurting yourself.
Tips to Prevent Shoveling-Related Injuries
▶ Warm up before you head outside.
In the winter, your muscles are forced to do more work because cold weather constricts veins and arteries that supply blood and oxygen, and there is an additional strain on your heart to pump more blood to meet the demand from your muscles. Do some quick warm-up exercises before heading out to shovel snow to get your circulatory system working faster and prepared for the winter chill.
▶ Don’t lift too much snow at one time.
A full load of snow on your shovel is heavy. If you continually pick up large amounts of snow, you’re likely to strain your muscles. Only lift small portions of snow, ensuring the weight is less than your carrying capacity, to avoid exhaustion or strain.
▶ Use your knees.One common mistake people make is lifting snow without the support of their knees. Bend your knees while lifting snow to avoid putting too much pressure on your lower back and prevent injury. If possible, push the snow, rather than lift it, off your walkways with a shovel.
▶ Bundle up to prevent hypothermia.
Prevent your body temperature from falling dangerously low by wearing proper clothing, including insulated coats, waterproof gloves, and warm boots with a lot of traction. Take regular breaks to go inside, warm up, and complete a quick exercise to move your muscles.
▶ Invest in an ergonomic shovel.
Prevent back strain and other injuries by investing in your snow removing equipment. While snowblowers are ideal, they can be expensive. As a back-friendly alternative, invest in an ergonomic shovel, such as this one at Target.
Handling an Injury
Never ignore pains. If you notice anything abnormal while shoveling snow, stop immediately and get back indoors. If you experience ongoing to persistent pain, schedule an appointment with our ACPT staff so that we can evaluate your situation, increase the rate at which you heal, and provide additional tools to prevent injuries in the future.
To the 43 million Americans who have low bone density, putting them at high risk of osteoporosis, Albany physical therapist Joseph Trimarchi has an important message: exercise is good medicine. But not just any exercise – weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening exercise.
“As people get older, bone density certainly becomes an issue for many people, which can lead to unexpected falls, broken bones and even the onset of osteoporosis,” said Trimarchi, physical therapist of Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy. “But studies have proven that doing regular, weight-bearing exercise like jogging, walking, aerobics, dancing and resistance training can actually strengthen your bones. It’s a true ‘use it or lose it’ scenario.”
And while this benefit of strength training for older adults is a powerful one, it’s simply just one in a list of proven reasons why seniors should make strength training a part of their lifestyles and fitness regimens.
While a reduction in strength is often considered an inevitable part of getting older, Trimarchi says that people of all ages should feel empowered to take charge of their overall health (including strength training) as they age. Along with diet and regular check-ups with both a physician and a physical therapist, an exercise regimen that includes elements of strength and resistance training can help slow some of the effects of aging – this, while also allowing one to maintain a high quality of life through activity and independence.
According to Trimarchi, the many proven benefits of weight-bearing and resistance exercise include:
Rebuilding Muscle: People do lose muscle mass as they age, but much of this can be slowed and even reversed through strength and resistance exercise. And of course, a stronger body has a direct impact on issues related to balance, fall prevention and independence.
Reducing Fat: We also tend to more easily put on weight as we get older. Studies show, however, that while older adults gain muscle mass through strength training, they also experience a reduction in body fat.
Reducing Blood Pressure: Studies have also shown that strength training is a great (and natural) way to reduce one’s blood pressure, even for those who “can’t tolerate or don’t respond well to standard medications.”
Improving Cholesterol Levels: Strength training can actual help improve the level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the body by up to 21 percent, while also helping to reduce to levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Strengthening Mental Health: This goes with all exercise, including strength training. Maintaining a high level of fitness can combat anxiety, depression, issues with stress, etc. Exercise is also great for memory!
“Whether walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, etc., we recommend 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity every day,” Trimarchi said. “It’s also necessary to set aside another two to three days of strength and resistance training each week, which can include free weights, weight machines, Pilates, yoga, and so on.”
Trimarchi adds that for the sake of both health and safety, a thorough strength, movement and balance assessment should precede any new exercise regimen, especially for older adults – assessments that physical therapists like those on the Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy team are uniquely qualified to perform.
While the profession of physical therapy is often characterized under the generalized label “rehabilitation,” Albany physical therapist Joseph Trimarchi is eager to create a wider narrative – one that focuses on physical therapy’s overall ability to change lives by helping people move better.
“When it comes down to it, physical therapy is all about experiences. It’s about making it possible for people to live and experience life to the fullest,” said Trimarchi, physical therapist of Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy. “Movement – not just exercise, but the overall ability to work, play and live optimally – just so happens to be at the center of so many of our greatest life experiences.”
And with October being National Physical Therapy Month, Trimarchi and other physical therapists across the country are highlighting the many ways physical therapists are uniquely positioned to improve lives and experiences for people of all stages in life.
Physical therapists are highly educated medical professionals who are trained and licensed to help people both improve and maintain the ability to move optimally and with reduced pain. Often, physical therapists can help people do this without the need for surgery or prescription medication.
“This includes people who are hurt, injured or who have had surgery, of course,” Trimarchi said. “But, this also includes athletes looking to improve performance and avoid injury, older adults looking to remain active and independent, workers who want to improve production and comfort while on the job, women who are pregnant … all the way to people who simply just want to be healthier and less sedentary so they can better enjoy the things they love.”
And, while strength, cardio health, balance and flexibility are critical for maintaining functional abilities throughout life (i.e., walking, climbing stairs, lifting, reaching, getting out of bed), the ability to move optimally and be active, Trimarchi says, is something that can equally benefit the body, the mind and the soul.
The Body– It’s no secret that being active and exercising regularly can benefit the body in seemingly countless ways, from improving cardiovascular health to reducing the incidence of chronic disease. But beyond maintaining great health, exercise as prescribed by a physical therapist can benefit people in numerous ways, from helping reduce chronic pain to strengthening bones and joints in older adults.
The Mind – Multiple studies have shown that regular exercise can sharpen and improve memory. But for those with mild cognitive impairments, exercise can also help slow the rate at which people with such impairments decline. Exercise has also been linked to greater focus, improved learning for children and adolescents, and a reduction in anxiety and stress.
The Soul – Research has also shown that those who exercise regularly tend to be happier and more social than those who live a more sedentary lifestyle. Not only that, but maintaining a stronger, healthier body with an eye toward optimal movement helps remove barriers that may stop someone from experiencing life to the fullest, whether that includes exploring new places or trying new things.
“The greatest joy I get from being a physical therapist is helping people get to a place in their lives that they thought was either in the past or was unattainable from the get-to,” Trimarchi said. “Whether it’s helping a person complete their first 5K or making sure someone’s able to still pick up and hug their grandkids, my job as a PT is to help people experience life and be the greatest possible versions of themselves – all through better, more optimal movement.”