Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Stand Up


It’s time to stand up against sedentary behavior!



Did you know that 12 hours is the average time a person sits during the day?

What is sedentary behavior? Time spent sitting, which includes watching TV, driving, eating, and work/school tasks. "Sitting Disease" is a term used by researchers to define those with metabolic syndrome and experiencing the negative impacts of sedentary behavior.

What can you do to decrease sedentary behavior?
  • Try walking around your office more frequently during your work day.
  • While watching TV, try to stand every 30 minutes.
  • Set a timer to remind you to get up more often during your day.
  • Stand more, sit less!



3 Benefits of decreasing sedentary time, there are many more!
  • Helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Improve your mood
  • Increase focus/productivity



Blog post by Timarie Villa.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Exhale



When we do timed breathing exercises that make our exhale even a few counts longer than our inhale, the vagus nerve signals the brain to turn up our parasympathetic nervous system (relax mode) and to turn down our sympathetic nervous system(fight or flight). This means that by putting our awareness on lengthening our exhale we can signal to our body that we do not need to be in fight or flight mode and we can initiate the transition into rest and healing mode. With a long exhale we tell our whole being that it is safe to rest a moment, it is time to digest now, there is time to repair what needs attention within us. Interestingly, because breath modulates the nervous system, it is also a way for us to influence the other automatic, involuntary bodily functions. By setting the parasympathetic tone we slow our heart rate, lower our blood pressure, dilate our blood vessels and turn on our digestion. Just choosing to attend to our breath with intentional exhales allows us to shift our whole body into a restorative mode.

Bringing awareness to our exhale is giving us a lesson in the value of relaxation and surrender. The exhale is about letting go and clearing out. Physically, when we exhale we release the metabolites, the toxins, and the used up air. The exhale is clearing out space, giving us the ability to receive during our inspiration.


Timed Breathing Exercise

Let yourself get quiet and still for a moment during your day. Direct your attention to your breath and just notice, without trying to control or change, the flow of air that is coming and going in your body. Then, invite yourself to breathe out longer than you normally do. You may notice that this is followed by an effortless, expansive in-breath that is deeper than those that preceded. You can also spend a few moments doing an exercise of counted breathing. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7 and then exhale for a count of 8. Doing this a few times will accomplish the shift into parasympathetic mode discussed above.

Enjoy giving yourself this nourishing gift and know that it can have a cascade of healing benefits for your body, mind and spirit.

Blog post by Ally Wilson.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Planks!


While data on exercise changes as new studies are done, one thing that remains constant is that planks are great... but only when you do them properly!


The traditional plank (shown above) targets more than just your abdominals. It requires contraction of the quads, glutes, shoulders, biceps and triceps. It is a stabilizing exercise that can lead to improvements in other exercise moves.


3 Common Plank Form Mistakes


Arched Back

Note: In this position your abs will be inactive. This also put a lot of strain on your lower back!


Hips Too High


Uneven Hips



Other Plank Variations


On Hands



Side Plank



Taking Your Plank to the Next Level


Alternating Leg Lifts


Up, Up, Down, Down


Side Plank with Rotation


Side Plank with Hip Dips


Physioball Planks


TRX Plank



Planks can assist in many other areas!


Balance
The core stability provides and increases in your overall stability and balance.  Example: if you are bumped into while walking, having a stronger core can assist you in regaining your balance faster.

Maintain Proper Running Form
A stable core helps a runner’s body stay in proper alignment, rather than twisting mid stride.

Maintain Form in Many Other Lifts
One of the first steps in many lifting exercises is to engage your core. Having a stronger core can make it easier to keep proper form in many activities and can prevent injury to the back. 


Happy Planking!


Blog post by Erin Womboldt.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Prevention & Treatment of Shin Splints


Shin splints are a painful condition caused by microtears of connective tissue at attachment sites in the tibia (lower leg bone) from overuse or mechanical stress.  Symptoms include pain and tenderness along the front of the shin (tibia) and when chronic or severe, may be accompanied by swelling and the presence of ridges or bumps along the front of the bone. 

Muscle weakness, stiffness, and poor alignment of the lower extremity joints (such as flat feet) and use of non-supportive shoes may predispose you to developing shin splints particularly if training or activity is accelerated too quickly, you walk/run on hard, ramped or uneven terrain, or you play a stop and go high impact sport such as basketball.  Shin splints can side line even the most seasoned athlete. 

To prevent and treat the condition try the following exercises.  Stretches should be held for a minimum of 30 seconds to allow time for tissue elongation and to avoid reflex shortening. Repeat 2-3x, 3x/day. Strengthening should be done 10-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets daily.  Icing, kinesiotaping, and non-steroidal medications may be helpful in the management of pain.  Consult your physical therapist for assessment and always speak to your doctor before taking any medication.

Stretching


Calf stretch (gastrocnemius)
Stand upright holding chair or hands on wall for support with one leg behind you, foot flat and pointed straight ahead.  Keeping back heel down and knee straight, bend front knee.  Stretch will be felt in calf and Achilles. 

Tip: Tighten abdominals and don’t lean forward with trunk.



Soleus stretch
Stand upright holding chair or with hands on wall for support with one leg behind you, foot flat and pointed straight ahead.  Keeping back heel down, bend BACK knee. Stretch will be felt in lower part of calf deep under Achilles tendon. 

Tip: If you cannot keep your heel down, shorten your stride.



Toe stretch (toe flexors and plantar fascia)
Place 2-3” book or small platform/step against wall.  Place toes against edge of step. Keeping knee straight, lean towards wall. Stretch will be felt in arch of foot.



Dorsiflexor stretch (tibialis anterior)
Sit on knees on cushioned surface with ankles pointing down.  Sit back on heels to stretch front of foot and ankle.  Leaning back with upper body will intensify the stretch. 


If unable to kneel, or if ankles are too tight, sit up with foot crossed in front of you and use your hand to pull ankle and foot downward. 


Strengthening


Ankle Dorsiflexion (anterior tibialis)
Long sit on bench or floor. Anchor tubing away from you with loop around foot.  Keeping foot and ankle aligned with toes facing up, flex ankle up towards you to the count of 2, and return down to the count of 4.  

Tip: To maintain proper alignment, keep 2nd toe in line with your shin bone.



Wall Toe Raises (toe extensors and anterior tibialis)
Stand with back against wall, feet slightly away and facing forward.  Lift toes off ground keeping knees straight. Hold 5 sec.  

Tip: If unable to raise, toes, bring feet a little further from wall.



Calf Raises (gastro-soleus)
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Go up on toes to count of 2, lower to count of 4.  Challenge yourself by doing on one leg.  

Tip: To progress strengthening through greater range of motion, do off edge of step.



Toe Curls (toe flexors and plantar fascia)
Sit in chair. Place towel on tile or wood floor.  Position bare foot on towel.  Keeping heel down, curl toes to “scrunch” towel. 



Single Leg Bridge (gluteal muscles)
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on floor.  Straighten one leg keeping thighs in line. Tighten abdominals and lift hips off ground using bent leg. Keep pelvis level.  Hold 5 sec.  

Tip: If too difficult, keep both feet on floor while lifting hips.



Heel to toe walking
Start in standing position. Step out with right foot flexing ankle toward you as your foot contacts the ground.  Transfer weight to ball of right foot, go up on toes, then step forward with the left foot contacting heel first with ankle up.  Repeat cycle.



Blog post by Jody Coluccini PT DPT.

About Jody Coluccini PT DPT

Dr. Coluccini received her Doctorate with distinction from Arcadia University and her BS in Physical Therapy from Boston University. She brings 39 years of continuous clinical orthopedic, sports and geriatric physical therapy experience to patient care. Prior to relocating to Cape Cod, Dr. Coluccini owned a successful private practice in NY and is currently licensed in both New York and Massachusetts. Jody believes that successful rehabilitation is a collaborative effort between the therapist and patient achieved by mutual trust and respect, constant therapeutic reassessment, mutual goal setting and patient compliance. She understands that being "fit" as one ages or returns from injury or illness requires a constant modification of goals and activity.