There is a little bit of “the penguin” in all of us that hit the road/trail over 30 and don’t get paid for it.

Books, j'adore

There are some books you pick up and you just know the story is going to be about you. You may know the author so well you feel he or she is a kindred spirit. You may have read the book a hundred times. You may love the topic of the book so much that there’s no room in your heart for anything but acceptance and understanding. I have encountered a number of books like this over the years – these are books that don’t change your life so much as reinforce that the path you’re on is the right one. For me, Bingham’s memoir on becoming an “adult-onset athlete” is one of those books.

I’ve been enjoying his articles in Runner’s World since I started running myself in October 2010, and when I saw that he had a book out, I put it on my Christmas list along with

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Attention baby boomers: Stay healthy while staying fit

“Sixty is the new 40,” say many early baby boomers celebrating their 60th birthday this year.

This generation of 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964, determined to ward off aging, has focused more on exercise and wellness than did their parents. They were at the forefront of the aerobics and fitness movement that began in the 1970s and are now flocking to health clubs in even greater numbers.

But, as a result, increasing numbers are suffering from “Boomeritis” — the phenomenon of boomers becoming injured while exercising and playing sports at a level often too intense for their aging bodies.

Sound familiar?

It’s not just about soreness or stiffness. As boomers refuse to let injuries get in the way of their exercise routines, they’re undergoing complex knee and hip replacements and surgical repairs to the shoulder, ankle and elbow. Orthopedic surgeons say they are performing such surgeries more often on patients in their 40s and 50s than in the past.

Physical therapists are also treating more boomer patients than ever, not only for rehab after injuries and surgeries, but also for customized fitness training geared to their musculoskeletal limitations.

staying healthy and avoiding injuries
If you’re a boomer, regular exercise is key to preventing or improving chronic conditions that come with increasing age. But you made need to make some modifications to avoid injuries.

Here are some tips for staying healthy and avoiding injury — at any age.

•Moderate cardiovascular exercise will improve the quality of your life, but be sure to get screened by a physician first.
•Exercise at a pace appropriate for your age. Adjust your activities and know that you have limitations: You may only be able to get your heart rate up so high, you may have joints that are not as flexible, or you may have arthritis.
•Seek the advice of physical therapists to work on your flexibility, strength, endurance and posture. You need to know what posture to have while sitting at a computer, as well as how to set your computer station ergonomically to reduce the risk of neck, shoulder and hand injuries.
•Stretch on a daily basis. Try to incorporate gentle stretches for your neck, back, arms and legs. Hold each stretch 15-30 seconds and do 3 repetitions each.
•Perform gradual strengthening exercises. Begin with light weights, 10 repetitions with 2-3 sets, and gradually increase the resistance.
•Eat well-balanced meals with protein at each meal, including plenty of fruits and vegetables. Drink eight glasses of water daily.
•A loss of mobility following injury, hospitalization, or even sustained sitting positions at work can speed the deterioration of muscles, joints and bone. A physical therapist can help you regain mobility and improve quality of movement.
•Exercise mentally, not just physically, by doing crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, Scrabble and other mind games.


Yours in health,

Dr. Clif

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What happens when we can’t exercise?

Sports injury and depression

If you exercise regularly, you’ve probably had one of these roadblocks at some point in your life: A sprained ankle that keeps you from running. An illness that keeps you away from the gym. Or a bigger injury that requires rehab or surgery and a rethinking of your entire fitness regime.

When your fitness routine shifts, so does the rest of your day. You may sit more, eat more and possibly gain weight. The lack of endorphins, combined with the changes you see in the mirror, don’t help your situation. It’s not unusual to get depressed when this happens.

So how can you try to take control of your body and continue to stay fit despite that injury or illness? I recommend that if you have an injury, the first stop is to see your doctor or a healthcare professional.  Avoid the dangers of self-diagnosis.  Your physical therapist is the ideal expert to recommend low-impact exercises that can be continued with an injury; a PT’s unique training, along with knowledge of how the injury occurred, is key to prescribing the best recovery exercises.

Staying active sports injury depression 

Stay as active as possible. Perhaps you can continue to exercise but in a pool. Remember that “the buoyancy factor and the warmth in a pool can provide ease in movement and can provide a good environment for exercising. A trained professional, like a physical therapist, can design a program for you to do at the pool, if appropriate, for your injury.”

A third note is to stick to your routine as much as possible.  If you’re on a schedule of exercising at specific times during the week — like Monday and Wednesday mornings or every night after work — use those hours for mental exercises like meditation or reading. Keeping that schedule throughout your recovery will make it easier to return to that schedule when you’ve healed from your injury.

Prevention, of course, is the best medicine. Working out with an awareness of your body — and its limits — will help to avoid some of these problems. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you work out:

  • Know your limits — don’t overdo it. Having pain is a good indication to stop the activity.
  • Avoid playing sports or exercising when you’re very tired or in pain.
  • Stretch and warm up sports injury depression
  • Always warm up before exercising. Make sure to stretch correctly, don’t bounce in the position, and keep your feet as flat as you can, trying not to twist your knees. Warm muscles are less susceptible to injuries.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly and provide shock absorption and stability.
  • If you’re just getting started at a new sport or activity, build gradually. You’re more likely to hurt yourself if you do too much too soon. The same goes for packing a week’s work of activity into a day or two over the weekend.
  • Run on soft, flat surfaces rather than asphalt or concrete. Remember that running uphill may increase the stress on your Achilles tendon, as well as your legs.
  • Adequately train for your specific sport. A physical therapist can help you determine exercises to condition your body for your particular passion.
  • Use protective gear like helmets and knee or elbow pads.
  • Do different sports or exercises on different days — i.e., cross-train — to avoid overuse injuries.
  • Rest! Athletes with high consecutive days of training have more injuries. A critical component of proper training, rest can actually make you stronger and prevent injuries of overuse, fatigue and poor judgment.
  • Cool down after exercise.

The best advice? Listen to your physical therapist, as well as your body. Those twinges and sharp pains are telling you to slow down. If you pay attention and rehabilitate properly, your body will thank you the next time you work out.

 Dr. Clif

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The Doctor will see you now

For over a year now patients have told me weekly you should have some type of talk show or speaking tour to share all the knowledge you have.  I also hear all the time “well my Dr never explained to me what was going on or why I should/shouldn’t be doing that.”   I’m not jumping into the talk show arena at this time, but I do believe that the greatest privilege I get every day is to spend large amounts of time with my patients who often become friends.  I love to educate them on what is going on and how we can fix it together.  I have found that in more than 90% of cases the patient knows exactly what is wrong with them they just don’t know the fancy medical jargon or the solution to their problem.  If we as medical professionals take the time to listen carefully, compassionately, and treat the PERSON not just the problem the final outcome is substantially better for everyone involved.

With all of that said this page is intended for me to get the word out about physical therapy while helping as many people as possible with questions they may have.  It could have to do with your sore neck after a 100 mile bike ride or what you should expect the first few weeks after a hip replacement.  Anything is fair game if I have no idea what you’re asking I have no problem telling you that. I’ll try researching an answer, pointing you in the right direction, and we’ll talk about it in the forum as someone else may know better than I do.  I’m open to any questions medical or otherwise you may have.   A quick disclaimer that I have to find a way to put at the bottom of my page.  No advice is a diagnosis, prognosis, prescription, official medical plan of care, or advertisement.  Just ideas passed freely from someone who has had over 70000 patient/therapist interactions in the last 15 years.

Yours in Health,

Dr Clif

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