Staying Active Through COVID

COVID has really put a damper on activities that we would normally do. It’s important to stay active and healthy, even if that means doing things inside or by ourselves! In this short video, I will give you some activities that an help to keep you active and safe during the COVID & Winter Season.

  • Tip 1: Get Busy Moving!
    • Its important to keep our bodies active and moving during this time in which we can become more sedentary staying inside and away from others. This winter try some new activities like taking a virtual exercise class. Elite’s own Occupational Therapist, Maddie, holds virtual exercise classes which you can tune in live to on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays through the Brandywine Valley Active Aging.
  • Tip 2: Try your hand at a new hobby!
    • Keeping busy and active is important, and what better time to pick up a new hobby than during the cold winter months? Try getting involved in a crafting project like knitting, sewing, or scrapbooking. If arts and crafts aren’t your thing, try a hobby such as indoor gardening. Its a quick way to get involved in something that will keep you active each day, and will produce either beautiful flowers or a yummy garden treat.
  • Tip 3: Get Organized
    • We typically think of getting organized during the spring season when we do our “spring cleaning”. However, with the colder months approaching, now would be an ideal time to get rid of those old and unwanted items, to make room for the new and exciting. Try starting with just one room or closet at a time – out with the old and in with the new (year)!
  • Tip 4: A Brisk Walk
    • Even though its cold outside, that doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors 24/7. Getting fresh air has been shown to improve mood, increase blood circulation, and help in cardiovascular health. A long walk isn’t necessary, so bundle up, and try just walking up and down the driveway…as long as there isn’t snow and ice that is!
  • Tip 5: Cook a new Meal
    • During this time where things can get boring and are often the same thing over and over again, why not try switching it up and trying a new menu item! New cookie and soup recipes are a good way to stay warm and cozy both inside your home, and inside your body. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well! Drink plenty of fluids.

We know that this time is difficult, and navigating ways to stay active can be challenging. With COVID affecting everyone, its important to find the positives in lives. Try some of these tips to keep you active and safe during the cold winter and COVID months.

Weight Loss & PT

Physical Therapy and Weight Loss
Often when you see a physical therapist, it is to recover from an injury or help alleviate a painful condition. In some cases, the pain you are experiencing can be linked to weight gain. Weight loss is a hot topic in our society and many people struggle with weight control, making it one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions each year.

Carrying too much weight can have several adverse effects on our bodies, including:
• Limited endurance
• Limited movement and flexibility
• Increased fatigue
• Frequently being short of breath
• Pain in various parts of the body

How Can PT Help?
Two of the major keys to weight loss are eating healthier and staying active. In terms of movement, physical therapy can play a key role.
Your physical therapist will perform a full assessment of your body and health, target areas of concern, and customize an exercise program designed to reduce and eliminate your pain and make you healthier. They will also teach you the correct form for each exercise, so you can perform them with minimal pain. If one of your concerns is carrying around too much weight, a physical therapist can demonstrate specific exercises that will help get rid of the excess pounds.

The Importance of Good Posture

Posture can be defined as a position of the body or the arrangements of body parts relative to one another. Posture is often thought in relation to the spine, but it also includes your extremities. Posture can be good, bad, or somewhere in between. Posture is important when standing, sitting and even when lying down.

So why is good posture so important and poor posture so bad? Well, it all starts with the way we are made. Our body is made a little bit like a puzzle. All our body parts are designed to fit together in way that creates the least amount of stress on the joints, discs, ligaments, and muscles. When we start to deviate from this ideal posture and spend more time in poor postures, we put stress extra stress on the joints, discs, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Anywhere the body deviates away from ideal posture and alignment stress is put on that area of the body.

So how can PT help? Physical therapy always includes an assessment of posture, analysis of how the patient’s posture is contributing to the current problem, education on how to improve posture, and interventions including hands on treatment and exercises to improve posture.

Fall Prevention

Did you know…

Adults age 65 or older:

  • 1 out of 3 adults fall each year
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury death, and the most common cause of nonfatal injury & hospital admission for trauma

Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling.

Balance: A person can become disoriented if the sensory input received from his or her eyes, muscles, joints, or vestibular organs sources conflict with one another.

  • Joints and Mechanoreceptors– As joints age, mechanoreceptors become less sensitive.
  • Cerebellum and Brain– Movements and neurological function decreases as we age.
  • Inner Ear- Vertigo is a common cause of falls.
  • Sense of Sight– Vision decreases as we age and diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in
  • Sense of Touch– Diabetic neuropathy can mean loss of feeling, which can lead to poor balance.

How can Physical or Occupational Therapy help?

  • Evaluate each patient to find which of these symptoms are affecting the ability to balance.
  • Review the patient’s medical history
  • Review the patient’s medication list
  • Perform a clinical observation
  • Berg balance scale test
  • Specific tests for vertigo

Physical Therapy Vs Occupational Therapy

Have you ever wondered what Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are and how they differ? While there are numerous differences, the primary distinction between the two disciplines of PT & OT is that physical therapy’s main focus is gross motor function, or large muscle movements, while occupational therapy focuses on how the patient uses fine motor, or small muscle movements, and cognitive skills to perform tasks that are meaningful to them. To learn more, check out the video below.