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Low Impact Exercise Options to Bounce Back from Injury

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It is difficult to build up your confidence after an injury. Fear of re-injury is a very real and valid concern. There are many simple and functional exercises that you can do prior to jumping back into your regular exercise routine that are both practical and safe. Three very simple low impact exercise options include walking, squatting and reaching.

  1. Walking is an exercise that is often overlooked, but it helps build your endurance and functional strength back up. Adding different “tweaks” to your walk is a great way to increase demands on various parts of your body while walking. These “tweaks” can include walking with your feet wider or narrower than normal, toes turned in or out, or simply trying to take a longer stride.
  2. Squatting is something many people are afraid of, but it makes its way into our lives when we lift young kids, pick up groceries, do yard work, etc. If you are not comfortable squatting, try holding onto your sink at home to take some of the strain off of your knees and core. As this becomes easier, you can progress to free squatting. You can change the demands on different body parts by changing your foot position during squats. Foot positions can include having one foot slightly in front of the other, having your stance be wider or narrower than shoulder width, or have your toes slightly pointed in or out.
  3. Core strengthening is a buzzword in our society. Core strengthening is very important, but functional core strengthening looks a little bit different than most people think. The core gets “activated” by lengthening the core muscles. A great way to get the spine moving in a functional way while loading the core is reaching. And similar to the squatting and gait tweaks, reaching at various angles will activate different parts of your core. Reaches can include reaching up or down, side to side, or rotating. These reaches can also be completed in a stride stance where one foot is in front of the other.

These are 3 very simple but very effective ways to start exercising after an injury. For best results, always listen to your body. Pain is a protective mechanism that should not be ignored. If any of the movements or positions are painful, avoid those until your body has further healed.

As these get easier and you feel more comfortable, you can add load or increase the amount of time/repetitions to any of these exercises.

Once you feel confident with all/most of these exercises, you may consider joining an exercise class with a trained fitness professional. Some classes to start with could be gentle yoga, Pilates, aquatic exercise classes, beginner spin classes, or low impact fitness classes.

Find what exercises and activities you enjoy doing. The options are endless! The worst thing you can do for yourself after an injury is nothing. Don’t let yourself stop moving. Find things that feel good and do them so that you can get back to moving with confidence.

i'move physical therapist helping patient with equipment

Gravity and a Few Cool Tools

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i'move physical therapist helping patient with equipment

The most important benefit of physical therapy is that it gets people moving again. Often, after physical therapy, patients are able to enjoy aspects of their life that they were afraid they might not get to enjoy anymore. The key to success all relies on the method physical therapists use to treat their patients. 

There are many different philosophies of physical therapy, each stemming from how they incorporate functional movement. Functional movement involves using real-world scenarios and biomechanics to treat the root cause of the issue, not just the symptoms. Functional movement has the patient move their whole body in all planes, or directions, to work the core and replicate everyday movements. One of the key founding principles of i’move is to do more with less. All we need to successfully treat patients is gravity and a few cool tools.  

A plus of training one on one with a physical therapist is getting access to the variety of cool toys, tools and equipment around the i’move clinic and gym that also help replicate real world movements. From state-of-the-art workout machines to resistance bands and Bosu balls, we utilize these tools to accelerate your recovery. In addition to your customized treatment plan, here are a few more tools and equipment used in physical therapy.

Anti-Gravity Treadmill
A favorite of the Cove location, the AlterG is an anti-gravity treadmill that enables the body to move from low to high function. Patients of any size can unweight themselves to move better and farther than before. 

Exercise Balls
While kids love to use these for fun, they can be a ton of help if used the right way. When used as a chair or for sit-ups, exercise balls become a massive strength training tool. Sitting on one forces the body not to slouch, tightening the core and improving posture. There are plenty of creative exercises available with an exercise ball. Ask your physical therapist about them!

Resistance Bands
They may look simple, but these oversized rubber bands can pack a punch. What’s great about resistance bands is that they can be customized for all levels of physical ability. Bands are mostly used for muscle strengthening and retraining, making them perfect to build muscles during recovery.

Rollers
Foam rollers are the massage-esque part of physical therapy. They do so much more than just providing pain relief. Foam rollers excel at reaching deep muscle tissue in the body, like tissue that may be affected during an injury. Hitting certain “trigger points” or tight spots, the pressure helps relax and stretch the muscles, increases blood flow, and breaks down scar tissue that can accumulate during an injury.

Jade Tools
Therapists utilize jade tools to loosen tight muscles, relieve pain and sometimes break up scar tissue. These are soft tissue tools that are similar in function to Graston or Astym therapy – both soft tissue techniques.

Dry Needling
To get to the root of pain and mobility issues, some therapists use dry needling as a way to reach trigger points around the body. When these knotted-up trigger points are released, they can help alleviate pain as part of a larger treatment plan. 

Patients come to i’move to get them moving again and enjoying more aspects of their lives. In the process, they often get to utilize one or more of our cool tools or pieces of equipment. Want to know more? We’re experts on our equipment, but more importantly, on your body. Learn about the science behind your healing during an appointment or fitness class.

i'move woman exercising

Do Your Homework: Keeping Up with Physical Therapy

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i'move woman exercising

Physical therapy is truly a gift. Not are you receiving personalized pain relief, but you get to learn customized exercises that will keep you healthy and at peak performance for many years to come. Who would want to turn down an opportunity like that? It does sound great on paper, but even the best of us need a reminder to do our physical therapy exercises off the clock. If you’re looking for some inspiration, this is it. Learn how and why to keep up with your physical therapy and know that you can do it! 

Stick With Your Exercises
There’s a reason we recommend doing your exercises outside of appointments. Like anything in life, you can’t get perfection without practice. Your body is constantly changing, and it doesn’t stop after you leave the gym for the day. What happens to your health is up to you, and continuing your recommended physical therapy exercises daily or weekly between appointments is what’s going to help you heal faster and fully recover.

Get Into a Routine
Like riding a bicycle (a great exercise, by the way!), doing your at-home exercises over and over makes them impossible to forget. Your physical therapy appointment may be on a consistent day or at a consistent time each week. It’s the same for our exercises. When your therapist gives you a set of exercises to do at home, you’re most likely to remember them if you have a set schedule. Pick a time each day to work on yourself until it becomes a routine. It can be in the morning before breakfast, or after the kids go to bed. Either way, committing 15 minutes a day will make your physical therapist proud, and your body happy!

Have Accountability
Pro tip: routines get easier when a friend’s involved! An accountability partner keeps you focused and makes it twice as hard to get out of exercising. Find a friend or practice your exercises with the whole family. 

Adapt to the Circumstances
Your physical therapist will be more than happy to suggest modified exercises you can do at work or on the go. Even if you can’t do push-ups at your desk, you still might be able to do some stretches and leg lifts while writing that email. Ask your physical therapist how to incorporate your physical therapy exercises while out and about. Maybe you can do calf exercises while sitting down, or practice balancing while your oatmeal is in the microwave. These little things add up. Just remember that every little bit counts.

Take advantage of your time at i’move. We’re here to offer flexible appointments or exercises that fit your fitness. Whatever level you’re at, we want to help you grow.

Couple doing push ups on the beach

The Importance of Cross-Training

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Couple doing push ups on the beach

Cross-training is a term that most people have heard of, but not everyone understands what it means or why it’s important. When someone (young, old, athlete or non-athlete) engages in multiple sports, types of exercise, or workout plans it is referred to as cross-training. Some may think they don’t need to cross-train because they are not athletes. However, research suggests there are many benefits to cross-training, from reduced boredom in workouts to increased sport performance and much more. Check out three main reasons why you should cross-train!

One of the greatest benefits to cross-training is improved body function. As you incorporate a combination of cardiovascular, resistance, stretch and stability-based exercises into your routine your body is stimulated in a variety of ways that often more closely mimic activities of daily life. Because of this variety of stimuli, your body is much more prepared for whatever life may throw at it. For instance, weight-training may allow you to pick up and move heavier objects at work or home, stretching more will give you the flexibility to reach something out of the top cupboard or bend down to pick up something off of the ground, and cardiovascular training may help you keep up with the kids for longer or enjoy vacations that require more physical activity!

Another benefit to cross-training is reduced risk of injury. Again, as you vary exercise your body is forced to adapt under multiple situations and in many different environments. This more well-rounded training teaches your body how to respond in each unique circumstance appropriately by utilizing components of strength, stability and flexibility to keep you safe both at home and during exercise or sports!

Lastly, cross-training allows for variety in your exercise routine. It helps ward off boredom by keeping you mentally and physically involved in workouts for much longer. Arguably, this may lead to more intense/longer workouts and better adherence to a long-term program—ultimately leading to a healthier you!

Cross-training has many benefits including, but not limited to, increased body function, reduced risk of injury, and improved adherence to long-term workouts. What’s holding you back from incorporating variety in your workouts? Have questions? We can help!

i'move helps patients recover

Treating the Source, Not the Symptoms of Pain

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Treating the Source, Not the Symptoms of Pain

i'move helps patients recover

Often, the pain in your knee has nothing to do with your knee, and everything to do with your ankle or hip. Understanding the cause of an issue, not just the symptoms, offers more long-term solutions to your pain. i’move physical therapy treats joint pain at its roots, building you a healthier body that will last for many years to come.

Don’t Mask the Issue
You may be familiar with the term “putting a bandaid” over the problem. This would be like only treating a sore ankle, instead of the whole leg. To mask a problem will only cause it to flair up later, and be harder to treat down the road. The earlier you go to treat an issue, the less of a hassle it will be. There’s no shame in talking to your doctor about the joint or back pain in your life during a routine checkup. They’ll know when it’s time to refer you to a physical therapist.

Locate the Source
Remember, just because you feel pain in your lower back doesn’t mean the problem starts there. In order to locate the true issue, you need to consult with a physical therapist. Your body is unique, and you can only receive a proper diagnosis with analysis from a licensed professional. Knowing the source of your pain is the first and most important step in treatment.

Treatment
Treatment for the source of your pain may involve re-learning basic movements such as how to throw, walk, run, or even sit. It can be difficult to build new habits after years of moving a particular way. That’s why a physical therapist develops exercises specific to you. Proper guidance helps reshape your form and create the right patterns for a pain-free life.

Get to the source of your pain and squash it. i’move can help you recover sooner by treating the root of the problem. Schedule an appointment with us or read about the benefits of physical therapy at i’move.

i'move therapist helping patient

Are Bad Biomechanics Causing You Pain?

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Are Bad Biomechanics Causing You Pain?

i'move therapist helping patient

Throughout your physical therapy, your physical therapist will be discussing biomechanics with you.

Biomechanics is the official term for how the body moves. The way you move, and all the muscles and joints involved with each movement, play a part in your personal biomechanics. The problem is, sometimes bad habits can throw your biomechanics off balance and cause issues or injuries down the line. When your physical therapist brings up this topic, learn how you can play an active part in the discussion, and what you can do to help yourself break bad habits and form good ones.

How Do Biomechanics Cause Pain?
Years of repetitive movement and poor posture lead to bad biomechanics, which can trigger joint or muscle pain over time. A single misalignment can cause a chain reaction of issues that may result in a nagging shoulder injury. Fixing your shoulder means uncovering and treating the entire chain reaction. Recognizing any issues with your biomechanics and working to correct them creates a more stable road to recovery.

Evaluating Your Biomechanics
Every part of you, from the crown of your head to your toes, plays a part in your posture. To look at the pain in your wrist, you’ll need to examine the whole arm. For larger issues, like your gait, the whole body must be examined. When thinking of biomechanics, think of the big picture.

Correcting Your Biomechanics
The only true way to evaluate your biomechanics is to receive an evaluation from a licensed physical therapist. When doing this, the physical therapist needs to look at your entire body, not just the area that’s in pain. This means that for issues in the ankle, you’ll need evaluation from head to toe, and not just from the waist down. Even the way you tilt your head while running could cause an issue in your leg. To get true solutions to your pain, you’ll need true experts on your side. 

i’move can help you build healthy biomechanics for a better body from head to toe. To learn more about biomechanics, schedule an appointment to talk to one of our experts today.

strength training

How to Incorporate Strength Training into Your Routine

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How to Incorporate Strength Training into Your Routine

Couple in fitness studio at suspension training

Creating a fitness routine is important when thinking about living a healthy lifestyle. Having a routine helps us stay consistent and accountable to ourselves. However, everyone’s routine looks different. Attending a fitness class, walking on a treadmill, doing yoga, or swimming in the pool may all be a part of different people’s regimen.

One thing that should be a staple in everyone’s routine is strength training. While this may look different for everyone it involves using resistance against a muscular contraction. Here are a couple of different ways to begin strength training:

Body weight – Use movements like squats, pushups, bridges, or planks to build muscle in both your lower and upper body. The great thing about these exercises are that they require no equipment and can be done anywhere!

Resistance bands – Tension increases as the bands are stretched making a particular movement more difficult. They are very affordable, take up a small amount of space, and can be used in many different ways.

Free weights – These include barbells, dumbbells, and medicine balls to name a few.  They can come in a variety of weights allowing for intensity to be increased or decreased. Common products around the house can even be used such as milk jugs filled with water or soup cans.

Weight machines – While you can buy machines for your home, there are many found at your local fitness center. They often include great picture guides right on the machine that show you exactly how to use them.

For more information or help getting started with incorporating a strength training program into your routine, contact i’move and we’ll be happy to help!

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How Physical Therapy Helps with a Full Recovery

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How Physical Therapy Helps with a Full Recovery

woman celebrating running and training success on

An athlete’s worst nightmare is hearing they might “never be the same” after a sports injury or accident. For surgery candidates, there’s a sense of uneasiness when a doctor says they might not be able to walk or run comfortably after their procedure. Sometimes, hearing these phrases can frighten patients and athletes and keep them from getting the treatment they need. 

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The sooner you decide to see a physical therapist, the more likely you are to make a full recovery. Learn how PT can help you to bounce back, and conquer joint and muscle pain for good.

Early Treatment
The days just after a surgery or injury are the most important. Those crucial moments are when the body learns to rework itself. Physical therapy doesn’t only help you heal, it teaches your body how to heal in order to restore correct movement and proper form to your body.

Faster Healing
Physical therapy helps you heal faster to take full advantage of your recommended recovery time. Working with a therapist gives you the time to not only get past your injury, but to work beyond it to reach fitness goals you never knew you had. Don’t settle for “get better.” Move forward and get more.

Trusted Medical Advice
It’s only natural that after some time, friends and family expect you to get back into the game in terms of your normal activities and daily routine. There can be a lot of pressure to heal quickly, which may cause some patients to take on too much too soon. A licensed therapist helps you evaluate when you’re ready to lose that crutch, cane, brace, etc. Having an expert opinion ensures you’re healing at the right rate. 

Lifetime Prevention
Uncovering and treating the old habits and activities that may have been damaging your joints and muscles is crucial to creating a lifetime of healthy living. A professional examination gives you the knowledge and exercises to prevent what could become chronic pain later down the line. Give yourself a head-start on preventing pain.

A full recovery is not a far-fetched idea. Today is the day to take back your mobility. Don’t wait to start your journey. Schedule an appointment or read about more benefits of physical therapy at i’move.

i'move worker and patient

Physical Therapy Lowers the Risk of Reinjury

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Physical Therapy Lowers the Risk of Reinjury

i'move worker and patient

When you’ve gotten back to peak health, the last thing you want looming overhead is the idea of reinjury. Most people don’t want to think about another injury right out of recovery, but the statistics are alarming. For young athletes, for example, the risk of reinjury for a torn ACL is between 20 and 40 percent.

In order to fight off another injury, physical therapy can keep you in peak shape without blowing out a recently-healed knee. You’ll not only learn how to bounce back safely, but you’ll also learn proper form and how to maintain strength and flexibility – all things that help prevent an injury from occurring again.

Receive Intervention
The best time to treat an injury is directly after the accident or surgery. Physical therapy is the intervention needed to make sure your body heals the way it’s supposed to. Not following well-established protocols and best practices for healing can lead to many complications, which can create or further agitate pain and increase stress on joints and muscles throughout the body. Physical therapy creates an environment that allows your body to heal naturally, to stay healed for many years to come.

Remember Proper Form
Over the years, a funny way of crossing your legs, taking a stride or throwing a ball may have a major impact on your body. Quirks like these can unknowingly lead to reinjury if left untreated. A physical therapist can detect and treat unhealthy habits as you heal, setting you on the right path to a healthy future.

Build Healthy Habits
Recovery doesn’t stop after treatment. Continuing the exercises and techniques you learn during physical therapy helps you stick with the healthy habits you need in order to lower the risk of reinjury. Keeping up with what you learn at i’move a few times a week helps ensure your body stays strong.

i’move wants to give you a lifetime of health and wellbeing. Keep your body in great shape well after recovery and prevent injuries from happening again. Schedule an appointment with us or read about the benefits of physical therapy at i’move.

family bike ride

Family Fitness: Instilling the Importance of Healthy Living in Kids.

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family bike rideEveryone wants their kids to be healthy. It’s an easy thing to say, but it takes planning and behavior modeling to actually reduce the likelihood of your children becoming at risk for many health issues that go along with being overweight.

The number one factor that puts children at greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents, according to a new study by medical school researchers.

Modifying your family’s diet, exercise, and sleep are 3 practical ways you can teach your kids to live a healthier lifestyle.

Diet
Show your kids what it looks like to eat a balanced diet. Make sure that you are serving your family at least 3 servings of vegetables each day. Figure out what fruit your kids like and keep it around the house! Offer fruit as a dessert instead of cookies or ice cream.
Try to buy more whole grain carbohydrates. Most places offer whole grain options for bread, pasta, and crackers.

Exercise
Model to your kids that it is important to carve time out of your schedule to exercise. It is easy to be active when you are involved in sports, but what will happen when your child is no longer involved in their sporting activities? They will do what you do! Do you make the time to be active as an adult? Make time to get outside and “PLAY” with your kids. Invite them to workout with you.
Don’t spend too much time in front of your TV or on your phone.

Sleep
Get your kids (and yourself) on a good sleep schedule, at least 8 hours/night. Studies show that kids who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children ages 6–12  regularly sleep 9–12 hours/day and teenagers ages 13–18 should sleep 8–10 hours/ day. Limit the use of technology in the evenings to improve sleep quality.

You don’t have to change everything all at once. Try tackling one of these tips at a time.
Your kids don’t do as you say when it comes to healthy living; they do as you do. Model to your kids how to live a healthy lifestyle and invite them to do it with you!