Saturday, October 3, 2015

Physical and Mental Fitness

Exercise and eating a low fat diet high in protein is what a body needs as we age.
As time goes on and we have a generation of us baby boomers putting heavy pressure on the US medical system, we also have fortunately a generation that is more active and beginning to understand the importance of taking better care of our bodies.

Though the number is small, more people understand that being pro-active in their healthcare will not only give them the ability to possibly cut down on future healthcare costs but, allow them to lead a much higher quality of life.

By not only taking care of our physical bodies do we feel better, look better and perform physically at a much higher level.

Also we now know that physical activity is also good for our mental outlook on life. By feeling good and looking good for instance, our self esteem increases along with our confidence levels.

Exercise that is strenuous enough, starts a cascade of hormones that promote a feeling of relaxation, well-being, stimulates muscle growth and, of course helps us sleep much better at night too.

Endorphin's for instance is just one hormone that gives you that peaceful feeling after strenuous exercise. There are a host of others like the increase in the production of growth hormone and testosterone just to name a couple.

This is all proven science and written about ad nauseam on the internet.

The idea here is that when you work the body in a committed strenuous exercise program with consistency, you are also training your mind an increasing it fitness as well.

Whether its through improving blood flow to the brain or increasing our feeling of well-being, our minds benefit from exercise as well.

Its been said and reported that some of the best medicine that can be prescribed for depression  may be a obtaining a gym membership and using it!

However you shake it out, the mind and body are strongly connected in everything you do. If you plan on living a healthy and more fulfilling life as you age, get going in developing a strength and cardiovascular exercise program now.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC
Bradenton, Florida.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Life After 50, You Are In Charge Now How To Keep Those Years Golden

The Golden Years, we all have heard about them, but for many of the people I deal with from day to day due to my occupation, the years have not been so golden, more like cheap copper for most.

Now there are many ways that someone can help in assuring that their retirement years coming up soon will be golden, because I am more interested in the health aspect of those years which also bleeds into your overall quality of life and financial resources to work with as well.

You see, your health is tied in directly to your finances as well right? We all heard of the adage " health is wealth" you can have all the money in the world but if you have lived a destructive lifestyle then, that money that you worked so hard to accumulate, will be passed on  the people like me in the medical community.

Most doctors and hospitals are more then happy to take your money, after all they have to make a living too.

One of the ways you can be proactive in your overall health care in the 21st century is to become informed and active in a committed exercise program, combined with a solid nutritional program as you age.

You see, our bodies are like your automobile that gets older with accumulated miles on it, it needs preventive maintenance on it  to run smoothly and to help keep the breakdowns to a minimum, so does your body.

Your health and life in general, does not care what you used to do for exercise or, how you lived or, who you knew, when you were younger, it cares about today, what are you doing today?

You should have a plan to get up first thing in the morning and spend time on your exercise program followed by a hearty ,nutritious breakfast to get your mind and body prepared for the day.

I recommend early in the morning because as the day goes on in our busy day to day lives, putting your exercise program off until later in the day means the chances skyrocket that you will not get it done.

Put the time in today to get working on your physical exercise program and, start planning your meals in advance to assure you are eating properly and not eating on a binge program because you do not have anything prepared at home.

Poor meal planning alone counts for the increase in obesity and unhealthy amounts of body fat that degrade your health in general.

Preparation in life is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.

Either you take the time today to work on both your mental and physical health or, plan on having someone else do it for you later in life at a cost that will leave you dependent on someone else to care for you and, possibly financially strapped to boot!

Sure, we cannot tell what will take place in the future due to other variables however, you can play a major role in your own destiny when it comes to your health and finances by taking a good long hard look where you are at now and where you want to be tomorrow.

Put your hands around your future today by being aggressive in planning your own healthcare through exercise and quality nutritional practices.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC
Bradenton, Florida.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Air Squats After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Over the past 15 years after knee replacement surgery, I have noticed more loosening inside the joint in other words their is more joint play as the polyethylene components wear over the years. There is no pain or discomfort involved just a little more " clunking" inside the knee in certain positions.

This is expected over the many years I have been not only walking and on my feet all day but, with the resistance training as well.

I do not squat with heavy poundage's any longer but, one of the exercises I still do twice a week is the air squat.

Air squats is an exercise that you use with your body weight only.  I also immediately superset the air squats with leg extensions for instance to add intensity to the exercise. I may for instance do 20-25 air squats and immediately  follow with 15 leg extensions. I perform three to four sets total with 30 to 60 second rest period between sets.

This is not only a good strengthening routine for your legs but, a nice cardiovascular workout as well.

The idea with the leg squat is to lower yourself as deep as possible, not only does this work your quadriceps and hamstrings but, kicks in the glutes as well, a muscle group that most older Americans if asked, think that it is used for sitting only.

Another exercise combination I use to keep my knee replacement and, legs in general strong is air squats combined with barbell or dumbbell straight legged deadlifts. These work again not only your glutes but, is a great compound exercise for your hamstrings.

The key that I have mentioned in multiple posts over the years is the importance of keeping your knee replacement strong by strengthening the muscles that support the knee joint itself.

Walking alone will not get it done. The geriatric crowd many that I see for instance, would not be able to do air squats or progressive hamstring work that I have mentioned but, for you boomers like myself that are not ready to roll over and die because I have a joint replacement, these are just a couple of effective exercises you can do.

I have done them for over 15 years now so I am living proof they will not harm you. Just make sure if you are not active to begin with, to work yourself up slowly to the exercises mentioned.

Keeping your legs and body in general strong and with lean muscle as we age and after surgery is the best way to assure a better, more vibrant quality of life and looking pretty darn good isn't so bad either.

Richard Haynes PTA,CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness And Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Friday, September 18, 2015

Building Muscle After 50, Keep The Protein Content High

Its no secret among fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders alike that to build muscle, your nutrition can be anywhere from 50% to 75 % of the success code needed to help build muscle and develop strength.

Those percentages will depend on what article you read or, who you speak with. Our muscles thrive on protein and a large part of their make-up is protein. Our entire body needs protein to build and keep itself healthy.

I see too many older adults who have not grasped this idea and unless they are adding resistance training into their weekly exercise routines, suffer a sharp decrease in lean muscle mass as they age.

I am in that battle as well, I personally weight train five to six days a week to stay healthy and strong as I look to work and stay active for many years to come.

Where  our protein consumption comes in is vital to your success when it comes to keeping as much lean muscle as you can and, staying fit.

You will find on the internet everything form taking in 0.75  % of your body weight in grams to 1.5% in grams per pound of body-weight.

I personally shoot for 1.0 grams of protein per pound  of body-weight and better yet, if you can get tested at the local gym or medical facility you can find out what your lean body mass is in pounds and go with that number.

In other words get a body fat analysis done to see how much of your body weight is muscle and what is fat. Why feed the fat correct?

When I get up and what I would recommend to all my clients and patients who I see for general strengthening and conditioning is, to turn off the catabolic process first thing in the morning by absorbing a protein drink, or grabbing a couple of tablespoons of cottage cheese for instance.

I am a big fan of whey protein and make sure I have a container in my home for regular use each morning when I wake up and before heading to the gym. I love a nice whey protein shake first thing in the morning.

Eggs, cheese, almonds, cottage cheese, and ready made protein shakes are just several ways to get the catabolic phase turned off and get your body anabolic fast. Of course there are other proteins but, you  are looking to have something quick and convenient first thing in the morning.

You cannot afford to lose lean muscle mass at any time and especially as we age.

You can lift all the weights you want but unless you fuel your body with quality sources of protein, then your body will look for it elsewhere and guess where it goes hunting? You guessed it, it will strip it from other sources in your body namely muscle.

Become protein conscious and look closely at the fuel you are putting in your body as you age.

If you expect to live a quality life it starts by taking inventory of your exercise and nutritional  habits.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC
Personal Trainer with The American Council on Exercise

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends" 

Aging Is a Battlefield, Are You Ready?

Getting older is something we all have to face in life and along with the aging process comes multiple aches and pains that seem to come out of no where. I have faced my share of these mysterious bouts of pain and stiffness myself and, I work hard at keeping my self in good physical condition.

Many of you reading this post I am sure have gone through the same thing. We know that are bodies cannot last forever and what tends to go first with the ageing process is orthopedic problems like arthritic knees, hips, shoulders, spine and back pain and the list goes on and on.

We as older adults have to understand that we have to strengthen not only only are physical bodies but also are mental outlook. Developing mental toughness as we age is a prerequisite to helping survive some of the inconsistency of aging.

The military prepares its soldiers for battle and you as an individual will have a battle on your hands  with orthopedic breakdowns and a testing of your resolve. Yes it comes down to having a positive can do and will do attitude.

Two ways To prepare yourself is to work on body strengthening with resistance training, cardiovascular training and stretching. Of course a proper food selection and moderation goes without saying, correct?

The second phase of your preparation is to learn how to deal mentally with varying degrees of pain and overall discomfort. This comes under the title of developing mental toughness.

Your body is run and operated by your mind. Everything your body does from getting out of bed in the morning to, digesting your last meal is run and operated by your brain. Remember your body will go wherever your mind takes it.

You dwell on pain and suffering as we age, you get more pain and suffering. You will receive what your mind thinks about constantly. Remember, your body will go where your mind takes it. It is not the other way around. Your mind is in charge!.

For instance to prepare myself for those " golden years" if  I am not preparing my next workout at the gym and reading on ways to improve my body and staying fit, I am reading and studying ways to build and develop mental toughness.

If you are going through physical rehabilitation right now you know then what  I mean by getting tough both physically and mentally to endure the pain with a knee , hip, or shoulder replacement.

If you are battling some sort of chronic illness, everyday can be challenge if your not taking your medication as prescribed, eating right and staying disciplined to get some type of exercise completed to give you a fighting chance to succeed will play a vital role too.

Doing your part both physically and mentally by preparing to confront the future with optimism and a can do and will do attitude will be all up to you. Are you getting ready for the challenge?

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends" 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

When Should I Have My Knee Replaced?

This is a question that many potential knee replacement candidates will try to seek an answer to before undergoing what is considered a major surgery. Many will ask not only their neighbors and friends but, more importantly take their question to their orthopedic doctor hoping for the answer that will help in the decision making process.

There is an old adage out there that states "only you will know when it is time to get your knee or knees replaced". In other words, when the pain and discomfort become so unbearable then it will be time. When your quality of life suffers and you find yourself turning down invites to go to dinner or a movie because of knee pain then it is time.

In the world of physical therapy for instance, we prefer someone that needs to have his or her knee replaced and has sought out expert opinions on the matter through x-rays and medical consultation, get it performed before you suffer serious  muscular and physical breakdowns throughout their body.

This in turn only makes the rehabilitation process harder on you the patient.

If you have been advised by two orthopedic surgeons for instance that your knee is "bone to bone" you can rest assure that the problem will not resolve itself. Conservative physical therapy performed in my opinion will not return your knee to a pain free joint for very long. Its only a band-aid so to speak.

Conservative physical therapy will possibly buy you some time however, sooner or later you will have to pay the price with surgery.

Another alternative that your orthopedic surgeon may be able to use to postpone the inevitable will be  hyalgan shots to help lubricate the joint. Some have had good success with this process and only your surgeon will know if you are a candidate for it or not.

This is a surgery like most others in medicine that has progressed and become less invasive over the years. I find that my patients today are further ahead in their physical rehabilitation after surgery then they were 15 year ago for instance.

So how do you determine if its time to get the procedure done?  Take a look at your quality of life and understand it will not improve until the issue is resolved. And it will only be resolved at some point by surgery.

The sooner you confront this matter and take care of it, the easier the rehabilitation will become as well and your quality of  life will greatly improve.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

Monday, September 7, 2015

Your Physical Rehabilitation Begins In Your Mind

Since working with patients in physical therapy and fitness for over 20 years now, what I have found out long ago is not surprising when it comes to the general public, most of us are not in tune with our bodies.

In other words many people do not understand for instance the mind-muscle connection that helps all of us who do not this technique, how to get the most benefit from an exercise. Most will mindlessly go through a training session or rehabilitation program without an understanding of what muscle group they are training or what are they trying to achieve with an exercise.

Now I hold the Physical Therapist and or Personal Trainers responsible for educating their patients on the importance of this vital link between their clients/patients mind and body. After all, I will not expect an individual who I will treat to know anything about this topic unless they have had a serious fitness background to begin with.

Its important that you as a patient in physical therapy to understand what exercises you are being instructed in and, why they are important. What muscle group are you working? What does that particular muscle or muscle group do? How will that benefit me?

These are just a few of the questions you need to ask your fitness or physical rehabilitation professional so that you understand why and how the program you have been given will equate to a successful outcome.

By understanding the muscle and the movement you are doing, you can then learn how to tune in and concentrate on the exercise so that you can feel the muscle working and visualize new strength and size developing for instance.

I have many patients that will do an exercises and state" I do not feel anything working " or " what is this supposed to do'?

Though I know they are working the desired muscle group I am trying to strengthening or gain range of motion back in a certain joint for instance, I know the patient is not tuned in to what they should be doing to get the extra punch and benefits from the exercise.

By you understanding the exercises and how the muscle works in obtaining the movement and how it will lead to your successful rehabilitation or strengthening program, only then will you be able to maximize your efforts both physically and mentally.

Optimal physical rehabilitation and  fitness training is both a physical and mental workout. To see a physical therapist or personal trainer talking about their problems or last nights movie while you are at the time in the middle of your exercise repetitions with an exercise drives me nuts!

There is a time and place for that either during rest periods or after the session.

Your session should be geared towards total concentration mentally to get the desired effects physically.

The clearer you see your body functioning in your mind, the better your workout and results will be.

So, be sure if you do not understand why your are doing an exercise or, how an activity will benefit you, ask questions to get a better understanding of what your overall goals are and how you both expect to meet them.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends".

Monday, May 25, 2015

Constipation After a Knee Replacement

You would think the overall pain and discomfort after knee replacement surgery would be enough for any human to have to handle right? But not quite, along with the trials and tribulations of a surgical procedure as we age is something called constipation.

The older the patient, the more of a problem constipation becomes it seems. I had my knee replaced when I was 44 years of age for instance, and quite honestly do not remember constipation being on the list of things I would never forget after that surgery.

There may be several reasons why this is such an issue and, it appears if everyone no matter what there age is would follow, the problem of becoming constipated would either be greatly reduced or really become a non factor at all.

I have seen more knee replacement patients then I can count for physical rehabilitation over the years, and of all the patients that have had a real battle of constipation on their hands, it seems they fall into one of three categories,

  • You Are Not Drinking Enough Water. Many patients that I come into contact with are not drinking enough water. Many say they are but in reality they are not taking enough in. I have more then once run across family and other caregivers that indicate the patient is not drinking water like they have been instructed. Do not wait until you are thirsty either to drink, as you age your thirst mechanism is not reliable any longer and if you get thirsty more then likely you are in the beginning stages of mild dehydration already.

  • You Are Not Mobile Enough. Many patients I see as they get older generally are not walking enough after surgery. Its hard to explain to each patient how much walking they should do but, you have to listen to your body and follow the cues. Walk every hour if you can using the appropriate assitive device. If your physical therapist has started to walk you outside then , continue to follow the program each day. You may need supervision with you to start with.

  • You Have Experienced GI Tract Problems In The Past. There are some of you out there that have problems with your GI tract to begin with, either through prior surgeries or, other injuries. Though your surgeon may be aware of this, be sure you explain this to the MDS involved in your case to help resolve the issue before it gets out of hand. Your pain medications may need to be changed for instance.

 These are just three common problems we run into when it comes to problems with constipation after surgery. We in physical therapy will be pushing the mobility end of things and the high volume of water intake along with eating plenty of high fiber foods providing you are not on restrictions by your physician.

The home health nurse will be able to supply you with ideas to get your bowels moving with some ideas regarding over the counter medications, warm prune juice, a bottle of magnesium phosphate etc... Knowing if you are diabetic also will come into play regarding some mixtures.

Between the surgery itself shutting down your GI tract and on top of that, a heavy dose of potent pain medications, can make one miserable if you have not had a bowel movement in about four to five days.

Though it may be embarrassing for some of you to bring the subject up , be sure you mention to your PT or home health nurse if things are not moving like they should. In most cases your nurse and PT anyway will be attuned to the matter as it is quite common.

Keeping a regular schedule will make things a bit more tolerable during the rehabilitation process and should not be ignored. 

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Should Never End"