Saturday, January 23, 2016

How To Demand More From Yourself Today For An Easier Tomorrow

Demand more from yourself today for and easier tomorrow, have you heard that before?

 One of my favorite sayings and by the way, I have many when it comes to keeping me motivated and mentally strong and, I will paraphrase here

 " Be Hard On Yourself  And Life is Easy, Be Easy On Yourself And Life Is Hard"

That does not mean we have to beat ourselves up both mentally and physically, it means if we do the things that need to be done today for instance eating clean healthy, nutritious meals with plenty of high quality proteins and, green leafy vegetables  for instance, we more then likely will have an easier time getting around and surviving the ravages of aging  later down the road.

It means demanding more of ourselves by saying no today to friends that want to keep you out to all hours of the night while you miss the much needed rest you need to get your hind end into the gym  and, get that strength training done that will make you a stronger senior citizen tomorrow.

It means saying no to people or jobs that is stressing you out today, for a better quality of life tomorrow.

I went through this myself years ago, and believe me, the best thing I ever did was walk away and decide, my tomorrow cannot be decided by outsiders that don't give a damn today!

It means putting ourselves in uncomfortable positions today through job change, relationship
change if needed, moving elsewhere if needed and, not procrastinating thinking tomorrow is a better day because it isn't.

I've worked in the medical field now for over 21 years, I can say now I have seen the costs people have to pay mentally and physically as they age because they took the easy way out earlier in life.

Couldn't say no to the constant poor choices in diet, and couldn't muster up the gumption to get into a gym or start an exercise program years ago to possibly ward off some if not all of the chronic and high cost of their medical problems and care today.

Therefore life has become hard for those people today.

You need to be hard on yourself to do the things that will make you grow both mentally and physically by not looking for excuses why it cannot be done today but, to understand your quality of life will depend on the decisions you make today.

Being hard on yourself means sticking to a clean healthy diet throughout the year, who cares about the holidays, be more committed to healthy and strong rather then falling off the wagon for three weeks then, having to play catch up for the next six weeks.

It means having a strong work ethic when it time to get your butt to the fitness center at 5:00 in the morning, Its having the fortitude to get up and not make excuses why today is not the day.

It means being hard on yourself today to read books on mental toughness and how to live your life like a champion today so it pays dividends when the storm of old age starts to creep up on you.

I do not deal very well with the physical breakdown that comes to all of us as we age therefore, I do my best to stay upbeat and remember the great books I  have read on mental toughness and how to work with what you got, in other words, as the US marines say, " improvise , adapt, and overcome".

Expect more of yourself both mentally and physically by looking for ways to build a solid foundation of physical and mental health through tough physical exercise and reading passages daily from inspiring non-fiction books on desire, commitment and self discipline and overall mental toughness.

You either pay the price today or, you pay tomorrow but, you will pay at some point. While you have your health and vitality today, now is the time to get on track and plan for that easier life, not entirely problem free but, easier life tomorrow.


Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC






Tuesday, January 5, 2016

My First Experience With a Cortisone Shot For Knee Pain

Cortisone Injections offer pain relief for chronic arthritic pain.
For many of us over 50, there is nothing that can be more problematic then chronic knee pain to slow your current lifestyle down and, make some days downright miserable.

After having my first knee replacement in 1999 and experiencing the chronic bone on bone pain prior to surgery, you learn quickly when the opposite knee starts in on the degenerative process and you quickly recognize the pain, that something needs to be done.

I started that investigative process on my left knee as on my last set of x-rays taken, knew that the medial compartment or, the inside of my knee had started giving me trouble and I knew quickly I was going to be more assertive in handling it this time around.

Life is too short to be in chronic pain when there are remedies for it.

I went to my orthopedic doctor on November 30, 2015 and after about 6 minutes of consultation was ready to try my first cortisone injection in my knee. I had known about this process for many years and, knew some individuals had better results then others after the injection.

After agreeing to try the injection, the doctor sprayed my knee with a pain analgesic  to numb the area where the needle will penetrate, in my case it was medial compartment pain, where by the way most people will experience their problems.

 The injection will go into the lateral or outside of the knee to begin with and quite honestly after receiving the analgesic spray, did not feel the needle being injected.

The injection is given on the opposite side of the degenerated area so that the medication can penetrate it. If you are very close to bone on bone, the medication will not be able to get to the arthritic site due to the very tight opening caused by bone spurring.

I did feel some sensation of the cortisone being delivered into the knee but nothing to speak of.

After receiving the injection I will tell you , I got some pain relief almost immediately but found for me it took about three days before it really kicked in and resolved my pain issue to the point wher I was literally pain free.

I have now continued to work out with weights, have not changed a thing in regards to my activity levels though I have decreased my weights somewhat on the leg press for example to not irritate the knee. There is no need to exacerbate the problem and ask for more trouble.

There is no doubt that at some point, the knee will have to be replaced however, I will do what I can to postpone that unless it begins to really affect my quality of life.

So the bottom line here is if you have some trepidation to give the cortisone injection a try, do not let scare tactics and stories from neighbors who will tell you about the harm the steroid will do. If you need a cortisone shot to relieve the pain because other conservative measures are not helping, the cortisone is not going to cause increased damage to a joint that is compromised anyway in the first place.

I still feel great after my injection and I will see how long this ride will last and if I can, will get another at some point.

I suspect the first injection generally works the best and their is a good chance that following injections may not work as well.

So life is full of daily challenges and if you are having pain that does not seem to relive itself, see if a cortisone shot will work for you by consulting your orthopedic surgeon.

So far mine decision to have it done and, I was given the option to go with it or not, was a good decision.

Drop me line if you have any questions about the process or, what you may have experienced so that we can share with others.

If you would like to discuss further any information regarding knee pain and /or knee replacement feel free to join my group Knee and Hip replacement Warriors.


Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"




Saturday, January 2, 2016

Three Tips To Get Stronger After Knee Replacement Surgery In 2016

No matter whether you are a hard core fitness enthusiast or, recovering from an elective joint replacement surgery, you are about to start 2016 with a clean slate and, its time to get serious about  why you want and need to be the best you can be both physically and mentally.

There is no better time to become stronger physically and mentally then there is after undergoing a joint replacement and wanting to come back to being fully functional if not stronger then you were and that is possible if you decide to make it so.

I have been through joint replacement surgery myself having a right knee replaced back in 1999 and the knee is still going strong after years of weight training.

Three items that I found to be important after knee replacement surgery and that I still do on a consistent basis is, strength training on the replaced joint, maintaining proper nutrition to keep my weight in check and, I do not use my joint replacement as an excuse to begin "taking it easy'.

Let me touch on those three points very briefly.

1. Strength Training: I am a big advocate of weight training as we get older to keep our muscle mass in tact and, to keep our bodies strong to enjoy a high quality of life and to be sure that I get the most out of the replaced joint.

I work legs at least two times a week using exercises like air squats, the leg press, knee extensions and hamstrings curls. Keeping your calves strong with exercises like calf raises, both standing and seated to keep the gastroc and soleus muscles strong are vital to keeping your replaced knee or knees highly operational.

Of course the weight I use has to be tempered to some degree these days but I do not skip legs because of the knee replacement. In fact, I generally will isolate the exercises on the affected leg to be sure the replaced knee gets stronger and that my unoperated leg does not take on the majority of work load as it will have a tendency to do.

If you are not strength training and working your legs after surgery, I recommend you start today.

2. Proper Nutrition:  Most of us who have undergone either a knee or hip replacement have been told by our surgeon and, should understand the importance of weight control by now. The heavier we become the less time we will be given on the replaced body part before a revision is in order.

By dumping the processed foods and garbage you get through the drive thru at one of the local burger joints, you should now be eating more lean types of protein, along with more vegetables and fiber.

Increasing your water intake and staying away form canned sodas will help tremendously in reducing your body weight and strengthening your body. Your muscles love water after all, they consist of predominately water like all the other organs of the body.

3. No Excuse Zone:  After joint replacement surgery and once you have been given medical clearance you will have been told what and what you should not be doing, weight training and exercise is not on that list.

Of course you do want to load your squat bar for instance with 315 pounds and start  hitting high repetitions with it, you can still lift but, you will now use moderate weight and of course that is subjective, just use common sense. It makes better sense now to use a lighter weight and use higher repetitions in the 15-20 range or even consider going higher.

 Include in your workouts a cardio program to help in the weight reduction department and, with getting blood flow to the replaced joint. This of course helps tremendously in your overall strength and conditioning as well.

I prefer and have used for years stationary biking and found it has helped keep my replaced knee stay strong and conditioned to walk for miles without becoming fatigued.

Now some of these ideas may not be followed  by the 85 year old patient who is just looking to be able to effectively walk and stay pain free, Joint replacement surgery is being done now on younger patients like myself at 59 years old, who have yet not turned in their gym membership yet and. do not plan on it.

With the advances made in knee replacement surgery today and, the minimally evasive techniques used, the process of getting stronger with a little bit of concentrated effort and having a full recovery are easier then ever if the time and commitment are executed.

Only you can make it happen, take the time and make the commitment to come back stronger then ever after surgery.

If you have ideas to share and, would like to join our discussion on knee and hip replacement, join my group, Knee and Hip Replacement Warriors.

Richard Haynes PTA, Certified Personal Trainer
Total Joint Fitness LLC











Saturday, December 26, 2015

Train Your Body Like There Is No Tomorrow

You are awarded only so many training sessions in life.
When it comes to fitness and life in general we all would like to think that we "give it all we got". If the truth be known , many of us are coasting through life in more ways then one.

Take for example when it comes to our fitness or physical rehabilitation routine. When we think about it, are we giving it all we can? Are we really pushing it to the limits?

Most of us that have been reading this blog or the multitude of fitness blogs out on the web know or have heard somewhere that, " the body is a slave to the mind" its not the other way around however., many will give up on an exercise or will not push through the pain or discomfort that comes from rehabilitating an injury.

Once a little discomfort arises many will stop, many will give up!

Sure there is good pain and there is bad pain, but muscular discomfort is needed at times to produce muscular growth and strength just like adversity in life turns us into stronger individuals mentally if we do not give up.

But understanding and  coming to grips that, we have limited time on this earth, will make many  want to make each of their workouts count and to be sure that we give it our all. I think we can agree that should go with everything we do in life, but as fitness enthusiasts or if your coming back from knee replacement surgery for instance , just some days will be better then others. It can be tough business giving life 100% everyday right?

To be sure you give your next workout or physical therapy session your  very best and leave no regrets on the table, be sure you you know precisely what you will be training on your next session or workout and then run through in your mind the actual training session.

One of my favorite saying is " Perparation  breeds confidence" the more organized you are the more efficient you become.

In other words visualize the training session so that both your mind and body will get a feel for what is expected of it and you will find your sessions much more productive.

This is nothing new. Olympic and professional athletes have done this for years prior to competition and, we now know through scientific studies, that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between the real workout and one that you are visualizing and, if you put some emotion behind it, it just magnifies the results.

Making sure you are staying away from distractions will help in your concentration levels and will help you in coordinating that mind-muscle link you want to create and tap into  to get the most out of your training sessions.

Concentrate on the task at hand if you want the best from both your mind and body, casual chit-chat can wait until later, your time in the gym or clinic is limited!

By visualizing your strength training session or physical therapy session beforehand, and concentrating on developing your body and, knowing you want it to look like or how you want it to respond after surgery, will assure you that once you hit the gym or PT clinic that you will be training your body like there is no tomorrow.


Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness





Thursday, December 24, 2015

Why Discipline Feels So Good

The word discipline, this word alone makes many a man and women shake in their boots," Who me, be disciplined, I never was and at this point in my life whats the use  besides, I just want to take it easy, I have worked hard enough".

These are the words of someone who is both mentally and physically defeated and  yet cant understand way they feel and look like they do.

Many in today's society feel aging in life means the wheels start to fall off both mentally and physically.

Nothing can be further from the truth. To get our lives back in order will require getting both our minds and body functioning again so that we may live a life of quality and independence.

And you cannot have one without the other. One of the most important places to start when it comes to getting control of both our health and building our mental resolve, is to practice and develop self discipline.

Just the act of doing something that you said you were going to do and then doing it for instance, elevates your self confidence and begins the process of building force and momentum in your life.

becoming disciplined by getting up at  a certain time each morning, starting your day with a thought out  exercise program to build the type of body that will make you feel proud again can be easily done by practicing the art of self discipline.

Excuses and reasons that something cannot be done has to be thrown out of your mental vocabulary once and for all. If anything in life is important to you you will find a way right?

Just taking something small each day like getting up early enough to prepare a healthy breakfast that's high in protein and low in fats is a start, you can then begin to build on small tasks each day until you begin to get more organized and, get that feeling of accomplishment going.

Once you get into the habit of developing the discipline to follow thru on your daily promises to yourself you then become unstoppable in life.

Continuing to feel listless and being overweight for instance is more then likely a simple case of not being  disciplined  enough in your daily habits when it comes to your dietary choices, your lack of an adequate exercise program and, possibly your inconsistent sleep patterns.

Having the discipline to turn the TV off at a certain hour for instance and, to make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep a night will help in fine tuning your new and improved disciplined lifestyle.

Frustration in life rises from a lack of self discipline and the consequences that follow, beat each one of us down mentally if not corrected.

So why does discipline feel so good? Because it elevates our self esteem, builds self confidence and sets us on a path toward achieving our goals physically and mentally once we learn how to postpone what we want today, for the thrill of short term gratification and,learning to see and feel what we envision to be our long term results.

The key to looking good and feeling good starts with a dose of self discipline and learning that you are in full control of your life and also how you look and feel.

Just decide how bad to you want it?


Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC.




Friday, December 11, 2015

Building a Stronger Tomorrow Through Habits Developed Today

Be prepared to stand tall and fight the ravages of aging.
Anyone that knows me understands that I am a big believer in preparing for tomorrow both mentally and physically. You cannot leave your physical and mental destiny to chance and hope for the best, you have to start working on it and creating it.

One of my favorite sayings is "preparation breeds confidence" I am big into prep work when it comes to having a say in how healthy I will be in my later years and, how mentally tough I will need to be as I get older.

The same can be said for all of you as well. I ask the question what are you doing today to prepare for tomorrow? Are you reading good inspiring books that motivate you and challenge you to be stronger physically and mentally?

Have you ditched those friends and family members that should have received an Oscar for the drama they create or try to create in your life? You no longer will have time for negative drama time.

Are you trimming down on the TV hours and listening to the garbage we get for news that does nothing but pollute your mind and try to convince you that the world is coming to and end? By the way, didn't society say that to back in 1960s? Sure its good to keep updated on whats taking place around you locally and world events but, not get riled up about something you have no control over anyway.

Two strong habits you should be installing right now into your daily routine is physical exercise and, spending at least 30 minutes reading non-fiction materiel to educate you on how to train your mind to create your future.

Though I understand that getting older is a part of life and its all how you think about it and perceive it, I still say however, getting older is a bitch. And I say that not from a mental aspect as I am, much wiser and experienced then I was at 20, I say it because I have to come to terms as my wife says, to the fact I cannot physically handle the weights in the gym like I used to for instance.

I find as I age and so do all of us fitness enthusiasts by the way, that we do not heal as fast as we did and coming up with a pulled muscle or, other orthopedic injuries gets to be all to common.

To help combat the trials and tribulations of getting older and preparing to be the best you can be, starts  with have a daily morning ritual of consuming copious amounts of fresh water first thing in the morning and having an exercise routine that you complete each day come hell or high water before starting your day.

Finding excuses and other reasons not to work out sucks and, will get you falling further behind and your ultimate surrender to the day rather then you being victorious!

Strength training for the entire body along with  stretching for instance and adding a cardiovascular routine as well, will get you prepared for the upcoming years where gravity and  father time will begin to rear its ugly head and tests your resolve as a human being.

Looking at your schedule and finding 20- 30 minutes to read a good book to infuse your mind with power thoughts and motivation is important. as well before you hit the road and, while driving to work all the while thinking, how many more days to retirement?

These two habits for instance in my estimation should be done first thing in  the morning before going to work. Find the time to get to bed earlier so that you can get up earlier. So you are not the life of the party or the homeowners association, so what, remember, you are doing today what no one is doing so that you can do tomorrow what no one can.

People think only about preparing financially for the future but put little thought on their physical and mental preparation which lets be honest, will be the key to a successful and fulfilled life.

The discipline to work on these two habits to help elevate your life as you age and get your  prepared for another chapter in your life as that retirement age approaches, will take a concerted effort. Take it slowly at first. You will not climb that mountain in one day, take small steps with both your exercise and reading program.

Don't expect perfection at first, give it 30 days to start feeling and seeing the effects of both. Most people quit right before they are about to see and feel the success.

The take home message is this, get yourself geared up both mentally and physically for those years that will take its toll on you if you are not prepared to take on the stress of aging on your body and then, prepare your mind with powerful motivating material to handle that next phase so you become mentally tough.

Aging to a large extent is all about how our minds think about and perceive it. It can be anything you want it to be and, you do not have to let age define and limit your accomplishments however, you do have to be both mentally and physically fit to conquer your world.

Press on my fellow warriors, be ready to do battle and become victorious.



Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC








Monday, December 7, 2015

Keeping Both Sides of Our Bodies Strong With Unilateral Strength Training

I have found over the many years I have been strength training along with, developing multiple injuries either through wear and tear on my body or, injuries I sustained when I was younger now coming home to roost through arthritic symptoms, have caused me to change my approach somewhat when it comes to weight training.

Many older adults will find as we age that one side of our bodies whether its with our upper extremities or lower extremities tend to have one limb stronger then the other.

This can come from previous injuries or just our dominant side taking over causing an unbalanced strength levels and muscular atrophy level as well.

I for instance have one leg that is stronger then the other from  a knee replacement  and one arm and shoulder stronger and carrying a bit more muscle then the other thorough orthopedic injuries from a ruptured bicep tendon and a shredded rotator cuff all on the same side, yikes.

What I do when I go to the gym I make sure I spend time in developing now both sides of the body equally as the stronger side will kick in and take on the majority of the work load if I am not careful.

You have to be aware of this and make a plan to work equally on both sides to be sure there is some strength and muscular balance between the two sides.

I find the strength training equipment that we have in most respectable gyms have unilateral capabilities like Hammer Strength and another one of my favorites called Free Motion.

There are others out there but these two I am more familiar with and use extensively.

There is no secret in how to use them for unilateral strength training, you just need to be disciplined enough to include them in your daily workouts.

I use this method each session when it comes to working my chest , shoulder, back and legs. In fact just about every workout now I include this system as I want to maintain as much muscle on both sides of the body for cosmetic reasons and of course strength reasons as well.

For instance my left shoulder is at least 50% weaker then my right due to a destroyed rotator cuff that I have been told is " nothing we can do' by two orthopedic surgeons. Therefore, I am doing everything I can to keep the area strong and functioning with modified exercises and unilateral strengthening.

During physical rehabilitation, unilateral strength training and range of motion is quite common after coming off an orthopedic surgery for instance, so this is not a new unproven system or fitness fad.

Its also a way to help break up and change your overall fitness routine even if you are not recovering from an injury and would like to stress the muscle differently for a change. Change creates new stress, new stress creates new growth!

Unilateral strength training is a fantastic way to bring up those lagging body parts that all lifters and fitness enthusiasts have especially as we begin to age.

Give it a try and drop me line if you have any questions regarding this topic or if you have experienced it and the results you have achieved.


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







Saturday, December 5, 2015

Three Tips On Accelerating Your Recovery After Knee Replacement

After going through knee replacement surgery, and getting yourself out of the hospital some of you may  be headed to a skilled nursing facility for further care if you have no support at home and, most of you will be going home.

After all in today's health
care system, you are booted out of the hospital in two to three days max and I have heard of some cases where some may be in overnight only.

In other words once you clear that hurdle and you have cleared some of the cob webs from the  anesthesia,  you should begin to turn your mindset on how to start the recovery process and making sure you have a successful outcome.

Of course there are a multitude of ideas that you will want to do to make the recovery as complete as possible however, I have given you just three quick tips on speeding things up a bit.

Tip #1  During the initial recovery the importance will be your dedication and commitment in following the home exercise program as instructed and listening to your body as to what it is telling you.

As obvious as some may think that is, there are some people also that still will require some coaching and encouragement to push themselves harder then they have in the past. Of course there will be some pain involved, that what the pain medication is for, use it. Now is not the time to become passive, if you expect results you have to pay a price, that price is discipline.

 The importance of completing the home exercise program two to no more then three times a day is vital to attain knee mobility in those first few weeks before scar tissue sets in inside the knee capsule and begins to restrict further movement.

 Tip #2  Maintaining a pro- active attitude when it comes to reducing the swelling as much as possible and feeding your body the proper nutrients to recover from the surgical procedure is needed to help accelerate the process.

Proper nutrition meaning this is not the time to go on a diet. Now's  the the time to eat high quality, high protein meals and green vegetables to feed the muscles to help them recover and get stronger.

Making sure you allot time during the day to elevate your affected leg higher then your heart to help reduce swelling with cold therapy like a well designed ice pack that encompasses your entire knee from top to bottom, this will also help in reducing pain. Its hard to stay positive and aggressive when it comes to rehabilitation if you keep your self in chronic pain 24/7.

The recovery period in my estimation will go on up to the next year after surgery. Just because physical therapy has pulled out and your orthopedic surgeon has given your the "all clear" come back and see me in a year talk, does not mean its time to coast.


Tip #3 Your next assignment should be to find you a good local gym and begin to take your strengthening and mobility to the next level.

Beginning a stationary bike program daily and moderate weight training schedule along with stretching is what will get you to the top when it comes to full and successful recovery.

I personally made gains in strength and mobility after my knee replacement surgery for many months after I began going to the gym and working out to get my right leg and knee up to par.

I biked 5 days a week and worked my legs 2 times a week with a leg press and leg extension machine for example.

Of course I made sure all the muscles surrounding the knee are worked that includes your hamstrings and calves.

By following an extensive exercise program , I was able to accelerate and achieve more then I thought was possible with my new knee replacement.

The bottom line is once you have had knee, hip, or shoulder replacement surgery, you can consider yourself to be in physical rehabilitation for life.

And after all whats so bad about that?

You not only will feel better both mentally and physically , you also will look pretty damn good as well.



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