Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dynamic Bodies, Dynamic Minds

Dynamic bodies and dynamic minds, that is something we all should be striving for as the sand in the hour glass regarding our lives, continues to decrease. This is reality so lets face it.

Keeping yourself physically and mentally fit is not a once or twice a week thing its an all the time thing we should be working at if, we want to live the quality of life that we all desire.

For some of us staying physically active is a no brainier. We all have heard by now the importance of staying active to help maintain our independence later in life. Staying active though means many things to many people.

A walk around the block once a day though better then nothing, will not cut it when it comes to staying strong and physically fit.  Its about time for many of you to increase your workload and push your bodies further then you have before.

A physical fitness program no matter what your age should include  weight training, cardio and stretching components.

What about staying strong mentally and having an open and dynamic thinking mind? What is the purpose of shutting down your belief system as you age and become dormant when it comes to learning new information and possibly considering that the things we thought were true or gospel, may actually be wrong?

Many older adults seem to shut down their learning curve as we age because it  takes hard work to be mentally disciplined to learn a new skill both mentally and physically.

To live a happy and healthier life , we all need to challenge ourselves to grow daily.

Currently we are living in a country that could accomplish anything it put its mind too, we were a can do country now, we are a can't do country, in other words, resting on our laurels and what we once were. The world has begun to pass us by. Do not fall victim of the same negativity that seems to guide the country. Do not rest on your previous accomplishments or feel you cannot do something any longer, that's a losers mentality and as we age life can become a battle if not prepared.

Be a person that would rather be in motion both physically and mentally rather then someone that feels their best is behind them and has decided to stop and, live a slow death.

Feed your body with progressive physical activity and feed your mind with good motivating material that will spur you on to taking responsibility, for your life by living a clean, healthy life.

Be in the one percent club that has a disciplined mind and body exercise routine daily.

There is no excuse for giving up, live your life to the fullest by working daily both your mind and body to get the health you want and freedom to live like you want to live.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

See Your Fitness And Rehabilitation Success First In Your Mind

How many of us go through life without giving a thought to how we should prepare our minds first before we start the day? How about, going through your physical rehabilitation or, your fitness routines to lose weight and get stronger after surgery or a major illness without any thought just how important our thoughts are in determining our success?

I am a big believer in stressing the importance the role your mind plays in your success, when I am working with either a patient or client in the fitness realm in obtaining successful results.

Of course my physical therapy work involves many geriatric patients that either disregard this fact or, they do not have the cognitive skills any longer to absorb quite frankly what your talking about.

Instead of mindlessly going through exercises during rehabilitation or strength training during your fitness routine, your personal trainer or physical therapist should be stressing the importance of mentally preparing yourself first as well.

I for instance when going to the gym in the morning, I visualize my routine many times over before ever setting foot in the gym.

If you are rehabilitating a knee after knee replacement surgery or, other medical condition , you should have run mentally in your mind  the exercise program first and seen yourself recovering and seeing  what you will look and feel like when your recovery is complete.

If your personal trainer for instance is not spending time preparing you mentally for what you both are trying to accomplish then, you are working at 50% of your maximum! Your mind is the most powerful force you have and, that may have ever been created in this universe, why in the world do most of us not use it?

 We did not come into this world with a manual on how to use our minds and, no doubt we in 2014 have just scratched the surface in what it can do.

If you are training to improve and get into the best physical shape you have been in or, recovering from surgery, then learn to get into the habit of spending some quiet time before starting and, see yourself being successful and, see how you want to look and feel.

Leaving the equation out of using your mind to help you get to where you want to be in life is not arming yourself to your full capacity.

See yourself being successful and feeling and looking good first in your mind will make the body follow.

Remember what  I have said in previous posts, the body follows the mind, not the other way around.

Learn to look and feel your very best.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Sunday Morning Ritual

I recently started a new Sunday morning ritual that gets me started not only feeling energized physically but, energized mentally as well.

I am an advocate of daily exercise not only for the general public of course but, I really emphasize exercise and increasing both our mental and physical fitness to all of you like myself that have undergone a total knee, hip, or shoulder replacement.

In fact, anyone that has undergone a previous medical or orthopedic surgery should be after getting cleared by your surgeon, taking your fitness levels to a new high or benchmark in other words.

I  started as a new challenge to myself, to walk at a good brisk pace for one hour on Sunday mornings. I like to do this between the hours of 6-7:00 am before breakfast.

During that walk, I also bring my  I pod with me and listen to an audio books that helps give me the mental energy to forge ahead and continue to grow and challenge myself both mentally and physically.

Right now I have been listening to " As You Think " by James Allen. I allow it to continue to play and replay throughout that hour walk.

Walking early in the am after taking in a protein drink and hydrating myself with water, allows me to get in an additional cardio session and keeps my legs strong and helps with the muscular endurance needed to make it through each day.

I always recommend to my physical therapy patients that after you get discharged from your rehabilitation program,  to get involved in a daily exercise routine to keep the muscles around your new joint replacement strong and active and this, will  allow you to get many years out of the new prosthesis.

Also, getting started on a walking or biking program before breakfast will also help in reducing those unwanted pounds you may have picked up prior to surgery. And remember now that you either have a new knee or hip replacement, staying leaner and stronger is where you want to be if you expect to get back into some form of a functional lifestyle.

So challenge yourself to step your fitness and weight loss program and set up a structured exercise program of walking or biking as just one part of an overall program to become the best physically and mentally that you can become after joint replacement surgery.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Saturday, August 30, 2014

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" 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pain Is Temporary, Regret Is Forever

" Pain is temporary , regret is forever" what a powerful statement when it comes to your physical rehabilitation or physical fitness program. In fact, every physical therapy clinic or gym should have these words of wisdom put up in plain site for all those who walk in.

When it comes down to your rehabilitation after joint replacement surgery, Sure we know its painful and anyone that tells you it is not is not being realistic. Who in the world told you it wouldn't be painful anyway?

There comes a price you as the patient have to pay when it comes to physical rehabilitation as far as doing your exercises as instructed by the physical therapist along with,paying the price now to be sure you are consistent not only in the physical rehabilitation program now but, long after the surgery is done as well.

If you want long lasting results with your knee, hip, or shoulder mobility and strength and, I think everyone does then, you have to go through some pain and discomfort now or forever live with the physical limitations that persist after.

How many times have you heard a neighbor or friend tell you that they " knew someone that had knee replacement surgery but did not do their exercises"?

How many times have you heard or knew someone that had a gym membership but " did not go"?

You will not get results unless you pay a physical and mental price. The physical price is you will have to learn to deal with the pain after joint replacement surgery as it is only temporarily or otherwise known as surgical pain.

How many people say they want to lose weight or get stronger but do not go through the mental and physical discomfort of consistent exercise?

 The mental price is having the discipline or mental toughness to do what you know has to be done to have a successful recovery or to lose that extra 25 pounds you want to get off before surgery.

By not forging ahead and attacking your physical rehabilitation or fitness goals now and learning to be able to withstand some pain and overall discomfort now will come back to haunt you the rest of your life.

Work hard now, train with a vengeance now and, enjoy the fruits of your labor the rest of your life by having a functional and mobile lifestyle.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Three Tips To Help You Achieve Maximum Results In The Gym Or With Physical Rehabilitation

Whether you are working out in the gym in regards to your general fitness or, completing your physical rehabilitation exercises program, there are some crossover when it comes to getting the most efficient, yet productive workout that you can possibly get.

Your success in the gym or, at home during your physical rehabilitation can be assured by following a simple strategy.

All too often I see both in the gym and my home health business, clients or patients that are not either physically or mentally prepared to take on the exercise assignments. To be productive and to make a difference in your fitness or rehabilitation, I find there are key components that will help you get the results you need to be successful.

1.  Stay Focused On Your Goal.  I don't have to tell you how important it is to stay focused and concentrate on what you want to achieve. When it comes to the gym its easy to get distracted by others. When you are at home, distractions include the TV, friends stopping by, etc... use your full concentration to help apply all the strength both physical and mental you can get together to help in either losing the weight you have targeted or, strengthening and rehabilitating your injuries.

2. Prepare Your Body and Mind With a Proper Warm-Up. Getting prepared for your  workout or, physical rehabilitation involves getting your body as a whole ready. A warm-up of lets say five minutes of either stretching, brisk walking or my favorite, using a stationary bike to get the muscles, joints, etc... warmed up is vital to avoid injuries. The older we get the more time we need to put into the preparation.

It also helps in getting your mind locked in to the exercise or rehab program. Mental clarity is key if you expect to be successful!

3. Avoid Over Training. I have mentioned this in previous posts but I still will run across this problem either in the gym or in home health. many of us still are from the old school of " the more the better".

Your body will not respond to treatment like this. In fact you end up negating your previous gains if any, by beating your body into submission. Whether you are trying to build more muscle or, rehabilitating from an orthopedic surgery, caution needs to be used. And for those of you over 50, including myself, read tip #3 again

One of the best things you can learn either as a fitness enthusiast or, during your rehabilitation program is listen to your body. It is very wise and it will give you signals when you need to slow down and take some time off.

Your progress will depend on a  number of factors however these three tips will get you started in the right direction. You have no time to waste.

If you expect success and to reach your goals, you must use simple tried and true rules to get the most out of the your body.


            Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
            Total Joint Fitness LLC

"Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Keeping Your Legs Strong To Prevent Muscle Atrophy and Falls

Heel Raises is one of the best exercises for balance!
Keeping your legs strong either before or after surgery is something you want to focus on to prevent unnecessary pain, general weakness and potential falls.

A majority of the problems I face with seniors on a daily basis in my profession is allowing their legs to lose muscle mass, get weaker and ultimately lead to falls and joint pain that can be prevented or greatly reduced.

On the topic of falls, of course there are multiple factors involved including vision acuity, prescription medications and cognitive abilities. For this post however, I want to cover general strengthening for a moment.

You do not need fancy workout machines nor do you need to spend half of your day exercising either. I tell my patients and clients that if they would work on just three or four simple body-weight exercises once a day, it would probably put me out of business.

The exercises I recommend and teach are:
  • Heel and Toe Raises
  • Hip Abduction and Adduction
  • Hamstring Curls
  • Partial Mini Squats.

Of course there are many more but, simplicity and efficiency is paramount in teaching and expecting exercise compliance. Most people I see anyway are not really interested and what I have to sell, that's right, everyone receiving physical therapy are not as motivated a many people think.

Leg strengthening exercises can be taught with the patient supine or standing, that will depend on their level of conditioning and current level of function.

The exercises above, I  start with one set of each with my patient doing 10 repetitions. Once that rep scheme is mastered then, we increase the intensity by adding more repetitions for instance. There are numerous ways to add intensity to the exercises but again, the patients functional status, age, etc... has to be considered when increasing intensity.

I tend to stay away from exercises that will exacerbate acute pain or add low back problems for instance.

Make it a point to keep your legs strong after surgery once your physical rehabilitation is over or, work on a strengthening program about six weeks prior to having knee or hip replacement surgery, it helps immensely in speeding up your recovery.

If you have any questions or comments about the exercises or, would like a copy of the exercise program emailed to you, simply comment or leave your information in the comment box below.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Knee Replacement Rehabilitation Is Not Linear

Knee Replacement rehabilitation is not linear, in other words, what I stress to my patients and clients is to expect the unexpected at times. Every day is a new day and you will, experience  variations after surgery As much as I mentally prepare them to expect the typical ups and downs of pain and swelling that goes with this type of surgery, it still seems to catch many off guard.

Those first several weeks once you get home can be very challenging. You will have some good days and expect to have some rough ones as well. Rough meaning your surgical knee will swell more or, you will experience more pain and cramping for instance.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is just part of the trials and tribulations of knee replacement surgery. And, no matter how many times I inform my patients that they can and will experience this phenomena, many still are not quite sure how to deal with it and appear to be caught off guard.

There is no magic exercise or positioning of your knee that will give you relief from this experience, maybe temporary but you will not be able to avoid it.

What causes this fluctuation of pain and swelling? Additional movement in other words, staying on your feet a little longer once home, the big one is trying to ween yourself off the pain medication too fast. This is the biggest problem I find in home rehabilitation.

As you have been probably told by your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist already, expect these pain and swelling variables to continue for at least six weeks out from surgery. For some maybe longer.

You can ice your knee, elevate your knee throughout the day, monitor closely your walking and how much time you spend on your feet but, it will be difficult to avoid this experience it seems everyone has their day with it.

This is how you learn quickly what " doing too much " is, it is different for everyone. We all will have to learn the hard way in other words.

Remember, if you do experience this you are not falling behind. Too often I get patients upset , depressed, or in tears thinking they are falling behind. Nonsense! Learn to deal with it.

If you have comments or questions please leave one. If you would like to share your  experience, please leave it to share with all of your new joint replacement brothers and sisters.

Richard Haynes PTA,CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"