Athletic injuries commonly occur in patients because of lack of proper conditioning for a sport. People from all spans of demographics and all ages are trending toward more sedentary lifestyles. With the ever-growing amount of automation in the workplace, for example, the average American now spends more time in front of a screen and keyboard than actually moving their limbs and trunk to do their jobs. Vocational activities are also trending in that direction as well—with the growing popularity of computer games and social networking over a device.
Regardless of these growing trends, sports-playing and athleticism is still highly revered in the American culture. Pressure to perform is still very high. One reason for the pressure is that university scholarships are awarded to the best athletes, and the possibility of receiving one of those coveted scholarships may create a strong incentive for parents to enroll their children into sports camps; sometimes from ages as early as 3 years. When children mature and grow into their early adulthood, that pressure does not subside but rather takes another form—the drive to perform physically at one’s best gives way to the desire to look and “feel” one’s best.
A groundbreaking plan to jumpstart physical therapist research in health services and health policy is about to take a big step toward becoming a reality. The Foundation for Physical Therapy has announced that is has released its request for applications for a $2.5 million grant to create a “Center of Excellence” (COE) that would serve as a one-of-a-kind center focused on providing physical therapists with the training they need to expand the profession’s research portfolio into underrepresented areas.
The 5-year grant will be awarded to an institution or health systems network to create and oversee the Center of Excellence in Physical Therapy Health Services and Health Policy Research and Training, whose goal is to “develop sustainable research infrastructure and centralized resources to enhance interdisciplinary health services/health policy research by physical therapist scientists,” according to the request document.
A recent Wall Street Journal article highlights the rise in popularity of sandbag workouts—and the importance of sound advice from a physical therapist (PT) before taking on any new exercise regimen.
In a short article published March 3, WSJ reporter Laura Johannes describes how special sand-filled bags are replacing standard weights in workouts. The sand in the bags shifts with motion, something that supporters say works out a wider range of muscles.
Authors of a small-scale study are asserting that resistance training may increase testosterone levels in older men. Researchers believe that increased levels of the hormone may help guard against osteoporosis and increase resistance to injury from falls.
The study (abstract only available for free) is published online in the FASEB Journalfrom the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology and documents a research project that involved 6 young men and 13 older men. Levels of testosterone were measured before and after a 12-week resistance training program focused on knee extension and flexion. Biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis.
Happy New Year! As you look ahead to 2014, do you wonder what you or your parents might need in the year ahead to stay safe, healthy and independent at home?
You might think, “Hoo boy, grab bars, or maybe they should move.” Think again. Much of the preventive work that supports healthy aging at home can be done with nary a screwdriver. Here are 10 easy-to-follow New Year’s resolutions that you and your loved ones can make for a happy and healthy 2014.
1. Stop making “old” jokes. They perpetuate stereotypes about old age and make people feel worse about it, fueling a negativity (see Resolution 2) that causes problems. Self-deprecation has its place but does not need to be tied to the aging process.
2. Lighten up about aging. Similarly, positive attitudes about aging help people to live longer and feel better getting there.
Stay active and engaged in life, and the years will be less of a preoccupation.
3. Use realistic language about aging. No need to pretend that it’s a (slower) walk in the park, but “oldness” tends to be blamed for more problems than it causes. Why exaggerate? Say “I feel tired” instead of “I feel old” and “I feel energized” instead of “I feel young.” Speaking realistically will make it easier to talk pragmatically about changing needs; it will reduce denial and open the door to important cross-generational discussion.