Saturday, May 29, 2010

Live a Healthy Life with Prevention

American’s today are beginning to throw the word “prevention” around a little more when it comes to their health.  As we discussed in our last blog, taking minor steps in the correct direction can decrease our chances of heart disease and dementia.  So besides getting an annual physical exam and teeth cleaning what can you do to stay healthy?

EXERCISE – This is the easy one.  Exercising, especially in low impact sports such as swimming, bicycling, yoga, or tai chi can help with increasing you cardiovascular endurance while maintaining both strength and flexibility.  The more your body is prepared for the unexpected, whether it is a simple fall or the need to run from a tiger in the safari, the less of a chance you will be injured during the process. 

WEIGHT CONTROL – In physical therapy when a patient cannot perform weight bearing activities because of joint pain or recent surgery physical therapists often put the patients in some sort of off-weighted environment such as a pool.  This is because increased weight on joints leads to breakdown of cartilage, ultimately causing osteoarthritis and pain.  If a person already has osteoarthritis the added weight of a couple pounds can significantly increase pain and disability levels.  Studies show that losing just 10 pounds can reduce the risk for osteoarthritis by 50%.1

AVOID INJURY – I know what a lot of you are thinking here.  “Of course, we all try to avoid injury so that we do not need to visit health care practitioners.”  But there is more to this.  I would say that about 50-60% of all Achilles tear injuries that I see in the office are people who are “weekend warriors.”   If you are stuck at a desk 5 days a week for 9 months and then decide to partake in a full contact basketball tournament on Thanksgiving  day your are probably a “weekend warrior”.  Your chance of injuring yourself is tremendous; if you are not prepared for sports you will be injured.  Make sure to prepare for your upcoming sporting events by exercising regularly in order to increase your cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility.

Take care of yourself today.  It can save you from pain in the future.  The pain is not just physical but can also be financial.  Protecting your body, especially your joints can save you thousands.  If you don’t exercise, are overweight, or partake in high impact sports you are at risk of wearing down the cartilage in your joints, creating pain, an ultimately causing you to spend up to $50,000 for a joint replacement, not including time away from work. 

If you are currently not maintaining this level of exercise or you need guidance on how to perform exercises correctly Hayashida and Associates offers many options such as Pilates, and both  one-on-one personal training and group fitness classes.  Prevent injury and live a healthy life.  The choice is yours!

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