So, here we are again… awakened to the New Year, possibly like Bill Murray in his Ground Hog Day movie! Has much changed for you from this time last year, or is it “déjà vu all over again?” Some of us began noticing that our toes started to shrink somewhere around the Thanksgiving weekend, only to see them disappear by 01January! For our family, ok, me, the innocent slice or two of Pecorino Romano cheese, assorted olives and Soprasotta salami for antipasto continued with the meatballs and Italian sausage, the Christmas Eve seafood, (I forgot the office and church gatherings with the Southern, Mexican and Chinese “low cal” appetizers and dinners), the Christmas tenderloin and the incredible dinner at Da Corrado’s Italian Ristorantein Greensboro, GA on New Year’s Eve. Then, just when there seemed to be a digestive respite, the Southern fare New Year’s Day dinner with some dear friends! At that point, a food coma nearly overwhelmed us; however, the wonderful home cooked meal prepared by our daughter and son-in-law this past weekend was just a prelude to the delicious dinner that they sprung for after church. I have finally given up! Yes, in Italian (and Chinese families, it’s all about the food). I am now ready for a diet of mung bean thread noodles and quinoa! Perhaps a fast is in order!! Maybe this wouldn’t have been so bad if the weather had been more cooperative the past six weeks; exercising would have been easier, or at least more inviting. I have observed, in more than just clinical settings, that it is much easier to excuse calorie intake over burning them! I now stand at 10 pounds over my desired weight (confession time); something I have not loathed since college wrestling days before weigh-in!
But, alas! This is, as I alluded to, the New Year and time for those inevitable resolutions to be written in stone… again. This year, although,has an opportunity to be new and improved, in that a commitment can be made and discipline enforced. So, first, is to get back to the discipline of cheating only on the weekends (except for special events). Then, being committed to exercise in a way that challenges the body. It has to not only be a mindset,but a passion to be healthier. Proper diet is paramount, as is a balanced exercise r o u t i n e.
What part do exercises play in your treatment procedures? I believe that effective, focused exercises play an important role in healing and regeneration of damaged tissues. Every patient receives appropriate exercises as the body can handle. Our exercises are based on four basic principles:strength, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular function.
- Good flexibility enables muscles and joints to move through their full range of motion. Poor flexibility leads to a higher chance of injury to muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue, or fascia.
- Flexibility is joint-specific; a person may have excellent range of motion at one joint, yet be restricted in another. It is also plane specific, along fascial planes, which may encompass the wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck for instance in an overuse syndrome.
- Stretching exercises help to realign new tissue that is being laid down in the direction of the muscle and facial fibers. Without appropriate stretches, new scar tissue may form in weak random patterns, resulting in new restrictions and problems.
- Resistance training is essential in the rehabilitation of any injury.
- Tissue goes through a remodeling phase which can take from six months to a year.
- When new tissue is laid down to repair an area, it is very thin and weak.
- During the remodeling phase, this tissue will increase to over ten times it original diameter if the appropriate resistance training exercise are applied against it.
- Without resistance training the probability of re-injury remains high.
- Proprioception describes the body’s ability to react appropriately (through balance and touch) to external forces. Kneeling or standing lunges or exercise ball maneuvers employ this concept.
- Effective proprioception exercises are designed to restore the kinesthetic awareness of the patient. These exercises form the basis for the agility, strength, and endurance required for complete rehabilitation.
- Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises are essential for restoring good circulation and for increasing oxygen delivery to soft-tissues. Lack of oxygen and poor circulation is a primary accelerator of injuries.
So, what will be your plan for the New Year? Will you hear the alarm clock go off each morning and see the same undesired reflection in the fogged up bathroom mirror? Or, will you inch toward a healthier, more fit body. I am here to help and guide you, but ultimately, we each have to be responsible for our physical, mental and spiritual growth and improvement. I just remembered…I forgot to make the biscotti this year!
May your 2014 be blessed indeed!
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