Relieve Stress with Pilates

Relieve Stress with Pilates, Stress Relief at New Heights Physical Therapy Portland OR Vancouver WA

At first glance, Pilates may seem to be similar to yoga, yet those who study it more closely or who participate in several sessions will quickly see the differences. This method was originally designed by a man of the same last name who firmly believed that flexibility, spinal health and core strength were all integral for a healthy body and healthy aging. His practice typically used a special apparatus known as a reformer, which is still used today in many exercise studios. However, people also turn to this workout at home, using only mats for a series of flowing exercises.

What is Pilates?

This low-impact workout is an excellent solution for those who are looking for a strength-based regimen that does not have a lot of cardio involved. It works every muscle in the body but especially focuses on the core, which includes the muscles of the abdominals and lower back. Those who want to gain strength while improving posture and balance will love this type of class, which typically lasts from 30 to 45 minutes. It is good for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Not only does this activity improve physical strength, increase balance and tighten and tone all the muscles, but also it is a powerful stress reliever. Cortisol is the hormone most frequently associated with stress, and some types of exercise, particularly those that are very intense, can actually raise cortisol. However, this routine can calm your mind using flowing exercises that slow the breathing, lower the blood pressure and improve restfulness. It does this by helping individuals focus their minds on just one thing, namely, their breathing connected with their movements.

Importance of Stress Relief

Stress relief is vital because unresolved stress can lead to numerous physical and mental issues. Unrelieved stress can quickly manifest itself in the body by causing sleepless nights and by lowering one’s immunity, leading to frequent sickness. Stress has also be tied to such diseases as cancer, liver disease and heart disease. It can even lead to weight gain and faster aging of the body overall. On the emotional side, it can promote long-term anxiety and depression, decrease critical thinking skills, lead to poor memory and decrease mental concentration.

Pilates is an amazing way to work out one’s entire body, leading to improved physical health, while also helping to relieve stress and improve the mental and emotional side of one’s health as well.

7 Tips for Your First Marathon

Tips for Your First Marathon, New Heights Physical Therapy Portland OR Vancouver WA

Marathons are a great way to test one’s strength, stamina and endurance. They are also used by many who want to get in shape or who want to test their bodies. A marathon is a long-distance running course that is just over 26 miles long. Many popular marathons are hosted around the world every year, and many smaller cities are beginning to take part too as people become more invested in their health and are looking for ways to enjoy group exercise in their own communities.

7 Tips for Marathon Training

  1. Take your time training. However, marathon training is not just a spur of the moment activity done shortly before the scheduled event. Instead, those who want to run in a marathon must begin training months before the big day to build up their muscles and get their bodies used to the strain of long-distance running. Marathon preparation should last a minimum of 12 weeks to give individuals time to add longer running sessions in slowly over the following weeks. Individuals should run at least three times per week with one long training session every 7 to 10 days.
  2. Don’t forget to rest. Rest and recovery are a necessary part of training to prevent muscle injury.
  3. Invest in the right gear. Of course, runners will need the right gear to stay comfortable while exerting themselves. Comfortable, worn-in running shoes are a must along with comfortable clothes that can be layered if necessary and that allow for good circulation around the body. Runners should always be sure to wear socks to prevent blisters.
  4. Eat extra carbs for a week leading up to the marathon. On the day of the marathon and a few days prior to the marathon, runners should be careful about what they eat. In the week before the race, individuals should begin eating more carbohydrates than usual, focusing on pasta and rice especially.
  5. Drink extra water. In the day leading up to the race, individuals should eat balanced meals while paying special attention to consuming plenty of water.
  6. Do not run on a full stomach. No one should run on a full stomach.
  7. Maintain correct running posture. It is vital to understand good running style during the day of the marathon. Runners should maintain a tall posture while looking straight ahead. Bending at the waist will lead to back pain before the end of the race.

A marathon is an excellent way to test one’s body, prove one’s strength and endurance and enjoy a favorite activity with hundreds of other runners. Taking the time to prepare thoroughly will help runners succeed while also keeping their bodies safe throughout the event.

Concussion Prevention in Youth Athletes

Concussion Prevention in Portland OR

The discussion of concussions in sports is a continuing saga that seems to grow each year as more people of all ages play sports. Concussions are not only present in the NFL or professional sports, kids of all ages are at risk of brain injuries. Parents and youth coaches must be actively involved in this discussion and must take steps to prevent concussions amongst today’s youth athletes.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain moves back and forth rapidly inside the skull. It can occur during events such as a car accident or a fall. However, concussions are gaining increased notoriety for their rapidly increasing occurrence in such sports as football, rugby, lacrosse, baseball, softball and soccer. In fact, there are more than 3 million concussion cases in the United States annually.

While a concussion does not show up on brain imaging, it is a serious injury that creates numerous symptoms. Some of its most common symptoms include the following:

  • tiredness
  • nausea
  • poor concentration
  • confusion
  • problems with light and noise
  • mood changes
  • loss of consciousness.

Why Concussion Prevention Is Key

Throughout childhood and adolescence, an individual’s brain is constantly growing and developing. Concussion prevention can save athletes of all ages from ongoing physical and mental health concerns. Additionally, concussion prevention will save you money in the long run; the cost of prevention is far less than the cost of medical care required for those who have sustained a concussion. Wearing protective equipment is the best way to protect young athletes from concussions. Properly fitted helmets, headgear, and protective pads are crucial for keeping youth athletes safe.

Concussion Testing

When a child or teen displays any of the signs or symptoms of a concussion, they need medical care immediately to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment. CT scans and MRI imaging are not recommended as concussions usually do not show up.

ImPACT testing is the best option that gives parents and doctors a baseline for reference. This testing should occur every one to two years depending on the age of the individual involved in high-impact sports. ImPACT tests have gone through rigorous clinical research and are seen as the best practice for concussion testing throughout the medical community.

In the event that prevention methods are not effective, a brain injury needs to be treated correctly. For most people, this focuses on resting from many physical and mental activities. Medical personnel will follow a Return to Play protocol that uses a step-by-step approach to resume activities. By following treatment protocols and removing any activities that provoke symptoms in the days following the injury, athletes of all ages can protect their brains from further injury and get back to their baselines quickly.

5 Benefits of Foam Rolling

benefits of foam rolling - new heights physical therapy in portland OR and vancouver WA

Have you incorporated foam rolling into your regular exercise routine? You probably should!

Here are our 5 favorite reasons you should use a foam roller:

  1. Improve Range of Motion – decrease muscle tightness and improve flexibility.
  2. Reduce Soreness – foam rolling after your workout can help reduce the muscle soreness you typically experience 24-48 hours later.
  3. Avoid Injuries – by alleviating tightness and overuse of muscles, you’re a less likely candidate for related sports injuries like IT Band syndrome.
  4. Break up Scar Tissue – putting targeted pressure on your fascia helps break up adhesions between the skin, muscles and bones.
  5. Increase Circulation – increasing blood flow to the muscle helps elevate the heat in the tissue, which can help reduce tension!