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Strength Training Critical for Active Aging

Strength Training Critical for Active Aging

Health content
Many older adults have weak muscles – due to a lack of activity, hospitalization, surgery, or a fall. This can cause problems with walking, balance, and activities of daily living. Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan has an important message for the active aging individual. “Strength training can mitigate many of the downfalls of aging – bone loss, falls, mental acuity – but it must be prescribed properly to promote ‘active aging.’” “As people get older, bone density certainly becomes an issue, which can lead to unexpected falls, broken bones and even the onset of osteoporosis,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “But studies have proven that doing regular, weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing, and resistance training can actually strengthen your bones. It’s a true ‘use…
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Parkinson’s Disease: From Early Signs to Treatment Solutions

Parkinson’s Disease: From Early Signs to Treatment Solutions

Health content, knowledge
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, only behind Alzheimer's disease. Neurodegenerative means that it involves a progressive breakdown of brain matter. Multiple different neurological channels are affected. This creates wide-ranging effects on the body and mind including: sleep disturbances, muscle tremor, and forgetfulness. The progression of symptoms is also unique to each person and develops slowly over years. These typical symptoms will be discussed further with corresponding treatments: Bradykinesia: is one of the cardinal manifestations of Parkinson’s disease. Early on, tremors may be noticeable and this eventually leads to to a generalized slowness of motion. These slower automatic responses and movements limit mobility, e.g. the ability to start walking after stopping or getting out of a car. Rigid movement: Robot-like movements of the arms and legs…
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‘Why Movement Matters’ during National Physical Therapy Month

‘Why Movement Matters’ during National Physical Therapy Month

Exercise
The physical therapy profession is incorrectly characterized under the generalized label “rehabilitation.” Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan is eager to create a wider narrative – one that focuses on physical therapy's overall ability to change lives by helping people move better. “When it comes down to it, physical therapy is all about making experiences come true. It's about making it possible for people to live and experience life to the fullest,” said Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “Movement and the overall ability to live, work, and play without restriction– is at the center of life’s greatest experiences.” With October being National Physical Therapy Month, Donovan and other physical therapists across the country are highlighting the wide-range of physical therapists’ ability.  “We have the tools, education, and…
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Pools offer both fitness, relief for older adults

Pools offer both fitness, relief for older adults

Exercise, Health content, Uncategorized
While drinking plenty of water is critical to life, health and healing, simply submerging your body in water (i.e., a pool) opens up opportunities for relief and fitness for those who otherwise may have difficulty exercising. This is especially important for aging adults and those with chronic conditions, said Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan. “When our bodies are submerged in water, such as in a pool, we become lighter,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “This lightness, coupled with the natural resistance water places on movement, makes water exercise ideal for people who deal with issues related to strength, balance, sore joints, pain, and even chronic conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis.” The buoyancy of waist-deep water can support about half our body weight, while neck-deep…
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Aging Right: The Undiscovered Benefits of Lifting Weights

Aging Right: The Undiscovered Benefits of Lifting Weights

Exercise, Health content, knowledge, Uncategorized
Many older adults have weak muscles – due to lack of activity, hospitalization, surgery, or a fall. This can cause problems with walking, balance, and everyday activities. The risk of falls increases consistently as we become weaker. Strength training can combat many of these downfalls of aging, but it most be prescribed properly. The problem lies in a negative feedback loop of exercise prescription and client weakness: You are too strong for easy exercises. If the exercises are too easy, you will not get stronger. A compliant adult can easily perform >30 reps of many prescribed exercises from their personal trainer or PT. The therapist may be afraid that you’ll get hurt but won’t increase the weight. For effective strengthening of any muscle group, an exercise should cause fatigue after…
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