Denver Wellness: 7 Fitness Tips for Summer Vacation Travel

Denver Wellness: 7 Fitness Tips for Summer Vacation Travel

Exercise
It’s vacation season, and for many that means visiting faraway friends, exploring new places and possibly even crossing some things of the ol’ bucket list. Unfortunately, traveling often also means lots of sitting, interrupted sleep patterns due to time zone changes, unhealthy eating, and workout routines that are sporadic, if not nonexistent. According to Denver physical therapist Dr. Patrick Donovan, however, travel doesn’t have to be synonymous with unhealthy habits and a lack of exercise. “Vacations are a time to reboot mentally while reconnecting with friends and family, but this doesn’t have to happen at the expense of your health,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “With just a little forethought and planning, you can stay active and healthy throughout your trip, whether it ‘s…
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Denver Wellness: Tips for Reducing, Managing Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Denver Wellness: Tips for Reducing, Managing Plantar Fasciitis Pain

foot
Studies show about three-quarters of all Americans will experience foot pain at some point in their lives. Of them, more than 2 million people who seek treatment each year will learn they suffer from an overuse condition called plantar fasciitis.  Fortunately, according to Denver physical therapist Dr. Patrick Donovan, most cases of plantar fasciitis are both manageable and treatable.  “Plantar fasciitis will typically present itself as sharp pain in the heel or in the arch of the foot, most often when you’re taking the first steps of the day,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “The pain is the result of your plantar fascia – the thick band of tissue connecting your heel to the ball of your foot – becoming inflamed due to overuse.”  The inflammation that causes plantar fasciitis can come from a sudden…
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Denver Wellness: How to Talk Positively About Exercise with Your Kids

Denver Wellness: How to Talk Positively About Exercise with Your Kids

Exercise
All kids need exercise. Stacks of scientific research through the years support the myriad ways exercise helps young bodies and minds as they develop and grow. It’s important, then, for parents to encourage their children to be active and develop healthful habits as they grow and develop. During such conversations, Denver physical therapist Dr. Patrick Donovan says setting a positive tone is paramount. “Learning the values of good fitness and nutrition should be a confidence-building exercise for kids and adolescents,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “We don’t want them to feel like they’re being shamed or criticized. Rather, the goal should be to focus on the positive – on health, on fun, on long-term benefits and on being part of the journey together.” Such…
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5 Fitness Tips For Introverts

5 Fitness Tips For Introverts

Health content
Finding a workout routine that fits your personality is one of the key ways to achieve optimal results, says Denver physical therapist Dr. Patrick Donovan. And, that holds particularly true for introverts – those who may be uneasy about joining a gym or a fitness class due to crowds of people, loud music, or the prying eyes of other gym members. “If you have a more introverted personality, joining a gym, exercise class or workout group may not be your cup of tea, but that doesn’t have to hold you back from achieving fitness or weight-loss goals,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “Fitness opportunities are everywhere, and it’s important you commit to a path that’s comfortable and successful for you.” It’s been estimated that…
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Holidays an Ideal Time for Lifting Techniques Refresher

Holidays an Ideal Time for Lifting Techniques Refresher

Health content
Digging out boxes of holiday decorations, hauling packages to and from the car, hiding gifts away on the higher shelves… the Holiday Season certainly requires its fair share of bending, lifting and reaching. This makes December the ideal time for a refresher on proper lifting methods, says Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan. “Back pain and injury can put a real damper on the Holiday Season, yet it’s one of the most common conditions we treat as medical professionals,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “Fortunately, it’s also a condition that’s preventable. One of the ways to keep the spine healthy is learning – and practicing – proper lifting techniques.” Around 80 percent of all Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives,…
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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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