Is Active Aging Realistic? 4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Live an Active Life

Is Active Aging Realistic? 4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Live an Active Life

Balance, Exercise, Health content, knowledge, Treatment
Active aging is every senior’s dream come true. It’s a promise of leading a complete and engaged life, when the effects of aging don’t stop you from living to the fullest. But is active aging realistic? Yes! Contrary to popular belief, getting older doesn't have to set you on a downward spiral into declining mental and physical health. Many signs regarded as a "normal" part of aging can be minimized or even prevented. Physical therapy is one tool for helping to turn back the clock and make you feel like your more youthful self again. When we break down the typical decline, we can manage the pieces one by one: 1) mobility, 2) endurance and 3) strength, all contributing to 4) independence. 1. Mobility About 35 percent of people over…
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Don’t Faint! When Properly Diagnosed, Syncope in Older Adults Can Be Treated

Don’t Faint! When Properly Diagnosed, Syncope in Older Adults Can Be Treated

Exercise, Health content, knowledge, Prevention
Syncope, or fainting, is common in adults 65 and older, with research suggesting that more than 20% of older adults have syncopal episodes. But today we know that you can live well and stay safe with the condition. What is Syncope? It's regarded as "fainting" or "passing out" when a person loses consciousness and then recovers without intervention. This event may be due to syncope. A true syncopal episode is caused by a loss of blood flow to the brain. When the brain lacks blood, it also lacks oxygen, causing the person to lose consciousness until the blood and oxygen are restored. Most episodes last only a few minutes. Syncope causes include: Rapid drops in blood pressure. Also known as orthostatic hypotension, this rapid drop causes oxygen levels in the…
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Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease? Physical Therapy Can Help

Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease? Physical Therapy Can Help

Balance, Exercise, Health content
Every little slip of memory seems frightening, especially as we get older. How scared should you be of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)? Alzheimer's is a progressive disorder that causes brain cell degeneration and death. It is the leading cause of dementia, which is marked by memory loss and a decline in cognitive, behavioral and social skills. Early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease If you are experiencing some of the early symptoms of AD, you may be having difficulty with: Balance. You may find yourself catching a toe as you walk or taking an extra step to keep yourself from falling.Mobility. Getting in and out of a chair or tub may become difficult. Mobility issues, too, increase the risk of falling.Activities of daily living (ADL). You may need more time for…
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Losing Your Balance? Stay on Your Feet as You Age!

Losing Your Balance? Stay on Your Feet as You Age!

Balance, Exercise, Health content
It's common for seniors to be afraid of a fall, and for good reason. While a fall can be harmless, many falls and loss of balance result in injuries that can severely limit your independence or even lead to death, especially as you get older. Fear of falling carries its own consequences, however. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that seniors who are afraid of falling might limit their activities or social interactions. This can lead to depression and social isolation, which might actually increase your risk of falling. So what can you do to prevent falls while still maintaining your active lifestyle? How can you live in less fear of a serious fall? Working to improve your balance is a smart place to start. Balance is a key piece…
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Seniors Build Muscle Strength Through Resistance Training

Seniors Build Muscle Strength Through Resistance Training

Exercise, Health content, Prevention
The loss of strength is a common complaint among seniors. You're not imagining it; muscle strength begins to decline as early as age 30 and, after age 60, the annual rate of decline reaches 3-5%. So, if you're a senior adult, every single year you're losing up to 5 percent of your strength. No wonder you can't lift the way you used to! Two words: resistance training While aerobic exercise has many benefits for overall health, resistance training is the preferred exercise for specifically targeting the loss of muscle strength. Regular resistance training can delay or even reverse the generative loss of muscle mass and bone density, as well as joint dysfunction, that all contribute to the loss of strength. A study of exercise and physical activity in adults concludes,…
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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: 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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‘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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