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Proper Lifting and Safety Tips for Your Move from Your Favorite Physical Therapy Team

July 18, 2018

While the end result is exciting, most Americans dread the moving process. The move itself can be so taxing it is easy to forget how to ensure a safe move. Often times some of the smallest of mistakes can lead to injuries that can last a lifetime. Don’t let that happen! As you gear up for your next home, review these tips from your local Denver physical therapy team.

Gather Essential Tools

When it comes to moving, boxes are usually the priority for items to obtain in the weeks leading up the big day. However, there is much more than boxes that are needed. Many movers only think about a few things, but it helps to be fully prepared as you transition into the moving process. Some of these essentials include:
  • Dollies and other hand trucks:  Items with wheels enable you to easily move larger items, reducing the physical strain that comes with lifting and carrying boxes, furniture and more.
  • Packing materials and tape: Securing your valuables is not just essential for their safety, but yours too. Make sure to wrap items with newspaper, bubble wrap, or other packing material, then secure your boxes with packing tape. This will help your boxes from opening at the bottom, causing the items to fall and break—and avoiding a potential injury on your part in the process.
  • Sliders: Did you know you can buy pads that can be placed on the bottom of your furniture? This will help you easily move furniture and other heavy items across the floor. This reduces physical stress on your body and protects your floors—a win-win! You can also buy covers to go on your furniture to protect from scuffing and provide a barrier between you and sharp edges.
  • Scissors and knife: As you pack and unpack, you will be going through several things. Have scissors and a knife handy to cut open boxes or other items.  
  • Moving gloves: You can purchase gloves to wear while moving to help keep your hands safe from cuts, scrapes, and more.

Packing 101

As you begin the process to move, it is the perfect time to get rid of unwanted or unused items. This can be done in a variety of ways such as having a yard sale, donating to local charities, or simply throwing certain items away.

As you start to pack, work through items that you rarely use first. Choose a category system that works best for you, whether it is packing room by room, or by other methods. If space allows, contain all of your boxes to one place.

When labeling your boxes, use a large permanent marker so you can clearly label what is in the box. It helps to label on more than one side, so you can easily identify once you are unpacking.  

As you pack the boxes, be smart. Do not overload large boxes with several heavy items. Find a good balance that is easy to carry and manage. For any clothing hanging in a closet, you can keep them on their hangers, then wrap them in a blanket or with garbage bags-just make sure you do not mistake them for actual trash! You may be able to leave certain items in dressers or cabinets as long as you can safely secure them.

Create Your Plan

To ensure a successful move, you must have a plan. One of the initial questions you should ask yourself is, “Will I handle this move on my own, or would I like to enlist the help of a mover?” If you can afford it, movers can assist with every step in the moving process, taking some of the physical burdens off you.

Once you have determined how the move will be handled, create a schedule and set deadlines. For instance, have all non-essential items packed by a certain date, or have all necessary packing items by a specific time. It also helps to have a schedule for moving day, too. While you cannot expect everything to go fully as planned, you can set times to start loading or have the movers arrive and reasonable goals for unpacking. Be sure to take advantage of Real Simple’s moving checklist, which will give you a complete two-month guide on everything you need to do leading up to the big day.  

Proper Lifting Techniques

Moving is a very labor-intensive process. It is exercise, after all! Many people who move often injure themselves due to improper lifting techniques. Your first rule of thumb to remember is to lift using your legs and not putting all of the weight on your back. When picking up boxes, bend and crouch down and hold the bottom and sides of a box. Moving gloves can help you have a better handle on the items. As you bend down, keep your feet at shoulder width.

Once secure, lift using your legs and not your lower back. Keep the box or items close to your body, reducing strain on your arms. A great way to remember how to do this is to keep your elbows as close to your sides as possible. If you feel an item is too much to carry on your own, ask for help!

Safety Tips

One can become injured in a multitude of ways during a move—not sure lifting improperly. A common mistake that happens is tripping or stepping on items out in the open. Before moving day, ensure hallways and open walk spaces are clear. This will help protect you and anyone helping you move stay safe. This also includes pets or children. They may be confused or bored, so make arrangements to have them outside the home or out of harm’s way. It is also important to properly dress for a move! Wear clothing that is comfortable and will not get caught on edges or items. Be sure to wear shoes that will support your feet all day.

Are you wondering how you can make sure you are prepared to handle the physical activity of your moving day? Peak Physical Therapy & Wellness will help. We will show you proper lifting techniques and more or can help if you do sustain an injury after your move. Contact Peak PT & Wellness today to get started.

Creative Ways to Improve Your Fitness Health in Parker

July 11, 2018

When you think of remaining healthy and physically fit, the first thought that usually comes to mind is the idea of regularly exercising and eating fresh and nutritional meals. While these are certainly a critical component of any positive health regimen, there are a few different strategies you can utilize that will add to you overall health situation. These creative ways to improve your physical health are a great method of reaching your fitness goals in Parker.

Schedule your Veg-Out Sessions Around Your Workouts

Coming home from a long day of work, it can be easy to simply plop down on the couch and consume copious amounts of television as a way to unwind. While entertainment certainly has its place as a break from the daily grind, it can often sabotage your physical workout regimen. One creative method to have your cake and eat it too is to schedule your workouts around your entertainment time. If you have a treadmill or stationary bike, you can choose to do your cardio while watching your favorite show, a much more preferable way to consume programs.

Use Your Dog as a Motivator

Having a fury friend comes with many responsibilities, activities that can sometimes restrict or limit your ability to head to the gym or engage in your desired physical activity. But this does not need to be the case. Instead of separating your exercise from your dog, find ways to incorporate them into your next workout. If your pet is up to the task, take them on a run to exercise both you and your pooch. Your pup doesn’t need to be a hindrance to your fitness and with the proper mindset they can actually be a positive influence towards your fitness goals.

Take the Long Way Home

So you’re out and about, running errands or shopping at the mall and you’re looking at taking the fastest route to get from point to point. Some places will have convenient ways to get around, such as elevators or escalators, tools that make it easier to get to where you need to go. The attraction of such transportation methods can be strong, but the next time you are in this situation, consider taking the less convenient way to get to your destination. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator as a way to burn calories. Any activity, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, can be a fantastic way to increase your step count throughout the day.

Make Hangouts into Workouts

The idea of hanging with friends usually brings up ideas of lounging around, perhaps sipping drinks on a patio at your favorite bar or restaurant. Often, our get togethers with friends makes us stationary and doesn’t help our fitness situation. Instead of scheduling a hangout session that leaves you and your friends sitting around, plan an activity that will get everyone moving. Instead of bar hopping, opt for a long hike to a scenic spot, something that Colorado is in no short supply of. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can collectively take a fitness class or engage in a more strenuous activity together, such as going on a long bike ride or trail run, or even taking a spin class or yoga class as a way to bond as a group. Hanging out with friends can be more than simply a good time, it can also be beneficial to your physical health.

Make Exercise and Fitness Accessible

Often, the idea of working out or burning calories can seem like a chore. Driving to the gym, going on a run, or other forms of exercise can seem difficult to engage in simply because it requires additional effort to start the process. One way of overcoming this hurdle is to create an environment in your home or office that makes it incredibly easy to start and stop a workout.
If you are at the office and have the space to do so, having a yoga mat nearby can make the prospect of quickly jumping into a session much more realistic. If you’re at home and want the ability to be able to do strength training with ease, placing kettle bells in a location that you commonly frequent will make it much more simple to begin a workout routine. Any strategy you can employ to make the fitness process more available and accessible will improve the likelihood that you will actually follow through.

Game Yourself To Improve Your Physical Situation

In the age of convenience and instant gratification, it can be easy to let our fitness goals fall to the wayside and procrastinate instead of following through. One helpful tool to overcome this obstacle is to create ways to gamify your health situation. Most smartphones have the ability to track your step counts with a reasonable level of accuracy, allowing you to have a large amount of data to access. In order to properly and effectively keep yourself motivated, it can be a great idea to turn your step counts into a game. If you’ve reached an average of 8,000 steps one week, push yourself to do 9,000 the following week. Keeping track of your exercise habits will allow you to constantly strive to improve your situation, turning the act of exercise into a fun game where winning means becoming more physically fit and well.
If you looking to improve your physical health situation and are in need of physical therapy, or have questions about what physical therapy consists of, contact Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness today and we will be happy to assist you with your first steps towards recovery. We have an extensive team of qualified physical therapists and specialists who care deeply about their clients and go above and beyond the call of duty to provide the highest quality treatment in the industry. If you are looking for a therapist who will carefully assess your individual needs and formulate a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to your needs, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness is your preferred choice for the physical recovery process.

A Colorado Summer wouldn’t be complete without plenty of hiking trips to the mountains

July 4, 2018

One of the best parts of living in the Centennial State is the availability of outdoor activities to keep you physically fit and connected with nature. Hiking is one of the most common activities that Coloradans engage in, which can be easily observed simply by going to a popular trailhead on the weekend. While hiking is a fantastic activity for staying physically fit, it’s important to be prepared prior to scaling your favorite peak. Here are some helpful tips and exercises to be aware of from your physical therapist in parker.

What to Pack

If you’re intending to go on a reasonably long hike, it’s important to pack all of the essential items that will help you stay safe and prevent your afternoon affair from going sour. Without question, perhaps the most important item to pack is water. Staying hydrated while on a hike is critical to your safety, as dehydration while in the wilderness can be an absolute emergency. It’s always good to err on the side of caution and to bring more water than you think you’ll need. Look into things such as easy-to-pack water bladders that can hold up to a gallon of h20.
Another important item to consider prior to venturing out into the wild is a variation in clothing. While it may appear to be a warm and sunny day out, it’s crucial to bring clothes for all types of weather events. Colorado weather can change dramatically in an instant, and being caught out on a trail without rain gear or proper layers can make your afternoon miserable. Look into clothing that is versatile and easy-to-pack while also providing you with the right amount of coverage.
The sun in Colorado can be intense and it’s important to bring plenty of sunscreen and a sunhat to avoid getting too much UV rays. It doesn’t take long to become sunburnt while on a trail, especially if it doesn’t have a lot of shade. Additionally, think of items that you’ll want to have with you on a long, scenic hike. This can include things such as an energy bar or other types of food to ensure you stave off the irritable feelings of hunger. You’ll also certainly want to bring sunglasses to shield your eyes from excessive exposure to the sun, as constantly squinting your eyes will definitely detract from your overall experience of the trail.

Exercises to Practice Prior to Hiking

The act of hiking can be much more strenuous and physically demanding than a person might expect, especially if you’re on a jaunt at higher elevations. You may think you’re perfectly limber and able to handle any kind of trail, but it’s always a good idea to prepare ahead of time with a number of helpful stretches to keep your body primed for the journey. Since you’ll likely have some gear on your back, it’s a good idea to be practice a variety of stretches that will reduce the likelihood that you will not be able to handle the hike.
Lunges are a great exercise to engage in as a way to keep your lower extremities in adequate shape and condition. Hiking requires a large amount of physical exertion from your legs, as you’ll often be traversing over large rocks and consistently climbing up various obstacles present in the environment. A lunge will require the same muscles you use while pulling yourself up an elevated terrain. Be sure to practice this exercise while alternating legs to ensure that both parts of your lower body are in shape.
Another great exercise to consider for hiking are leg squats. This activity will exert force on your quadriceps muscles, which are the strongest muscles in our legs. Having quads that are strong will be a major boost while on a hike, as they will assist us in going up as well as coming back down areas of high elevation gain. Squatting down as low as you can while making sure not to let your knees go past your toes will be a great way to prevent putting too much pressure on your knees.
While having lower body strength is absolutely essential to being able to traverse difficult terrain, it’s also important to remember that having core body strength is something you shouldn’t neglect. For this reason, consider doing exercises that will improve your abdominal muscles. Planking can be a simple, yet powerful activity to greatly improve your core strength and will greatly boost your hiking experience.
Beyond strength-training exercises, it’s also important to properly stretch prior to going on a long hike. Stretching your hamstring is important for preventing muscle strains. This can be accomplished by laying your leg on a bed or table, hinging forward toward the hip joint while keeping your knee straight. Stretching your calves to avoid excessive stress to your Achilles tendon and knees is also recommended prior to hiking. If you’ve been dealing with a serious injury, it’s also a great idea to consult with your local Parker physical therapist prior to engaging in a serious hike. Clearly, the last thing you want to occur is to re-injure yourself and preventing the possibility of enjoying the Colorado outdoors to the fullest.
If you looking to improve your physical health situation and are in need of physical therapy, or have questions about what physical therapy consists of, contact Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness today and we will be happy to assist you with your first steps towards recovery. We have an extensive team of qualified physical therapists and specialists who care deeply about their clients and go above and beyond the call of duty to provide the highest quality treatment in the industry. If you are looking for a therapist who will carefully assess your individual needs and formulate a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to your needs, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness is your preferred choice for the physical recovery process.

Physical Therapy Can Aid in Healing Burns and Scars

June 20, 2018

Burns or scarring from injuries can be a small nuisance or life-changing. Did you know using physical therapy in Parker could help you when it comes to recovering from an injury and help with the healing of scar tissue?  Take some time to learn about burns and scars to understand why they happen and key ways to be on a path to recovery.

Types of Burns

Each person has three layers of skin: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Your epidermis is the outer layer of skin that you can see. The dermis is the middle layer and houses hair follicles, sweat glands, and connective tissue. Your hypodermis is the innermost layer of skin, solely made of connective tissue, as well as fat.

When a person comes into contact with a hot flame or object, the skin cells actually die—hence causing a burn. They can be as small as a patch of red, rough skin, or a person can experience blistering or extensive damage to the skin. It depends on the classification of the burn: first-, second- or third-degree.
  • First-degree: First-degree burns are the lowest injury when it comes to types of burns. This is because the outer layer, the epidermis, is the only layer that is impacted. It will cause redness, as well as inflammation. The area will become dry and hard, that may peel once the burn is starting to recover.
  • Second-degree: Second-degree burns penetrate the skin more than first-degree into the dermis layer of the skin. This usually causes blistering and extreme redness. In some cases, even once the burn has healed, the color of the skin in the area of the burn may be forever changed. A skin graft can help restore its appearance.
  • Third-degree: Third-degree burns are the most extreme types of burns that can happen and penetrates all three layers of the skin. They may even go in as far as the muscles and bones. The pigment of the skin may be permanently changed to a lighter or darker color, that has a texture similar to leather. In many cases, little pain is felt with third-degree burns as the burn destroys the nerve cells, eliminating the pain sensation. Skin grafting can help to reverse some of the damage.

Treating a Burn

Each burn can be treated differently. For first-degree burns, upon experiencing a burn, immediately soak the burn in cold water or use a cold compress for a minimum of five to 15 minutes. You can purchase a cream meant to treat burns to help with the pain and fix affected skin cells more quickly. They can heal in a couple weeks. Many first-degree burns can be treated at home, but always contact a doctor if you are concerned.
Upon seeing the blistering, you will know you have experienced a second-degree burn. Be sure to run cool water over the burn for a minimum of 15 minutes, or longer. You can use creams to help with pain and recovery—but contact your doctor to ensure you are on your path to recovery.

Third-degree burns can happen due to steam, chemicals, fire, or electrical outlets. You will definitely want to see a doctor as soon as possible to treat. In the interim, make sure you do not have any clothing or jewelry touching the burn. Unlike first- and second-degree burns, don’t put water or cream on it. Go straight to a medical professional. Physical therapy can help you regain motion again.

How Scars Happen

Upon experiencing an injury to the skin, such as a cut or scrape, scarring will occur. Scarring is actually the body’s response to an injury and is a sign of the healing process it is undergoing. They will arise when the second layer of the skin, the dermis, is penetrated. The body’s white blood cells attack bacteria which will change the color and texture of the skin, which will create a scar. Each injury is different, causing a variety of scars. Types of scars include:
  • Contracture: This type of scarring occurs after one experiences a burn. The skin becomes tight and depending on what degree burn it is, the muscles and nerves can negatively be impacted as well.
  • Keloid: Keloid scars are raised and sometimes lumpy scars that can take time to form. They occur after burns, piercing of the skin, scratches, or acne. They may grow much larger than the actual affected injury area.
  • Hypertrophic: Hypertrophic scars are also raised, but different than keloids. They can occur due to the same reasons as keloids, too. They are usually smaller than keloids and only stay in their affected area.
  • Acne: An unfortunate side effect of acne is scarring. When acne is so severe, and/or a person picks at the area, scarring can happen. Ultimately, they happen because the area is trying to recover.

Scar Treatments

Because each scar is different, they may require different routes for healing. For minor scarring, there are creams and other ointments either from your doctor or from the store. These will provide relief and speed up healing. When the scar is itchy or painful, your doctor can prescribe special medication to help reduce the sensation, so you can better avoid the area, as touching the scar is negative during the healing process. In certain cases, such as keloid or scarring from burns, it may require skin grafting or surgery to repair the scar. Steroid injections are also a way you can reduce swelling, too.

When it comes to recovering from injuries that have caused burning and/or scarring, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness can help. Our team will use a variety of techniques, such as the Graston technique and cupping to help you regain motion and reduce pain. By using this combination treatment, it will help speed up your body’s natural reaction to heal. No matter where you are, there is a Peak office near you. Review our list of locations and contact Peak PT and Wellness today to be on your way to a speedy recovery!

Fitness Trends in 2018 to Stay Young in Parker, CO

June 13, 2018

Staying healthy and physically fit is a top priority for individuals seeking to sustain an optimum level of wellness in their life. A major component of this equation is the act of physically exerting your body to improve your overall physical health, both through cardiovascular activity as well as strength training your muscles. There are a variety of exercises and activities that have become more common in recent years, and if you are interested in getting your body into peak physical shape in Denver, here are a few of the trends to be aware of in 2018.

The Importance of a Personal Trainer

Everyone knows that in order to get into shape, they need to move their body and exert themselves in order to improve their physical health. Often this means going to the gym and doing random exercises to raise one’s heart rate or to strengthen one’s muscles. While this is obviously a better situation than remaining sedentary, this is not always the most ideal way to exercise. Each individual has their own set of specific and unique activities that they are involved in, ones that require a certain type of strength training and conditioning.

A personal trainer can help a person fine tune their exercises by providing the most appropriate types of workouts that will be most beneficial for whatever is needed. For instance, a person that enjoys playing basketball will need different types of workout regimens from someone who is rock climbing or running. A personal trainer will be able to observe and assess if you are doing the exercise correctly and can provide real-time feedback that will help you properly perform the activity.

Additionally, it can be difficult to motivate oneself to consistently workout, as this activity is often down the list on a person’s list of priorities. By hiring a personal trainer, you will also receive an added degree of motivation to keep you accountable and on the right track towards improving your physical situation.

High Intensity Interval Training

In recent years, the popularity of high intensity interval training (HIIT) has grown due to its effectiveness. HIIT is a cardio workout session that is designed in short bursts of incredible difficult work. Often, cardio involves running or biking for a long period of time at a modest pace, one that will get the heart rate up but won’t provide you with the level of intensity that HIIT will do.

There have been plenty of scientific studies that have shown how working your hardest is a critical component to increasing your metabolism as well as shedding the pounds and decreasing the percentage of body fat that you carry. While exercise of all kinds is obviously beneficial and better than nothing, higher intensity exercise will burn more fat and improve a person’s endurance.
A crucial factor in high intensity interval training is actually the resting period in between intervals. Resting periods are incredibly important to this type of exercise, as your body needs time to recover. Switching between high-intensity and low-intensity has show to allow your body to adapt between states. A common example of HIIT can be seen in the rising popularity of spin classes, a cycling class that utilizes bursts of high-intensity cardio workouts as a core component.

Group Training

Something that is becoming increasingly more popular in recent years is the trend of group training classes. These are given on a wide range of exercises and functional training activities in an effort to collectively improve the health of the individuals enrolled in the course. Similar to hiring a personal trainer, the act of taking a group training course can be an incredibly beneficial act to engage in.

Group exercises have the effect of motivating all individuals involved to get moving, as the act of moving in a group can be a positive aspect of for those who need an extra push. Learning in a group setting can also be a less intimidating activity for those just starting out in their fitness journey. Group training programs are designed with all skill levels in mind, and many cater to those who are beginners.

Exercise Programs for the Older Generation

Often, physical exercise is primarily associated with a younger and more youthful sector of the population, but the reality is that exercise among older adults is a growing part of the fitness industry. As a result, classes are being designed and implemented specifically with this particular age group in mind, making the process of working out for older individuals a much more accessible process.

The older generation of adults is recommended to engage in some form of physical activity as a way to ensure independence is maintained and overall quality of life does not suffer. As the baby boomers continue to age, this sector of physical fitness is sure to expand, as the needs to this large age group will be made much more obvious as the years go on. For individuals who are in need of less intense and strenuous exercises, there are a number of exercise routines and activities a person can engage in. Swimming, yoga, and pilates are all exercises that can be a great fit for individuals looking to exert themselves without overdoing it.

If you looking to improve your physical health situation and are in need of physical therapy, or have questions about what physical therapy consists of, contact Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness today and we will be happy to assist you with your first steps towards recovery. We have an extensive team of qualified physical therapists and specialists who care deeply about their clients and go above and beyond the call of duty to provide the highest quality treatment in the industry. If you are looking for a therapist who will carefully assess your individual needs and formulate a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to your needs, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness is your preferred choice for the physical recovery process.