STRUGGLING WITH THAT NEW YEAR’S WEIGHT LOSS RESOLUTION?

Are you having difficulty sticking to your New Year’s resolution to lose weight?   Here are some benefits of weight loss that may help motivate you:

  • Losing weight will decrease stress to your leg joints with every day and recreational activities. 
  • Losing weight decreases the work load of your heart to pump blood throughout your body at rest and during activity.
  • Regular exercise to help with weight loss may also be an effective anti-depressant to help reduce the effects of the “winter blahs.”
  • Losing weight has been shown to improve cognitive functions such as attention, memory, language and executive functions of the brain (impulse and emotional control, adjusting to the unexpected, planning, initiation of tasks, and organizational skills). 

 

If you need help with your weight loss goals, your physical therapist can help!

Thank you for reading and stay active!

 

References: 

www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495

www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-and-depression-report-excerpt

Veronese N et al.  Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2017 Jan;72:87-94.

Rio Paralympics - Athletes to watch!

Almost everyone knows about the Olympic Games, but not everyone knows about or understands what the Paralympic Games are.  The Paralympic Games begin in Rio de Janiero on September 7, with the opening ceremony just like the Olympic Games. 

Paralympic actually means “around” the Olympics and does not identify a specific disability type.  The Paralympic Games are held at a time around the time of each Olympic Games.  The 2016 Paralympic Games consist of 23 sports and over 4000 athletes from more than 170 countries are expected to attend.   Athletes compete against other athletes with similar disability levels.   New to the Paralympic Games this year is canoeing.

In the past, I have had the opportunity to volunteer at many sporting events for athletes with disabilities, including the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.  I was privileged to see one of my best friends, Larry Hughes, win a gold medal in the discus and set a Paralympic record while I was working!   Although the hours were long (the athletic events were held in the morning and evening due to heat with practice sessions in the afternoons) I wouldn’t have traded the time spent working with such amazing athletes from all over the world.

In Rio this year, one of the athletes to watch is a young woman named Tatyana McFadden.  I have had the pleasure of watching her grow up as an athlete while competing in local wheelchair sports competitions.  Keep you eye on her in all of the women’s wheelchair events, from the 100m to the marathon! 

Another American to watch is Matt Stutzman, aka the “Armless Archer.”  In Judo, look for American Dartanyon Crockett to medal.  On the courts, look for the USA men’s wheelchair basketball to be a force to beat.  You can catch the action at www.nbc.com and www.teamusa.org.

 

* Photo Credit Larry Hughes, 1996 Paralympics Medal Winner

Pickleball Frenzy!

Pickleball is a sport played on a court one fourth the size of a tennis court using a paddle and whiffelball. This multi-generational game was invented sixty years ago by three dads and was played in a driveway. When a family member’s dog named “Pickle” kept stealing the ball, they appropriately named this game “pickleball.

Today pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. Looking at numbers, the estimation is that by the year 2018, 18 million people in the United States will be playing pickleball. The governing agency of pickleball, the USA Pickleball Association, reports that over 200 new facilities are being added monthly. The appeal of this fast-paced game is multi-fold. Pickle ball is a quick study. One can be taught the rules, scoring, and stroke mechanics in less than an hour. Games are short- to eleven points. Rotating teams in and out of games means that you are getting a great workout while meeting new friends. Rallies last a longer time than tennis because the ball is a light sized whiffelball. Many seniors are attracted to pickleball because it is played on a small court and is low-impact. It does not require the kind of joint strain and vigorous bending that tennis does. Pickle ball is extremely aerobic and great for working on balance and agility.

In 2015 the USAPA integrated the sport of pickleball with the acceptance of wheelchair rules. In staying true to the mission of inclusion and accessibility, the sport was opened up to all permanent physical disabilities with the advent of Para-Pickleball.

Local venues for playing pickleball can be found by googling the USAPA and clicking on “where to play” or the interactive map. Also, this website lists local ambassadors that will help both newcomers and those from out of town find groups, lessons, and courts. In addition to recreational play, there are local, state, and national tournaments for those people who are competitive.

 

Guest Blogger: Barb Adams & Diane Easley
Ambassadors, Carlisle PA

 

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