Sports downtime got you down?

While regular sporting activities and practices are currently canceled due to the global health crisis, it doesn't mean that your child's sport-specific ability has to suffer.  In fact, there are a few positives to having this extra downtime.

  1. Get back to basics.  This is a great opportunity for athletes to work on the basic foundational skills in their sport without the increased training volume of regular practices and competitions.  Get out and practice the basics of passing and receiving and perfect your skills with repeated practice.  Work on your overall conditioning and strength by developing a fitness program.  Ideally, this should include some cardiovascular training, strength training, using either body weight or resistance, at least 2 days a week, and flexibility exercises.
  2. Injury Recovery and Prevention.  Now is a great time to reflect on the various aches and pains that occur during the season and figure out a plan to prevent them from reoccurring.  Seeking out advice or evaluation by our physical therapists could help you identify areas of weakness or faulty movement patterns that need to be addressed.  Our clinic is offering both in-clinic and telehealth options for evaluation.
  3. Study the game.  Take the time to watch a video of your sport, whether that is recorded from one of your previous games, or a professional or college level game.  Analyze the game and look for ways to improve.
  4. Cross-train.  Overuse injuries are common in sports especially for those athletes who play the same sport year-round.  Take advantage of the opportunity to get out and go for a bike ride, walk or hike with your family, maybe even try rollerblading.  New activities require us to use our muscles in different ways and develop different movement patterns and athletic skills while allowing some time for our overused muscles to rest.

Use this downtime to help you become a more well-rounded and stronger athlete.  If you need help developing a fitness plan or want to be assessed by a physical therapist to determine your best action plan, please feel free to contact our clinic to schedule an evaluation.  

Jen Buono, PT, DPT


Breathing Exercises to Improve Lung Capacity

Lung capacity is the total amount of air that your lungs can hold. Typically, we see a slow reduction in capacity as we age. Conditions such COPD(chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can worsen lung capacity causing difficulty breathing and shortness of breath.

The good news is that there are exercises that can help maintain and improve your lung capacity allowing easier breathing and healthier lungs.

Diaphragmatic Breathing
Otherwise known as “belly breathing”, diaphragmatic breathing engages the diaphragm, which is the muscle we want doing the heavy lifting during breathing.

-Sit or lie down in a relaxed position.
-Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
-Inhale through your nose for two seconds and feel your stomach move out. It should move more than your chest.
-Breathe out for two seconds through pursed lips while gently pressing on your belly. Repeat.

Pursed Lip Breathing
Helps slow breathing down and reduces the work of breathing. This may be easier for beginners than diaphragmatic breathing.

-Inhale slowly through your nose.
-Purse your lips as of about to blow on something.
-Breathe out slowly through pursed lips. This should take at least twice as long as breathing in took. Repeat.

Do these exercises daily if your health allows. If you are concerned about your breathing or don't know if you are healthy enough to do these exercises, please see your doctor for an exam.


Stephany Primrose, P.T.

Telehealth is an option during COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have stopped much of the world. Once busy streets and shops are empty, activities are cancelled and you may not even be going to work. One thing that the virus has not stoppe is pain and injury. Maybe you were seeing your PT when stay at home orders were issued. Maybe you've been having more pain and soreness in your back or neck because of all the time you've spent in front of the computer working at home, or maybe you hurt yourself over the weekend doing some yard work or exercising to relieve stress. How do you get the care you need without putting yourself or others at risk during this time of social distancing?

Technology like the internet, electronic medical records, online patient portals, smartphones and webcams open up treatment and intervention options that may be new to both you and your provider. Virtual platforms allow one-on-one interactions in real time. Patient portals allow uploads and updates of home exercise programs and educational materials. You may not be able to go to your PT, but your PT may be able to come virtually to you! Rules and regulations vary from state to state, and insurer to insurer. They are also being rapidly updated and changed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the best way to find out what is available to you is to contact your physical therapist and ask!

Virtual Visit Tips
● You'll need a device with a screen, camera and microphone. This could be a smartphone, tablet, or computer
● You may need a specific app - your therapist will tell you what you need and where to find it
● Choose a private space where you feel comfortable to conduct your visit. Make sure you have room to move, this is still a PT visit and movement is the whole point!
● Wear clothes that you can move in, and that your PT can see you move in. Very loose, baggy clothing makes it hard for your PT to see and evaluate your movement
● Collect any equipment you may have beforehand, so your PT knows what you have to work with. Examples might include resistance bands, foam rollers, yoga mats and blocks, etc.
● Be ready to get creative and have fun! For many patients and therapists, televisits are a new experience so expect to work together and try new things to find what works best for you.

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