Category Archives: Fitness

  1. 7 Fitness Tips for Summer Vacation Travel

    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.

    But, 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.

    With just a little forethought and planning, you can stay active and healthy throughout your trip, whether it lasts a few days or a few weeks.”

    So, for the purpose of planning, here are seven tips for staying fit and healthy while traveling:

    Plan Around an Activity: Don’t just plan your vacation around a place. Consider making one or a series of activities central to your agenda. For instance, plan to go on some hiking tours, try snorkeling for the first time, or make vacation a family camping trip.

    Keep Moving En Route: Whether you’re flying or driving, you’re going to likely do a lot of sitting and waiting during the front and back ends of your trip. So, capitalize on breaks in your trip to go for short walks, do some stretching, or warm the body through some dynamic exercises (i.e., lunges, light jogging, arm/leg swings, etc.)

    Explore on Foot/Bike: Once you’re at your new destination, resolve to explore the area on foot, either by jogging a new route each morning or taking regular walking tours of the area. Or, see the sites from the seat of a rented bike.

    Strength Train Using Body Weight: Even though you’re likely to be in an unfamiliar place with little to no gym access, don’t let that keep you from strength training. Whether in your hotel room or at a local park, your body weight provides ideal resistance while doing lunges, dips, push-ups, planks, and so on.

    Stay Hydrated: When you’re out of your element and distracted by new people and places, hydration habits can go awry. Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times as a reminder to hydrate continually throughout the day, and consume sugary and/or alcoholic drinks in moderation.

    Mind Your Diet: A disrupted or inconsistent schedule, coupled with a desire to try the local cuisine, can cause your good eating habits to go out the window. Continue to try new things, but do so with a plan. If you’re expecting a big dinner out one night, eat a lighter, healthier meal earlier in the day … and vice versa.

    Don’t Skimp on Sleep: While you may be tempted to trade sleep for a few more hours of sightseeing and new experiences, it’s not a trade worth making. Getting a good night’s sleep while on vacation will keep you more alert and active while improving the overall experience of your trip.

    And as you’re planning your trip, if you have any movement, discomfort or pain concerns that you feel may keep you from having a fun, relaxing time, visit a physical therapist before heading out.

    After a full assessment of the issue, a physical therapist can provide you with some treatment options and travel and/or exercise tips that can help you maximize your vacation’s enjoyment.

  2. Tips for Keeping the Weekend Warrior Healthy, Injury Free

    A “weekend warrior” is someone who, due to the hectic nature of a typical workweek, opts to cram most of her or his exercise into weekend workouts, activities, games and/or competitions.

    And while most physical therapists would never fault anyone for getting exercise, most would also agree that weekend warriors should be particularly cautious as the sporadic nature of their workout schedule puts them at a greater risk of getting injured.

    Days of downtime followed by sudden bursts of activity over a day or two isn’t ideal, after all. By putting greater stress on the body over a shorter period of time, weekend warriors should be aware that they’re putting themselves at greater risk of acute injuries, such as strains, sprains or worse.

    That’s because inactivity throughout the week can lead to a general deconditioning of the body that may include muscle tightness and imbalances, along with reduced endurance and cardiovascular fitness. A more consistent workout schedule can combat such deconditioning.

    But if one truly does struggle to find time to achieve their expert-recommended 150 minutes of exercise each week without cramming them into just a couple of days, we offer to following tips for avoiding injury.

    Space It Out – Rather than packing your weekly exercise minutes into two back-to-back days at the end of the week, consider spacing these days out. This can help you avoid some of the deconditioning effects mentioned above.

    Warm Up, Cool Down – When the weekend arrives and it comes time to take the field, hit the trails or tee off for 18, always warm up first. Take 5 to 10 minutes for some light resistance and cardio exercises to get the blood flowing. And after you’re done, cool down with some stretching. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout.

    Temper Your Intensity – When you’re packing your workouts into just a couple days a week, don’t overdo it. As you’re not exercising as consistently, stay on the safe side by pulling back slightly on your intensity.

    Mix It Up – Try not to fill your weekends with the same activities. Mix it up, perhaps focusing on cardio one weekend and strength another – or a variation thereof. This helps ensure your entire body remains balanced, reducing your chances of injury.

    Stay Active During the Week – Even if you don’t have time to hit the gym during the week, don’t use that as an excuse to be completely sedentary. Capitalize on brief moments during the week to move around, stretch, and maybe even do some exercising. Take the stairs, stretch during your breaks, stand at your desk, walk during meetings or after work, and maybe even fit 10 minutes of at-home resistance training into your evenings.

    Listen to Your Body – Always know your limits. And, if you feel aches and pains or suspect possible injury, stop exercising immediately and see a medical professional, such as a physical therapist. Don’t try to power through discomfort just so you can get through the weekend.

  3. Strength Training Critical for Active, Independent Aging

    To the 43 million Americans who have low bone density, putting them at high risk of osteoporosis, physical therapists have an important message: exercise is good medicine. But not just any exercise – weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening exercise.

    “Essential to staying strong and vital during older adulthood is participation in regular strengthening exercises, which help prevent osteoporosis and frailty by stimulating the growth of muscle and bone,” said David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., U.S. Surgeon General from 1998 to 2002. “Strength training exercises are easy to learn, and have been proven safe and effective through years of thorough research.”

    And while this benefit of strength training for older adults is a powerful one, it’s simply just one in a list of proven reasons why seniors should make strength training a part of their lifestyles and fitness regimens.

    While a reduction in strength is often considered an inevitable part of getting older, people of all ages should feel empowered to take charge of their overall health (including strength training) as they age.

    Along with diet and regular check-ups with both a physician and a physical therapist, an exercise regimen that includes elements of strength and resistance training can help slow some of the effects of aging – this, while also allowing one to maintain a high quality of life through activity and independence.

    “The work of scientists, health professionals, and older adult volunteers has greatly increased our knowledge about the aging process and how we can maintain strength, dignity and independence as we age,” Satcher said.

    According to reams of medical research, the many proven benefits of weight-bearing and resistance exercise include:

    Rebuilding Muscle: People do lose muscle mass as they age, but much of this can be slowed and even reversed through strength and resistance exercise. And of course, a stronger body has a direct impact on issues related to balance, fall prevention and independence.

    Reducing Fat: We also tend to more easily put on weight as we get older. Studies show, however, that while older adults gain muscle mass through strength training, they also experience a reduction in body fat.

    Reducing Blood Pressure: Studies have also shown that strength training is a great (and natural) way to reduce one’s blood pressure, even for those who “can’t tolerate or don’t respond well to standard medications.”

    Improving Cholesterol Levels: Strength training can actual help improve the level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the body by up to 21 percent, while also helping to reduce to levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

    Strengthening Mental Health: This goes with all exercise, including strength training. Maintaining a high level of fitness can combat anxiety, depression, issues with stress, etc. Exercise is also great for memory!

    Whether walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, etc., experts recommend 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity every day. Guidelines also suggest it’s also necessary to set aside another two to three days of strength and resistance training each week, which can include free weights, weight machines, Pilates, yoga, and so on.

    And for the sake of both health and safety, a thorough strength, movement and balance assessment should precede any new exercise regimen, especially for older adults – assessments that physical therapists are uniquely qualified to perform.

     

  4. Pools Offer Fitness and Relief for Older Adults

    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, say physical therapists and other health care professionals.

    “When you do an exercise on land, like jogging, you get an impact on your joints,” said Torben Hersbork, an osteopath from the Central London Osteopathy and Sports Injury Clinic. “But, when you exercise in the water, you don’t have any gravity forcing your body weight down onto your joints.”

    Because of this, experts say water exercise is ideal for people dealing with issues related to strength, flexibility, balance, sore joints and pain. This includes people recovering from injury or surgery, as well as those with chronic conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.

    The buoyancy of waist-deep water, for example, can support around half our body weight, while neck-deep water can reduce body weight by up to 90 percent. Such reduction in weight and impact on the joints can help people who may experience difficulty standing, balancing and exercising on land to move more freely – and often with less pain.

    In addition, water offers 12 times the resistance of the air around us. Because of this added resistance, movement and exercise while submerged in a pool can help build overall strength and stability in the body.

    “If you are over 50, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends moderately intense aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day, four times a week, plus resistance strength training, plus balance and flexibility training,” said Mary E. Sanders, a researcher at the University of Nevada (Reno). “A swimming pool provides the one place where you can do all of that at the same time without the need for a lot of machines – at your own pace and more comfortably.”

    One study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise back in 2007 showed that older women who regularly participated in a pool-based exercise program performed better in daily tasks than others who exercised similarly on land. The women in the study, for example, improved their walking speed by 16 percent, their agility by 20 percent, and their ability to walk stairs by 22 percent.

    Another study published earlier in the same publication (2002) showed that combining aqua aerobics with strength training while in the pool helped participants increase their strength by 27 percent in the quads, 40 percent in the hamstrings, and about 10 percent in the upper body.

    Even when people suffer from common chronic diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis, water exercise can help improve the use of affected joints while decreasing overall pain.

    “Exercise is an integral part of any arthritis treatment program, as it helps to strengthen and stabilize the joints, preventing further damage,” wrote Andrew Cole, M.D., an author on Arthritis-Health.com. “Water therapy is an excellent option for patients with osteoarthritis of the knees, hip osteoarthritis, and spinal osteoarthritis due to the decreased pressure placed on the joints.”

    Those who feel pool exercise or aquatic therapy may help them improve fitness levels or overall functional abilities should first contact their physical therapist for professional guidance. A physical therapist can help identify your greatest weaknesses and needs, then develop a pool fitness plan that specifically addresses these needs and your personal goals.

     

    SOURCES:

    Arthritis-Health.com: Water Therapy for Osteoarthritis
    https://www.arthritis-health.com/treatment/exercise/water-therapy-osteoarthritis

    AAPR: Making a Splash with Water Workouts
    https://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/info-2007/water_workouts.html

    AARP: Water Works Aquatic Activity: A Painless Way to Stay Fit
    https://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/info-12-2008/water_works_aquatic_activity_a_painless_way_to_stay_fit.html

    “Take It to the Pool: Benefits of Aquatic Exercise for Arthritis”
    https://fox11online.com/sponsored/osmsgb/take-it-to-the-pool-benefits-of-aquatic-exercise-for-arthritis

    Daily Mail: How Can Aqua-Exercises Help You Slim?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-105285/How-aqua-exercises-help-slim.html

    Cleveland Clinic: Benefits of Water-Based Exercise
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-water-based-exercise/

    CDC: Health Benefits of Water-Based Exercise
    https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/health_benefits_water_exercise.html

    WebMD: Water Exercise for Seniors
    https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/water-exercise-seniors#1

     

Aurora

Hours:
Monday – Thursday 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am – 4:00 pm

 

Services

  • One on One Care & Attention with a licensed Physical Therapist
  • Orthopedic Rehabilitation
  • Pre & Post- Surgical Rehabilitation
  • Manual Physical Therapy
  • Complex Spine Rehabilitation
  • Spine Instability – Prior Failed Rehab

  • (TDN) Trigger Point Dry Needling Cervicogenic & Tension Headaches
  • Joint injury, trauma and arthritic conditions
  • Physical Therapy for Aging Adults
  • Work Injury Rehabilitation
  • Sports Rehab & Return to Sports

Ned Zerwic, DPT, PT

Why Am I a Physical Therapist?
After going through rehab for my knee as a patient and then running a “Personal Record Best” later that season, I became enamored with the power of physical therapy. I was and still am amazed at the human body, it’s complexity and ability to recover and rehabilitate. I knew early on that I wanted to work with people. What better way to combine my fascination with the human body as well as the human spirit and it’s ability to fight, recover and rehabilitate? It is my mission to partner with patients by educating and putting their body in the optimal position to rehabilitate from injury to return to previous activities, interests and sports in order to live life to the fullest!
Continuing Education Commitment
I plan to pursue certification in Dry Needling and take courses on nerve flossing and myofascial release to further my skill set at relieving pain and restoring function. I plan to study and sit for a board exam to become an Orthopedic Certified Specialist.
Professional and Community Activities
As an Eagle Scout, I got an early introduction into the beauty of wilderness and the outdoors. I am an enthusiastic about backpacking, hiking, camping, kayaking, skiing, rock climbing, etc. I run marathons for charity to benefit some friends of mine that are part of a religious order serving the poor in a rough neighborhood on the west side of my hometown of Chicago. I am an active member of my local church community and recently joined the serving the poor ministry.

Meaghan O’Donnell, PT, DPT

Why am I a Physical Therapist?
I always wanted to be a teacher. Then in high school I injured myself ski racing and had to go to PT for my calf. While at PT I realized it involved a lot of teaching and loved going to my PT sessions every week. The rest is history.  I truly do love my job and get excited to go to work everyday and help people. My goal is that all of my patients achieve their full potential.  

Continuing Education Commitment
I will be pursuing my certificate in dry needling. I also have experience in pediatrics and want to continue learning neuro re-ed techniques to combine my pediatric experience to help my adult patients.

Professional and Community Activities
I received my doctorate in physical therapy at Ithaca College. My professional career started with a position treating adult ortho injuries half the day and pediatric neurological disorders and orthopedic injuries the other half of the day. After working in the outpatient setting for 2 years I worked full time in pediatrics in an inner city school district while also working nights at an outpatient clinic. Through this experience I realized that my passion lies in helping patients in the outpatient world. I love treating pediatric ortho injuries, chronic back pain, and all other orthopedic diagnosis. I use a lot of pain science and neuro re-education techniques in my sessions. I look forward to helping the people of Colorado return to their active lifestyles and enjoy life!

My biggest passion in life is skiing and that is what brought me to Colorado from Massachusetts. I was a ski racer through college then coached collegiate skiing. I am a PSIA level 1 ski instructor and taught in New Hampshire for 3 winters as well. When I can’t ski I like to go to concerts, hike, bike, and play in a kickball league in Denver.

Castle Rock

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 6:30 am – 7:00 pm
Friday: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm

Services

  • One-on-One Care With a Licensed Physical Therapist
  • Orthopedic Rehabilitation
  • Pre & Post- Surgical Rehabilitation
  • Manual Physical Therapy and Spinal Manipulation
  • Active Release Techniques
  • Prior Failed Rehab
  • Sports Rehabilitation & Return to Sports
  • (TDN) Trigger Point Dry Needlingc
  • Joint over-use, trauma and arthritic conditions
  • Physical Therapy for Aging Adults
  • Work Injury Rehabilitation
  • Tension/ Cervicogenic Headaches
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Treatment of Neurological Diseases
  • Performing Arts Medicine
  • Vestibular Therapy

Chad Hancock Director, PT, MSPT, CSCS, Cert. DN

Certified Dry Needling
Chad has been practicing physical therapy for over 15 years in an outpatient orthopedic sports medicine setting. He graduated from the University of Evansville, IN with a Master’s degree in physical therapy and has obtained through continuing education certifications in Trigger Point Dry Needling, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and selective functional movement assessment. He recently has been promoted to clinic director at the Castle Rock location and has a long history of working with sports-related injuries of all ages. Playing collegiate basketball, Chad really feels passionate about injury prevention and educating the youth on proper mechanic/movement patterns important to keeping athletes healthy. In his spare time, Chad enjoys hiking, mountain biking and spending time with his wife and two kids.

Andrew Trevino PT, DPT

Andrew is originally from El Paso, Texas but moved to Colorado at a young age and has never left! After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine and a Master’s degree in Human Anatomy and Physiology from Colorado State University, Andrew decided to pursue physical therapy. He recently graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Colorado Denver. He enjoys treating various orthopedic and sports related injuries, as well as helping people of all ages. Andrew has special interests in treating overhead athletes and golfers. In his free time, Andrew enjoys weight training, playing sports, spending time with his wife and dogs, and exploring the Colorado craft beer scene.

Jennifer Molner PT, DPT, Cert. DN

Jennifer has been a Castle Rock resident since 1999 and loves the small town feel of the growing city. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Medicine at Colorado State University and continued on to obtain her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Colorado Denver in 2013. She has also obtained certification in Trigger Point Dry Needling through continuing education. Jennifer is passionate about prevention of sports and working-related injuries. She enjoys treating various orthopedic injuries, rehabilitating individuals following orthopedic surgeries, and has a long history of treating lower extremity injuries. In her free time, she enjoys training in various forms of martial arts, mountain biking, off-roading in the Rockies, playing piano, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Downtown

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Services

  • Orthopedic Rehabilitation
  • Pre & Post- Surgical Rehabilitation
  • Complex Spine Rehabilitation/Spine Instability
  • Prior Failed Rehab
  • Sports Rehabilitation & Return to Sports
  • Joint over-use, trauma and arthritic conditions
  • Balance and Gait Training
  • Work Injury Rehabilitation
  • Tension/ Cervicogenic Headaches
  • Cupping
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling

Erika Jacob PT, MTC, Cert. DN

Erika has been practicing physical therapy for over 25 years, all in outpatient orthopedics. She graduated from Ithaca College, and went on to obtain certifications in manual therapy and trigger point dry needling. Erika loves to educate her patients about their injuries and their role in the rehabilitation process. Empowering patients to take care of themselves is one of the most rewarding parts of the job for her. She is a true believer in the importance of continuing education in order to have a varied skill set to treat each patient individually, and to stay up on current concepts in the field.

Eric Skarda PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT, Cert. DN

Eric Skarda has been practicing physical therapy in an orthopedic setting for the last ten years. He has developed a focus on spine rehab as well as chronic overuse injuries, but enjoys treating the entire spectrum of orthopedic conditions. Eric graduated from Regis University in 2008, then complete manual therapy certifications in both 2010 and 2011 with the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT), as well as receiving his Specialist Certification in Orthopedics (OCS) through the APTA in 2011. In 2012 he graduated from the NAIOMT Fellowship Program and at the time was the youngest manual therapy fellow in the country. Currently, he serves as teaching faculty with the Institute of Manual Physiotherapy and Clinical Training (IMPACT), as well as acting as a clinical fellowship instructor and examiner for the IMPACT certification programs.

Aaron Castonguay, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, Cert. DN, Medical Bike Fitter

Aaron has worked in outpatient orthopedics since he began as a physical therapist in 2013. Originally, he grew up in New England where he was an avid skier, biker, and traditional sport athlete. He received his undergraduate and doctoral graduate degrees in upstate New York, at Ithaca College, where he also competed in collegiate football and track & field. He moved to Colorado in 2014 for the mountains and sunshine. Aaron brings an eclectic treatment approach through his array of educations. These include a functional exercise and manual approach from the Gray Institute’s applied functional science certification in 2014, qualifying to be a strength and conditioning specialist through the NSCA in 2015, training and treating as a medical bike fitter from Specialized and RETUL trainings since 2016, earning his Level 2 dry-needling from Kietacore in 2017, and studied up on current clinical research through the APTA to be a certified orthopedic specialist in 2018.