Introduction to Foam Rolling – What is it and Why is it important?

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We at NPT HealthWorks help active individuals live a balanced, healthy, and mobile life in order to function at a high level with improved ease, less medication, and fewer doctor visits and surgeries. In order to do that, we take pride in educating individuals in our world to know how to implement self care in their lives. One of my personal favorite self-care items is the foam roller and I want to share with you why.

Foam rollers are cheap and effective self myofascial release tools that are designed in many shapes, sizes, textures, and levels of firmness. Basically a one time fee to provide yourself unlimited deep tissue massages. Generally the larger foam rollers can be more effective for the lower body and the smaller foam rollers (or lacrosse balls) can be better used for the upper body. There is little to no evidence suggesting a more smooth foam roller is more beneficial than one with ridges or a more firm one is better than one with less density. It really comes down to personal preference and what you can tolerate to perform the task. The intention of the foam roller is to break down muscle “knots” or trigger points that ultimately reduces soft tissue density in an injured muscle while increasing range of motion. It’s able to accomplish that by increasing blood flow, reducing edema, eliminating lactate and delivering oxygen to the targeted muscle.

General Instructions:

  • Frequency: 2-3x/week (give 24-48 hours in between sessions)
  • Intensity: Low to Moderate (it should feel tender/sore but not painful!)
  • Time: 5-10 minutes per targeted muscle group

Here are two quick videos of my favorite areas to foam roll that most individuals can benefit from. If you have any questions or comments regarding foam rolling, comment below or email me at drnate@newportript.com.

Videos:

Upper Body: Rotator Cuff

Lower Body: Quadriceps/ITB

Osteoporosis and Strength Training

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* Before beginning any new exercise routine, consult a fitness professional!

Osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in bone mineral density, causing an increased risk for bone fracture.  1 in every 4 women and 1 out of every 6-7 men are at risk for developing osteoporosis at some point in their lives.  Research has shown that an exercise program designed by a professional can assist with slowing down the process of bone density loss and can even help people slightly increase density. 

Each individual is different of course, but general guidelines are to strength train 2-3x weekly, 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps, and about 1 exercise per major muscle group. Daily balance exercise is recommended as well, up to 15 minutes daily. Balance exercise will generally not help with bone density, but it will decrease risk for falls and therefore risk for fractures.  Recommendations for impact exercise are as follows: for those with osteopenia or osteoporosis, without fractures, 50 impacts per session (light jog, hop, jump) are recommended.  For people with fractures, balance issues or lower extremity injury, brisk walking is better than regular walking, and regular walking is better than no exercise at all.  

Other forms of exercise such as swimming and cycling are great for cardiovascular health but do not produce much of an impact on bone growth. Regular exercise throughout the life span can help to offset the natural loss of bone mineral as well improve quality of life.

C’mon in and see your friendly local physio for a custom program!

Dr. Kim

The Health Benefits of Dog Ownership

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Getting a dog in Oct 2018 changed my world. That first year, it challenged me, changed my “norms”, and even broke me down mentally at times. Dog ownership gave me, and has given me every day since then – extreme responsibility, chores, and sacrifice. Everyone warned me, owning a dog would be work. They weren’t lying. But here comes the good part – all of that “hard stuff” was trumped, in the best way possible. What happened was, it has taught me to “show up” every day.

As long as we can remember, we have claimed dogs as one of our closest and best companions. Dogs mean so much to us, they live up to their given roles as: protector, lifesaver, and companion. We become inseparable with our dogs, and they become our shadow. I found that this bond and relationship overtime becomes one of the deepest we have, despite our communication differences. What I didn’t know was how huge the physical, mental and emotional impact having a dog could lend a human…

pets health benefits

I know personally speaking, there have been PLENTY of New England weather days I have not wanted to go outside, but you know who did? My wiggly companion. There are numerous studies showing that dog owners get more physical activity, which could lead to a prolonged and healthier life. With increase in activity, it has been proven time and time again, heart heath can be improved – Increasing the longevity of life with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Emotionally speaking, dog ownership has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, and encourage playfulness.

For me, dog ownership & my best bud gives me a sense of security, belonging and happiness. It’s unbelievable how well he knows me, and how well I know him in return. He’s incredibly silly, giving me constant smiles & laughing fits. As an adult, I play more, get outside more, breathe fresh air & get in the sun more. My little ball of energy cracked open my heart, and has made me a much happier, healthier (physically, mentally and emotionally) version of myself, and for that I am forever grateful.

– Maddie