Monthly Archives: March 2012

Some Easy Tips for Losing Weight

With summer right around the corner, everyone wants to shed some extra pounds so they can look good in their warm weather clothes.  Here are some tips for the weight loss novices that will jump start your attempt to lighten the load.

Tip #1:  Drink plenty of water.   Not only will this keep you hydrated, but water aids digestion and will make you feel fuller quicker.  This will help to cut back on the calories consumed.

Tip #2:  Eat smaller Meals more frequently.  Food for your body is like gas for your car.  It powers your activities but stores what it doesn’t use in your tank.  If you consume too many calories and your body does not burn them before the next meal, they will be stored as fat.  The small frequent meals also help to stabilize blood sugar which improves energy levels.

Tip #3:  Eat a good breakfast.  Research has shown that people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day than people who do not eat breakfast.

Tip #4:  Keep a food Journal.  By logging what you eat and in what quantities, you will enable yourself to actually see if you are eating too much, and how often you may be consuming high calorie foods.

Tip #5:  Exercise Daily.  The part of your body that burns the most fat is your heart, so try to elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis.  If you can burn an extra 500 calories each day, you will easily loose an extra pound each week.  Lifting weights will not only improve your strength, but it is the most effective way to burn the extra carbs in your system that will be converted to fat if not used.

By: Steven L. Bernstein PT, OMT

How Do I Get the Best Results After My Total Joint Replacement?

Many of my patients ask, “How do I get the best results after my total joint replacement?” It is an extremely important question, as joint replacement technology is improving and the surgery is being more widely performed. Younger adults and active older adults are resorting to total joint replacement to combat degenerative joint changes. These adults usually intend to stay active after surgery and want to be back to their hobbies and activities as soon as possible.

First of all, you need to have realistic expectations and know what to expect following your operation. Making the best of your rehab during physical therapy and being diligent at home with daily exercises is extremely important. Daily strengthening should be performed for up to 6 months before a full return to sports participation can be expected. Your physical therapist and surgeon may also require sport specific conditioning (e.g. chipping and putting for golf, hitting forehands and backhands for tennis, etc.) in tangent with the therapy exercises. It is often six months before they can return to full sports participation.

Here are some tips to insure returning to full sport and hobby participation after your surgery:

  • Those who go into surgery with good range of motion and strength, come out of surgery with better range of motion and strength. Staying active before your surgery is important in your recovery and light strengthening and stretching up to your surgery date are extremely beneficial.
  • Even after being discharged from physical therapy, placing load and force through the joint (generated by movement) helps the bone grow around the implant and hold it in place better after surgery.  Some activities are recommended over others (e.g., walking, biking, or swimming rather than jogging, or running), because they place less load and strain on the hip and knee than others.
  • Scar tissue can continue to granulate and mature for up to 1 year after surgery, so continuing to challenge and strengthen your new joint will keep you from developing a weakness and stiffness throughout your first year.

It is a big decision but most patients are much happier after they put in the hard work to rehabilitate their new joint. Just remember, stay positive and stay active.

By: Chris Athos, MPT

Put Down the Soda and Take Off the Pounds!

Obese or overweight subjects who replace high-calorie drinks with water are twice as likely to lose 5% or more of their body weight.

Soda is a junk food. When consumed in a regular diet, it provides nothing but empty calories to the body and most contain no vitamins and minerals. The primary additive in most sodas is high fructose corn syrup, which has no dietary benefit. The remaining ingredients in soda consist of sweeteners and preservatives. Also, coming as no surprise, the sugar consumption involved in drinking soda is cited for causing tooth decay, however, the acid in soda has been proven to erode tooth enamel in just 20 minutes.

Soda may even be a contributing factor to more brittle bones, resulting in lower bone density. It has been found that a moderately higher level of calcium was lost by those who drank carbonated beverages that are high in caffeine. This appeared to be consistent with people drinking soda instead of healthier beverages like real fruit juice.

If the health risks of soda are not enough to get people to stop drinking it, maybe vanity will work.

Other side effects of drinking soda include an increased risk of obesity (which is rising in the U.S.) and diabetes (which can result from being overweight). Consuming soda in moderate amounts can minimize the side effects yet the amount of sugar found in soda is excessive for one day, let alone one drink.

Swapping out the soda, or carbonated beverage, for water is a quick way that overweight (obese) individuals to drop up to five pounds.

In a study that will be printed in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers discovered that when a group of overweight and obese subjects substituted water for their high-calorie drinks, they were twice as likely to lose five percent or more of their body weight compared to their counterparts.

The other participants either were given diet soda or were given general information about healthy lifestyle change and were free to drink what they chose. This study was done over a six month span.

Diet soda may not be the answer to a replacement for regular soda.  According to a study by Harvard University, two or more servings of the diet alternative correlates with a decrease in kidney function. Kidney function was reduced at a quicker pace in women observed in this study.

Meanwhile, another 10 year study released this year that suggested that daily diet soda drinkers increased their risk of a stroke or heart attack by 43 percent (Journal of General Internal Medicine, January 2012).

In conclusion, drinking soda every day and even a couple of times per day can contribute to adverse health effects.  Still, after all of the claims, facts and tests, drinking water instead of soda is a tall order for some people who have become addicted to the fizzy, sugary taste of carbonated beverages.

Just remember if your car battery dies and you need a jump, if your terminals are corroded, you can use soda to clean them off. If you need to take the paint off your car, just reach for that soda.  Experiment: place a metal object in a glass of soda and let it sit for about four days . . . see what happens. Now think about your soft tissues on the inside!

By: Rocco Ferraiolo PTA, NASM-CPT, SPARQ certified