physiquality blog: coronavirus and physical therapy

We have all entered a new normal. Parents are learning how to work from home when kids are running around. Everyone is trying to follow the latest social distancing rules, whether that means getting take out instead of eating in or bumping ankles instead of shaking hands.

And anyone trying to recuperate from injury is certainly wondering what’s safe in this environment. My colleagues at PTPN sent these guidelines to their members, and any concerned patients should follow up with their own PT clinics to make sure they are following similar guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Coronavirus and physical therapy

advice from PTPN, Physiquality’s parent company

Among the many concerns you have about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), are you wondering about attending physical therapy appointments? The good news is that, for now, outpatient therapy clinics are considered a relatively low-risk environment for exposure, and most clinics are well-versed in proper disinfection and protection procedures.

Here’s a list of best practices that therapy offices should be following. Feel free to call your physical therapist and ask about the office’s safety precautions, as well as what your therapist’s recommendation is for you regarding physical therapy appointments.

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physiquality blog: how to help someone suffering from a heart attack

While writing this post, I learned a new phrase that seems like it would be fairly common: Bystander Effect. Apparently, if there is an emergency, the larger the crowd, the more likely people are to stay quiet, hoping someone else (that’s more likely more prepared for whatever problem is occurring) will speak up.

The challenge here is that with someone having a heart attack outside of a hospital, only one person in 10 survives. Only 10%.

And one factor raises the survival rate by an amazing amount: If someone starts CPR within two minutes, the survival rate climbs to 45%. Forty. Five. Percent.

This made me think about what I would do if I suspected someone nearby was in trouble. I will try to remember what our experts recommended in order to keep that person alive.

How to help someone suffering from a heart attack

with advice from AED Superstore

Heart attacks can be scary. They can be sudden, and they can be lethal. Recent statistics show that for every 100 people that suffered a heart attack outside the hospital, on average only 10 survived. But there’s another statistic from the American Heart Association that will give you hope — that improved to a 45% survival rate when a bystander performed CPR. This means that the more people understand how to respond, the better our survival rate from heart attacks will be.

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physiquality blog: preparing for running in cold weather

When it comes to temperatures, I’m a bit like my bulldog or Goldilocks: Not too hot, not too cold… I want it just right.

But I can respect people who make resolutions to go out there no matter how cold the weather is in order to stick to their fitness or running goals. I just hope they heed some of the advice I gathered from our experts.

Preparing for running in cold weather

with advice from Mitch Kaye, PT

When temperatures drop but you’ve made a resolution to run more in 2020, you might feel like you’re trapped between an icy rock and a hard place. But if you wear the right gear and approach your run with the right attitude, you’ll be keeping pace with your goals before you know it.

Here are six things to keep in mind as you run in freezing weather:

Wear the right clothes and shoes. You might be tempted to dress like a polar scientist, but running in cold weather requires lighter, looser gear. Think layers — air trapped between your layers of clothing can be insulation against the cold. And remember that you’ll get warmer as you run; the general rule is to dress like it’s about 20 degrees warmer than what it actually is, so you will be a little chilly when you start running.

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physiquality blog: using exercise to manage stress

I can easily say that for us, the last six weeks of the year are the most stressful time, every year, hands down. Balancing the needs of two families, plus all of the holiday communications, plus wrapping and finding gifts for more than 30 people, plus all of the requisite cooking and traditions that need to be followed… It’s a lot.

I often forego certain classes because of other commitments, yet when I do finally attend yoga or go to a dance class, I feel so much better. (The challenge is what I do afterward — I went from yesterday’s yoga class to the grocery store, home to clean up, to 2 different malls for my son’s photo with Santa, then back home to cook dinner for guests.)

But we do what we can. Like most people, I try to remember not to overburden our schedule too much, and to take breaks to avoid burnout before Santa even makes it down the chimney.

Using exercise to manage stress

with advice from Diego Kim, PT, DPT

The holiday craziness is in full swing: Office parties and family gatherings. School performances and final exams. Impending travel and days away from work and your regular routine.

The end of the year can be overwhelming, and it’s not uncommon to be stressed out. While you might be tempted to grit your teeth and push through your crazy schedule, it’s healthier to acknowledge your stress and manage it in a healthy way, like through exercise.

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physiquality blog: obesity: what are the risks, and how can physical therapy help?

with advice from Progressive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation and AED Superstore

The word has been out for a while: Obesity is on the rise in America. A study published last year by JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) showed that no matter which way you look at the data (all adults, men vs. women, specific age groups), more people are obese in all of these categories than there were 10 years ago.

What can contribute to obesity?

A variety of factors can lead to obesity, explains AED Superstore, a Preferred Vendor for PTPN (Physiquality’s parent company). Yes, it can be the result of eating more than you should and moving less than you should. But sometimes it’s a good idea to consider why you might be doing that.

To learn more, read the full entry at

physiquality blog: is this your first time at physical therapy?

Having gone through this process several times, this was one of the easier posts to conceive (and one of the harder ones to make sure I was citing outside sources). I’ve been advised to do several of these things, like wearing shorts, talking about expectations, and writing down questions, even after your first appointment.

Any time you think of something to ask your PT, write it down. Once you’re in the thick of your appointment, it’s easy to forget to ask such things.

Is this your first time at physical therapy?

with advice from Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy and Mitch Kaye, PT

So you’ve been having knee pain for a while, and you’re considering physical therapy. What should you expect when you go for your first appointment?

In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, let’s take a look at some things to consider as you start therapy:

Before you even walk through the door, fill out as much of the paperwork as you can. Your doctor will forward on any tests or diagnoses made at her clinic, notes Bethany Urquidez, a physical therapist at Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy (a Physiquality network member in Arizona). However, your PT will have specific questions about how your body feels and moves, as well as needing the typical insurance paperwork. A lot of physical therapy clinics will have all the required paperwork posted to their website, making it easy to fill out before you arrive for your first appointment.

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physiquality blog: how can I use wearable technology to improve my health?

I will admit that I’ve tried to use my Apple watch to track my movement. I’ve slowly increased my activity goal over the last few months, and I use the exercise tracker to remind me of how (in)frequently I work out. But I could probably do more by following some of the tips our experts gave us.

How can I use wearable technology to improve my health?

with advice from Activbody, AED Superstore and Polar

For better or worse, technology has become a part of our daily lives. We can receive calls and messages anywhere, at any time. We can count our steps and track our runs. We can even do guided meditation and receive daily affirmations. And now, “wearable tech” can monitor our health moment by moment.

Wearable tech is made up of devices designed to be worn on the body to help you to achieve fitness and wellness goals and track your health. Examples include fitness trackers, smartwatches and even virtual reality headsets. While smartphones have been able to collect data about our health for a while, it wasn’t always very consistent. AED Superstore, a preferred vendor for PTPN (Physiquality’s parent company), points out that wearable tech like Fitbits and Apple watches are an improvement over smartphones because they are in constant contact with our skin, the body’s largest organ.

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physiquality blog: exercise during the 4th trimester, or how moms can start exercising after birth

I barely remember the bleary-eyed days after my son was born. It was almost a week between when my labor started and we brought the baby home from the hospital, and it took a solid two weeks after that to start feeling human again. Sleep deprivation is no joke.

But the one thing that was guaranteed to help me feel better was walking. I knew that it would help me improve my health, even after a C-section, and since we were in a walkable neighborhood, I could walk to Starbucks for coffee, or Trader Joe’s for a snack. It helped me to escape the house even for a few minutes to join the land of the living again.

There are days when I still struggle to exercise on a regular basis, but I am thankful that I was able to create a semi-regular fitness regimen in the first few months after our son was born. Yes, it helps to shed the baby weight, but the more important part is to create those exercise habits for a healthy lifestyle for the long term.

Exercise during the 4th trimester, or how moms can start exercising after birth

with advice from Ann Cowlin, MA, CSM, CCE

Being a new parent is tough. There are lots of sleepless nights, and a new baby in the house that can’t quite tell you what she needs — to eat, to sleep, to poop. Perchance all three.

While new moms often focus exclusively on their babies, it’s good to remember that moms are recuperating from birth and need to focus on their own health and wellness as well. Think of it as the oxygen mask rule on an airplane: You have to put on your own oxygen mask before putting one on your child. In other words, you have to be healthy yourself in order to be the best parent to your kids.

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physiquality blog: how to prepare for sports tryouts

Athletes (and that includes those that try out for cheerleading and dance teams) often need to tryout or audition every year to stay on the team. For some kids, this can cause a great deal of stress or anxiety as they try to make sure they can continue to do a sport that they love.

I remember auditioning for drill team every spring. It was nauseating. (Granted, as a dancer, I grew accustomed to being judged for teams and roles throughout high school. Which may explain why I only weighed 105 pounds at graduation — dancers often cut their meals at the first sign of such evaluation.) Perhaps I would have been better prepared if I had taken some of this advice when preparing for those tryouts.

How to prepare for sports tryouts

with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS, and Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

While we’re closing in on peak summer vacation time, some athletes are already preparing for fall sports and team tryouts. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you hope to make the team.

  1. Train your body.

This may seem obvious, but it doesn’t mean that you need to only play the sport for which you’re trying out. Certified strength and conditioning coach Mark Salandra advises athletes to think about what skills might be tested during the tryout beyond sports-specific movements. “Strength training and agility training are great ways to prepare your body for any type of tryout,” says Mark, the founder of (one of Physiquality’s partner programs).

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physiquality blog: 5 tips for avoiding pain while working in the garden

I will be the first to admit that my place is not in the garden, at least if anyone wants the plants to survive longer than a few days. Between my allergies (to both plants and mosquitoes), my fair skin, and my propensity for heat stroke, I’m an indoors girl.

That said, I can respect the work it takes to create a lovely garden. No garden can grow well untended, and the best take hours of work every year — planting, weeding, watering, repeat. So if you’re starting to feel some aches and pains after tending your garden, try these tips to feel better so that you can truly relax in that beautiful landscape of yours.

5 tips for avoiding pain while working in the garden

One of the joys of retirement, I’ve been told, is tending a garden — digging deep into the soil to build a landscape in which we can relax and, both literally and figuratively, enjoy the fruits of our labors.

But sometimes those labors can lead to aches and pains in one’s neck, back, knees and more. Here are some tips on how to reduce your pain while working in the yard.

  1. Set realistic goals before you put on those gardening gloves.

One of the best ways to avoid wasted time, money and effort is to make a plan. Think about what exactly you want to do in your garden and make sure you plan for the time and effort to buy your plants and flowers as well. People often set aside the time for weeding and planting without thinking about how long it will take to select what you’ll be setting into the ground, or that you might be sore after loading and unloading everything at the store and at home.

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