Wellfie Wednesday Tip #133: #ClimbDC This FRIDAY (1/25/19)

Welcome back! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week’s post is notice to an event coming up this Friday, 1/25/19, and brought to you by Nick Schmit, a physical therapist student and member of the Academy of Prevention and Health Promotion Therapies.

What happens when you bring a group of people with a passion for turning the “sick care” system into a true “health care system” together in Washington D.C.? You get #climbDC organized by the Academy of Prevention and Health Promotion Therapies (APHPT)! Small changes to your physical activity, like taking the stairs, can make a significant impact on your health and we want the D.C. community to experience this first hand. That’s why, in parallel with CSM on FridayJanuary 25th, we will attempt to summit Everest, a cumulative 29,029 feet, on staircases throughout the city.

Keep your eyes on #climbDC on social media for the exact locations, but we’ll be stationed throughout the city getting passersby to climb with us and celebrating their achievements. Join us, and bring some friends, at one of these spots to get in your stairs or hang for a while and help talk all things incidental physical activity and health. We also hope you’ll track all your stairs throughout the day, no matter if you’re local or remote and add to our cumulative elevation. Log your steps at www.aphpt.org/tracker.

Although the main goal of our event is to raise awareness about the large impact a small change can make on someone’s health, we are also raising money for a local non-profit that we feel exemplifies the mission of the APHPT - The After School All Stars D.C. You can get more information about #climbDC, track your steps, and make your donation or pledge at www.aphpt.org/CSM.

Thank you for all of your support and we hope to see you on the steps! - Nick Schmit

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #132: Try Out Meatless Monday

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and it reintroduces one of our original posts back in 2016. The movement is so inspiring that it deserves more recognition. Meatless Monday, a non-profit health initiative launched in 2003 by the Center for a Livable Future at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health, encourages people around the world to go meatless one day a week for their health & the health of the planet. #MeatlessMonday.

The Meatless Monday website is full of amazing resources that can help you make the change personally, but also help spread the word to others. As you have probably heard from us in the past, plant-based eating patterns (limiting the consumption of processed foods and meats, especially red meat and processed meat) have shown to reduce risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

MM_PlantProteinPower_Asparagus.gif

One of the biggest misconceptions I come across is that we need to consume meat in order to get our days worth of protein. And that is just not true! There are many other options to choose from, that are rich in vitamins and minerals and will also provide tons of beneficial fiber. Aside from that, choosing to eat more plants is fun and excited! Giving you the opportunity to experiment with different textures and flavors and really be creative.

And what’s awesome is that some hospital systems are starting to see the benefit as well. Just this week in NY, Woodhull Hospital and Kings County Hospital launched their very own “Meatless Mondays” initiative. Check out this article for more details.

Join in on the Global Movement! Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #131: New Year, New Me, New… Toothbrush?

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt).

Let’s all be honest with ourselves, when’s the last time you changed your toothbrush?

Oral hygiene is something we all frequently take for granted, something we do on autopilot: wake up and brush teeth, brush teeth and go to bed. But is that really enough?  Well, dental care is not really a “one-fits-all” situation, but one method ­does fit many. Now, I know I won’t be able to convince you all to floss your teeth more regularly so let’s just focus in on something we can all do right now.

REPLACE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH.

Dentists and toothbrush makers suggest replacing your toothbrush every 3 months, but why? The purpose of a toothbrush is to help remove plaque build up from your teeth and from sitting along your gum line. Regardless of the material of your toothbrush bristles, they will weaken overtime and no longer effectively remove the plaque. With that said, those of you using sensitive toothbrushes should take note that you will likely need to replace your toothbrushes more frequently because the bristles are already softer.

Not convinced? Let’s talk bacteria and fungus. Your toothbrush is similar to your kitchen sponge. It is used to clean and it’s not like we all have a way to clean our toothbrushes after each brushing. Each time you brush, you leave germs behind tucked into those bristles (gross). Those germs can develop into bacteria and fungus and can lead to reinfection (if you’ve been sick recently) or become infected by whatever is growing on there.

So, I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going to go replace my toothbrush now because (1) I’ve been sick and (2) toothbrushes are gross.

P.S. I’m no dentist, but I was told to be one every day of my life since I was 5 years old, so you can imagine I had an odd fascination with dental care and oral hygiene.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #130: Bring in the New Year!

Happy Wellfie Wednesday and Happy New Year! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio).

We hope your 2019 is off to a great start! Though we know every start of the year comes with many New Year Resolutions and most of the time they are broad and non-specific. Such as “I’m going to exercise more,” “I’m going to lose weight,” “I’m going to spend more time with friends and family,” and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, these are great, but may end being very difficult to attain without an execution plan or support.

This year try to set some specific goals for yourself. You can start with a big picture idea, such as losing weight, but break it down into small attainable goals that may help build your confidence and keep a consistent wave of success. Now since most people go the route of improving their health and well-being, here are some things that may help. Have an Accountability Buddy, whether a friend, co-worker, family member, or even a complete stranger with similar goals. Get someone in your corner to help keep you focused and motivate you along the way. Track your progress; when setting small goals you need to have a way of knowing if they’re being met and if you are actually doing what you have set out to do. Self reflection will only make you stronger. Path deviation is OKAY! Since you are most likely tackling a behavior, it’s normal to revert back to old habits or how things were before, but don’t be discouraged. As long as you maintain consistency you’ll most likely be successful in your endeavors and continue meeting your goals.

We hope that you have big things planned for this year, but even more hopeful that you remember success comes with support, consistency, and small incremental change.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #129: Dream Challenge

Welcome Back! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week’s post is brought to you by Aaron (@FreestylePhysio). Enjoy! 

I have a challenge for our readers this week for those willing to give it a shot. But first, a quick back story behind its inspiration. One podcast I like to listen to is called Redesigning Wellness. One of my favorite episodes is number 84 with Mary Miller, CEO of JANCOA. The JANCOA story is incredible. In fact, a book was inspired by it. JANCOA is a janitorial services company. As you could imagine, the Janitorial industry has a very high turnover rate. The JANCOA team sought out to fix this problem. However, along their journey they discovered the root cause of turnover was not what they expected, and the “Dream Manager” program was eventually born as a result. Dreaming seems as natural to humans as breathing. I really feel like it’s essential to well-being. Dreams are visions of hope. The book ends with a challenge, to write down 100 dreams. They offer 12 categories to help your brainstorming process:  

  • Physical

  • Emotional

  • Intellectual 

  • Spiritual 

  • Psychological 

  • Material

  • Professional 

  • Financial 

  • Creative

  • Adventure 

  • Legacy

  • Character 

It seems like a fitting time of year to bring this up, given we are approaching the holidays, allowing many of us to break from the daily grind and have time to reflect. Plus, new year resolutions are right around the corner #NewYearNewMe. Why just have one resolution, WHEN YOU CAN HAVE 100???! (CAPS FOR SARCASM). In all seriousness though, I think it’s a good exercise and noticing the themes in your list will likely tell you something about what is most important to you. Don’t overthink it. No matter how big or small, how practical or ridiculous, write down 100 dreams and see what comes to mind. I plan on taking some time to do it, and I hope you will too. More importantly, I hope you all have an awesome holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #128: Early Winter Bringing SAD News

Welcome Back! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week’s post is a repost of a tip shared at the start of this year by Diana (@DianaKlatt). With the recent passing of Winter Storm Diego (which left a fair share of snow across the country, even in the Carolina), we felt it was time to get a jump start on Winter, since it has apparently already arrived, bringing SAD news.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
     SAD is a subset of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and is triggered based on seasonal changes, most frequently during the onset of winter. The most common symptoms are lethargy, oversleeping, depression, extreme changes in eating habits (loss of appetite or overeating), loss of interests, thoughts of helplessness, and suicide.

     Now, the first symptom, lethargy, is quite common and expected during the winter season and is not necessarily a strong sign of having this issue. However, in the United States of America along, roughly 20% of people have some level of SAD, so lethargy shouldn’t be ignored. But when should you really get concerned? When lethargy is combined with depression and you are eating less and feel like you aren’t really doing much/feeling helpless and useless. These are all symptoms associated with depression, which should be appropriately addressed. If you are feeling like this please seek professional help! There is no shame in getting the help you need!

↓ Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get into the why and how of this happening ↓

     As I previously discussed, during winter there is less sunlight hitting the earth and temperatures drop. Shorter days have shorter photoperiods, or rather, less hours of daylight. A decrease in sunlight is linked with changing the levels of serotonin and melatonin in your body. These are the neurotransmitters responsible for mood, energy, sleep, and most importantly your circadian rhythm. Serotonin is responsible for regulating your mood and decreases exposure to sunlight results in decreased serotonin production, which ultimately leads to decreased moods (i.e. depression). Low levels of serotonin has the highest correlation with SAD presentation. Melatonin is known for being the neurotransmitter related to sleep but that’s not all it does, melatonin is also responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm (which is linked to your ability to sleep… so thinking of sleeping isn’t wrong, per se). Decreased sun exposure causes an increase in melatonin because this neurotransmitter is produced primarily when it is dark (hence all studies tell you to not look at light, such as technological devices, before going to sleep). Increased levels of melatonin during the daytime leads to making you feel sleepy but also totally throws off your internal clock (circadian rhythm) causing you to feel “off” with the actual time it is – this leads to an overall feeling of not feeling like you’re functioning and the right pace, the right time, with the right energy. All of these miscommunications in your body can lead to feelings of helplessness and loss of interest because you’re just tired but also confused as to why your body feels tired when you haven’t done much (this is why!! more sunlight!!).

     The majority of studies have shown that increasing your exposure to sunlight helps with treating SAD. You don’t have to stare into the light but you can get one of those little UV desk lamps and just leave it on while you do your make-up in the morning (hello picture perfect), while reading a book, prepping your meals, watching a tv show, scrolling through instagram, reading my website, creeping on your ex on facebook, or whatever it is you do to pass the time! Try to get outside and soak up some of the natural sunlight, even though it may be blocked by clouds its there, Mr. Sun is there to beam his rays down on you!

Also, try hard to keep up your physical activity routines during the winter, I know it’s hard to get outside with nippy weather but you will be glad you did (no one ever regrets a workout). Check out last week’s post on the #IMovedToday December Challenge for some motivation! But most of all, talk to someone about it! Talk to your friends, your family, find a therapist – it’s important to take care of yourself!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew



References:

Psychiatry (Edgmont). Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview and Update. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004726/)

Innovations Clinic Neuroscience. Sunshine, Serotonin, and Skin: A Partial Explanation for Seasonal Patterns in Psychopathology. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3779905/)

The Mayo Clinic. Seasonal Affective Disorder. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651)

Pscyhology Today. Seasonal Affective Disorder. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder)

Mental Health America. Seasonal Depressions. (http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/sad)

Healthline. What Are the Benefits of Sunlight? (https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight)

The Guardian. How do I… Deal With Seasonal Affective Disorder? (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/23/how-do-i-deal-with-seasonal-affective-disorder)

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #127: #IMovedToday December Challenge

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week’s post comes to you by a guest promoter of health, Mark Milligan (@markmilligandpt). Mark is a practicing physical therapist in Austin, TX, specializing in orthopaedics and pain science. Mark is also the founder of Anywhere Healthcare (@Anywhere_Health) - “A telehealth platform solving the problem of healthcare access by allowing any provider of any discipline remote access to their patients.”

December is upon us! With December and the holiday season, the Season of Excess begins!! This is a challenging time in almost every way. The temperatures are cold, the days are short, the end-of-year work piles up, and we all have the desire and need to spend more time with our families and colleagues, eating of course!! All this happens just before we all make the annual effort to change our lives for the better... 

Reflecting on my holiday behaviors over many years and realizing my own struggle with the "I'm on top of the world and I am going to get in the best shape of my life" moments mixed with the "Meh, what's one more cookie, I can start my diet tomorrow" moments, I realized that I always had these discussions in my own head and never with other people... So, I decided to reach out for help with accountability and motivation. Social Media seemed like the obvious place to go so I just put it out there and created the #IMovedToday hashtag to not only help me post about my daily movements but also have people support me and be able to support others!! People were responding and a small group were supporting and tweeting!

Timing is everything and the universe works perfectly, I had received a message from Cheryl Capone Keller (@KellerCaponePhD) who was having a similar thought about helping each other support and celebrate movement during the season, when movement is often forgotten about! 

The #IMovedToday December Challenge was born!!!

So we would like to invite and welcome all of you to the Challenge to help you and others choose movement!

The rules for the #IMovedToday December Challenge are incredibly easy!

Join us and look for #IMovedToday to continue into 2019!!!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your successes and pictures this week and tag with #WellfieWednesday & #IMovedToday, along with the WW crew members (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #126: The Art of Running

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week’s post is brought to you by Aaron (@FreestylePhysio). 

I wanted to write a short and sweet post this week about something I’ve been enjoying lately, RUNNING. I’ve ran recreationally for a long time but have never really had a strong desire to do it competitively. However, since working for Pro-Activity and hanging around with the BaseCamp crew, I’ve become more intrigued by the sport. It’s a sport that seems to be very heavily involved with science. Most of the people I know who race competitively diligently track their mileage and other training variables. At the highest level of the sport, sport scientists have been trying to determine who is most likely to break the sub 2-hour marathon and are eager to help these gifted athletes redefine what is possible. I think all that nerdy stuff is truly fascinating. But personally, I’m much more drawn to what I perceive to be the art of running. 

The reason I love running is because I can let my mind wander as my body does the work. I’ve found that some of my most creative moments occur when I’m running. I’m able to think differently about problems and goals. The rhythmic nature of running seems to help my mind drift off into a dream state where internal judgements and rules are minimized.  It sounds spiritual and I guess it is. It’s definitely therapeutic. It feels more like art than science. 

Now I’m not opposed to science and data. I love both, and recently just bought a Garmin watch that tracks stress, sleep, and workloads from my training sessions. But, as I get more into the sport and science of running, I hope I never lose the feeling that draws me towards it the most. In my opinion, that’s the art of running. 

Wow, quite the heady post about running haha. Hope you enjoyed it! I’m curious, what’s your favorite form of movement and why do you love it? 

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #125: The Art of Giving

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt).

‘Tis the season of eating a lot of food and for giving thanks, however time of the year is not all these two things have in common!

Early on in life, we learn that it is better to give than to receive and we are taught that it is good to help those in need. But is there something deeper to this other than what we are taught?

 Science says yes!

Researchers at the University of California Berkeley and the National Institutes of Health have discovered that there is neurological data that indicates that there is a positive psychological impact associated with giving. It appears that our brain ignites the “reward” system when we are donating or being charitable in a similar way to when we eat food. 

This euphoric feeling we experience when he help others is what researchers call the "helper's high." There is a growing body of evidence that shows we are evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in our quest to survive and thrive.

This is something that is especially important to think about during this holiday season with the increasing amounts of devastation due to natural disasters (hurricanes, fires) and ongoing conflict around the world, especially those currently affected by the fires in California. Giving makes you thankful for what you have. Spread the positivity; compassion and helping others can have a great ripple effect throughout and around the world.

We wish you and your family a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!

If you were hoping for some tips and tricks to survive this week, be sure to check out last year’s post Don’t Get Overstuffed.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Resources:

Harbaugh WT, Mayr U, Burghart DR. (2007). Neural responses to taxation and voluntary giving reveal motives for charitable donations. Science.316(5831):1622-5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569866

Santi, J. (2015). The Giving Way to Happiness: Stories and Science Behind the Transformative Power of Giving. Penguin.

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #124: Updated Physical Activity Guidelines

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and it includes NEW updates to The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. This is the first update in 10 years! And a bit of a spoiler, not much as changed. But greater emphasis in key areas has been added.

The foundation of the recommendations still suggest a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. However, they now also speak to specific populations, such as preschool-aged kids, older adults, and adults with disabilities.

Here are a few of those specific key guidelines:

“Preschool-aged children (3 through 5 years) should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development. Adult caregivers of preschool-aged children should encourage active play that includes a variety of activity types.”

“Children and adolescents aged 6 through 17 years should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.”

For adults, “additional health benefits are gained by doing physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.”

“As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.”

“When adults with chronic conditions or disabilities are not able to meet the above key guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity according to their abilities and should avoid inactivity.”

In addition, the guidelines highlight the many known health benefits of being physically active. And with an influx of new research, those newly discovered benefits are also mentioned. Such as “improved bone health and weight status for children aged 3 through 5 years,” “brain health benefits, including improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, and improved sleep and quality of life,” and “for people with various chronic medical conditions, reduced risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality, improved function, and improved quality of life.”

Be sure to check out The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in its entirety, is it contains a lot of great information and a greater call to action for healthcare providers and community leaders.

The real take home message is that we need to Move More, Move Often, and that ALL Movement Counts! And as the WW crew believes, it is the small victories that matter!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #123: No-Shave November / Movember

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Wellcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio). It’s that time of the year again and I’m sure you’ve started recognizing it, as those men participating are already 7 days in! And no, they haven’t suddently forgotten how to shave or started living outdoors, though that could be possible. But it’s safe to say most men you’ve seen growing out their facial hair are doing it as part of No-Shave November or Movember.

The goal is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. In particular, awareness to prostate and testicular cancer, but also giving awareness to men’s mental health. If you didn’t know, upwards of 1 in 9 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and that’s a pretty significant number when you think about it. As with most types of cancer, early detection can be key in reducing mortality rates; however many men go undiagnosed until it is too late.

No-Shave November or Movember are both non-profit organizations with their own little twists to help promote and prevent these conditions. Check out their sites and donate to the cause if you can. If you’re already partaking, tag a #WellfieWednesday and let us see how things are looking. If not, it’s never too late to join; just put down the razor and Let it Grow!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #122: The Teal Pumpkin

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! And Happy Halloween!! This week’s post is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and no it does not mention the giving of apples or oranges instead of candy this evening. I for one have had my fair share of candy these past few days, so I’m not going to say people can’t indulge just a little.

Today’s post is about the Teal Pumpkin Project®, which “is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids”! The initiative “encourages people to place a teal pumpkin in front of their home to show they have non-food treats available for children with food allergies and medically-necessary dietary restrictions.” Check out their site for more information on food allergens, but also for some other great resources, like Ideas for Non-Treat Foods!

If your kids have food allergies, be on the look out for teal pumpkins! And if you’re handing out candy, think of supporting this cause. Our family has glow-sticks ready to roll just in case! And we ended up not painting a pumpkin, but simply having a flyer posted.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #121: The Greatest Trick Ever Pulled

This week’s #WellfieWednesday is brought to you by Aaron Perez (@FreestylePhysio). Enjoy! 

As I scrolled through my twitter feed Tuesday night procrastinating the writing of this blog I came across some inspiration. I had no intentions of writing a heavy post about the ongoing healthcare crisis in America, but the Vox article reminded me just of how dire the situation is. To quote Dave Chase, “Healthcare stole the American dream.” This morning I was onsite at an employer and overheard a presentation regarding the company’s open enrollment for healthcare benefits. I couldn’t help but feel like most people in the room including myself have no idea just how much we pay for healthcare. It reminds me of a well-known quote from The Usual Suspects which inspired the title of this blog“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” However, in this case the quote might go something like “The greatest trick healthcare ever pulled was convincing Americans they don’t pay for healthcare.” However, thanks to soaring out of pocket costs by way of rising deductibles (212% increase over the past decade compared to 26% increase in wage growth), more and more of us are quickly realizing. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. So, rather than me ramble on and on, below are some pictures and graphs I feel tell the tale well. If you’re looking for more of a deep dive, Dave Chase and David Goldhill do a much better job than I ever could. 

Ways We Pay

We pay in skyrocketing deductibles and premiums relative to wage growth.   Source:  https://www.kff.org/health-costs/report/2018-employer-health-benefits-survey/

We pay in skyrocketing deductibles and premiums relative to wage growth.

Source: https://www.kff.org/health-costs/report/2018-employer-health-benefits-survey/

We pay when millennials can expect to see half of their lifetime earnings go towards healthcare (and that was a conservative estimate).   Source:  Catastrophic Care  by  David Goldhill

We pay when millennials can expect to see half of their lifetime earnings go towards healthcare (and that was a conservative estimate).

Source: Catastrophic Care by David Goldhill

We pay when we sacrifice basic needs to pay for a dysfunctional healthcare system.   Source:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/burden-of-health-care-costs-moves-to-the-middle-class-1472166246

We pay when we sacrifice basic needs to pay for a dysfunctional healthcare system.

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/burden-of-health-care-costs-moves-to-the-middle-class-1472166246

We pay by spending more on healthcare than social services.  Source:  https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/oct/us-health-care-global-perspective

So, when will we get our return on investment? I’m not holding my breath for that moment to come. I feel like this post was a bit of a Debby-downer to say the least. That’s not typical for our #WellfieWednesday blogs, but I feel it was appropriate. On a more positive note, I hope this post raises some awareness and more so that it evokes a desire for change. Things will change, they always do. Cheers to those fighting to make that change be a positive one. I greatly admire your efforts and I’m in this with you. 

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #120: It Starts with "Connect"

Happy WellfieWednesday! Welcome back! This week comes with a personal blog story from Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and It Starts with “Connect.” So without getting into a long explanation and back story, “connect” is one of the five human elements adopted by APHPT from Pro-Activity. And it is essentially the relationships/bonds/connections you have with family, friends, colleagues, and communities.

A week and a half ago I ended up partaking in something crazy… maybe more than crazy. It was initially a call to action and actually DOING rather than preaching good health behaviors. I also thought it was a good reason to see some friends and colleagues, have a few beers, and hang out. But it was more than that.

The initial spark came from this past Summer of Move and a flame was lit when learning that in 1908 President Roosevelt issued a directive (Executive Order 989) requiring that officers of all military branches be able to complete “a march of 50 miles, to be made in three consecutive days and in a total of 20 hours, including rests, the march on any one day to be during consecutive hours.” Years later, President Kennedy in a Sport’s Illustrated piece titled “The Soft American,” stated that “physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity” and that “physical fitness is the basis of all the activities of our society.” JFK than thought that those 50 miles should be covered in ONE day. Lucky we went with TR’s version and the craziness became known as “The Teddy.”

The plan for the weekend was to run a half marathon on Saturday, a half marathon on Sunday (as part of Hunterdon, NJ’s Main Street Event), and than a full marathon on Monday, utilizing the Main Street course throughout Clinton and Flemington, New Jersey, and putting us at approximately 52 miles, if completed.

Now… I’m in no way a distance runner, my primary choice of planned exercise is strength training and living in hotter temperatures makes it a tad difficult to train for distance runs during the summer months. And before this attempt my farthest run EVER was a 10K, and I like using the kilometer version because it sounds better than 6.2 miles… So needless to say, with work and other obligations, I showed up in New Jersey without having really trained, which was about the dumbest thing I could have done.

But still, 4 of us set out that Saturday morning to start “The Teddy.” First few miles went great, certainly easier with motivation by your side. I slowed down significantly at about the half-way point, but we finished day one, I ran the farthest I had ever run. I was stoked! But hurting… significantly. And we had only completed a fourth of what we set out to do. The afternoon and evening were rough, and as any crazy healthcare provider, I started self diagnosing myself with a multitude of things. I of course had several places suffering from some sort of tendonopathy, probably a few stress fractures in my left foot, and was highly convinced of bilateral tibial plateau fractures. Not to mention I did have actually blisters on my second toe and heels. Walking was difficult…

The next morning was of course the next half marathon, and a real one at that with bibs, timing devices, and hundreds of others. So I pushed through and ran again. Everything… and I mean everything was painful after that. But hey, I finished another half marathon. Though that evening was rough; so rough that even heel slides were about my limit.

But Monday came around as it always does and it was time to complete the other HALF of “The Teddy.” Even with an additional friend (full of new energy), it wasn’t enough to have me run again. Though I was determined to hit 50 miles. So I ENDURED it… for 8 and half hours, until my milage hit the mark. I had done it! But most likely significantly “broke” or “injured” something. Getting off the plane that evening was about the most difficulty thing, ankles swollen like you couldn’t believe, again self diagnosing… surely a blood clot this time.

The week following was rough… Tuesday I had to cut down my patient caseload because walking and standing were so painful. But I knew of the human body’s resilience and if I continued to move and actively recovery I would come out the other end, as I have! Maybe at about 95% now.

Throughout the weekend I heavily experienced all five of Pro-Activity’s human elements, MOVE, FUEL, RECOVER, ENDURE, CONNECT. But everything started with CONNECT. It was the CONNECT that put me in New Jersey. It was the CONNECT of my APHPT tribe and my Physical Therapy community that supported my body can MOVE this way. It was the CONNECT of those in Jersey that ensured proper FUEL and RECOVER was had, whether it be eating enough or getting enough sleep. And it was the CONNECT, support, and motivation that helped me ENDURE the weekend.

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Remember that the human body is RESILIENT! And with CONNECT anything is possible! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #119: World Mental Health Day

Happy Wellfie Wednesday and Happy World Mental Health Day! Today’s piece is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt).

There is a mental health crisis, that up until recently, was silently suffered by many.

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental illness in a given year.

  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the US live with a serious mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youths (13-18 years old) experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their lives.

  • Nearly 60% of adults and 50% of youths did not receive mental health services in the previous year.

    These are not small numbers. Nor are these the true representation, it is likely that these are under-reported values due to the stigmas that exist around mental illnesses.

More Statistics:  Mental Health By The Numbers

Mental health is frequently overlooked because it is an unseen ailment. Yet, it is one of the most impactful, long term, chronic conditions that can persist and even lead to detrimental events when gone untreated. A huge barrier to this is stigma. People often feel isolated, shame, discrimination, and stereotypes about their mental illness, but we need to increase talking about these things and decrease the stigma. It is perfectly normal to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Many people do not even recognize that they may have a mental illness that can be treated. Many societies and cultures teach and instill the concept of silently suffering. But there are ways to help these people and talking about mental illnesses and increasing awareness is just the start. It can be hard to seek help but the more someone realizes that they are not alone, the more likely they will feel comfortable seeking help.

Untreated mental illnesses can lead to serious, chronic medical conditions. Psychological and physical ailments can be intertwined, many in the form of traumas or chronic pain. Mental illnesses and their associated physical ailments frequently affect people’s ability to focus on their work. This can impact society much more than we suspect: financial loss to mental illness costs the US roughly $193 billion each year. For comparison, the cost to decrease stigma and raise awareness is $0. So while treating patients, talking to friends, collaborating with colleagues, and interacting with strangers, remember that they could be silently suffering and lend a hand, take note of their actions, listen to the way they describe things, and make sure they feel comfortable if they decided to talk with you.


If you are thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).


Sidenote: In case those numbers did not shock you, there is another population that experience mental health issues at an alarming rate: graduate students and those in higher academia. There is a six times higher prevalence of mental health issues in this population. If you are in the world of academia and looking for a community and resources, check out www.thephdepression.com

Please know that mental health is extremely important and something that should be called about. Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #118: Replacing Sedentary Time

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week we want to chat about the benefits of Replacing Sedentary Time. Sedentary time being the time you spend in sitting, such as watching television or playing video games. And it’s not so much that sitting is bad, it’s spending too much time sitting and being physical inactive. Of course after a long day of work or even after planned physical activity or sport, sitting and resting is perfectly fine. 

Now unfortunately, most recent data points to an increasing number of physically inactive adults, with just over half (51.7%) of American adults meeting the current Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic activity. Placing a large percentage of Americans at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many more mortality causing diagnoses. 

Though fortunately, a recently published meta-analysis (indicating a higher quality of evidence) has shown that replacing your sedentary time with low-intensity physical activity or with moderate to vigorous physical activity may be beneficial. Greater benefit being found for those choosing to do moderate to vigorous physical activity, a level of intensity that holding a conversation is difficulty. But benefit was still had by those simply choosing to reallocate 30 minutes of their day with a low-intensity activity.

Try to find your most sedentary time of the day and replace it with some physical activity, even if it is just standing or walking for a bit. Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #117: Upcoming #GetPT1st Day

Happy #WellfieWednesday! This week’s post is a short one promoting the upcoming #GetPT1st social media takeover day on Monday, October 1st from 8-9 PM EST. #GetPT1st is a grassroots movement promoting the benefits of physical therapy to the general public. I know many physical therapists (PTs), including myself have at times been frustrated by the lack of awareness regarding the value that physical therapy can provide to society, Monday, October 1st is the perfect opportunity to do something to help that. So, tell a friend, tell a patient, tell a stranger, post on social media, and let the world know that #PhysicalTherapy can help them! October is also National Physical Therapy Month, so keep that message going the entire month and beyond!

A big shout out to @SeanHagey for creating #GetPT1st. We certainly appreciate all the work you do. And kudos to all the movers and shakers of the world who see a problem and try to help solve it.  Looking forward to seeing all your posts on October 1st! Check out GetPT1st.com for more details.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #116: Change Takes Time

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is to serve as a friendly reminder that making change in your life certainly takes time, especially if you want it to be long lasting.

Change can be a funny thing too, because sometimes your reasons behind making a change can play a significant role. Such as whether those reasons are self driven or created by an outside influence. Traditionally, change that is self driven will be of greater success. And than continuing change usually requires some form of motivation, again internal motivation traditionally the strongest, but we all certainly benefit from an outside push or support system.

Now one of the main reasons I think that change, permanent change for that matter, takes time is because success can be found with achieving small victories, one win at a time. And if it’s a big lifestyle change you’re going for, lets say a combination of eating healthier, exercising more, and getting quality sleep, that takes time. If you were to try and change everything at once, you’d most likely become overwhelmed and than potentially frustrated because your not attaining that complete transformation you had hoped for. But if you took the time and let your small victories and changes add up, you will have a better chance of lasting change. And know that the time is takes to reach your goal will never be the same as someone else.

So pick one thing today to improve upon, something small, and share it! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

  • WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #115: National Suicide Awareness Month

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back!

September is National Suicide Awareness Month in the United States.

Every year, 45,000 American lives are lost to suicide and it is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Globally, around 800,000 deaths per year are by suicide and is the second leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds. On average, there are 123 suicides per day and men are 3.53x more likely to die due to suicide compared to women. When it comes to suicide and suicide attempts there are rate differences depending on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity and race. Nonetheless, suicide occurs in all demographic groups.

Suicide rates are on the rise in the United States, 11.27 per 100,000 individuals in 2007 compared to 13.42 per 100,000 individuals in 2016 (that’s a 2.15 per 100,000 individuals in just 10 years). It is difficult to recognize mental illnesses, many people show no symptoms. But there are signs you can look for that could indicate potential suicide; eight out of ten people considering suicide give some indication of their intentions.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or is in a crisis, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Every “level” of crisis is valid, your emotions are real, and you matter. You are not alone.

Below are hotlines accessible to those in the United States and Canada.

United States:

  • National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255

  • For hard of hearing (TTY): 1-800-799-4TTY

  • Spanish: 1-888-628-9454

  • *Tele-interpreter is available for more languages

Canada:

  • Canadian Suicide Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-3000

  • Canadian TTY Hotline: 1-800-448-1833



Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

  • WW Crew

*Statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2016.







Wellfie Wednesday Tip #114: Smart Shopping for Groceries

Welcome back! This week’s #WellfieWednesday post is brought to you buy @AaronPerezPT. Enjoy! 

     There are many barriers to eating healthy, and cost is one of them. As a young professional continuing to mostly live like a broke college student, I know the struggle well. I’d like to think I do a decent job balancing healthy eating while still balling on a budget. Although challenging, it can be done. For brevity, this post is primarily personal anecdotes from my quest to fuel good for as close to free as possible. However, I realize my situation is much more fortunate than many others. I have a reliable car to get to and from the grocery store. I have enough income for groceries. I’m only buying food for myself. I have working appliances as well as time to cook and prepare food. I have some knowledge about healthy foods and feel comfortable understanding nutrition labels. The list goes on. And so, I think it’d be worthwhile to do a follow-up post describing ways to help impoverished communities get access to healthier meals as this is a common problem for many people as well.  

Where to Shop

     Aldi’s…next question…

     For real though, Aldi’s is my favorite and after doing a brief google search several sources seem to agree. Other decent options are Costco, Trader Joe’s, Lidl, Walmart, Kroger, or Sprouts. It’s also worth noting that food prices can fluctuate quite a bit between two of the same chain in different locations. So, you may want to shop around a bit and see what store near you seems to consistently have the lowest prices. What’s your go-to-grocer for deals? 

How to Shop

     Most grocery stores are strategically designed to make you spend more. The higher purchased items will often be found in the middle of the store for your convenience, and typically these are processed foods. Fresh produce is often on the perimeter of the grocery store. For healthy fare, shop the edges of the store. But, there are certainly some healthy canned and frozen foods as well (See below). 

     Find the deals and become a coupon king/queen. Coupons really can help you save a lot. Most of my experience with this comes from watching my Mom shop for groceries and most other things. I should follow her example more often. I don’t use any smart phone apps for coupons, but I imagine there are some out there specific for grocery stores. A quick google search came up with one called, “Grocery iQ.” I’ll have to give it a try and report back.  

     Lastly, don’t shop on an empty stomach. Or else you’ll be like me and eat half a giant bag of trail mix as you shop and buy those chips you told yourself you weren’t going to buy. Eat and make a list beforehand if possible. This will help curb some emotional or hunger-based purchases.  

What to Buy

     Considering only about 1 in 10 adults get the recommended daily serving of fruits and vegetables, I think it’s a good idea to stock up on both. The good news is, the frozen veggies are about just as good as the fresh ones and you don’t have to worry about them rotting before you eat them. So, I often hit the freezer aisle and stock up on lots of frozen veggies. Cheap protein options are canned tuna and canned/dry beans/legumes, and you don’t need to worry much about these going bad either. Look for generic brands rather than name brands, and consider the carb:fiber ratio rule when looking for healthier packaged foods (Shoot for less than 5). 

Summary

  • Shop at stores known for discounts. Aldi’s is my go-to. 
  • Shop the edges of the store. Usually this is where the healthy, fresh produce lives.
  • Use coupons
  • Eat and make a list before shopping
  • Stock up on fruits and veggies, the frozen ones are just as good as the fresh
  • Canned tuna and canned/dry beans/legumes are some of the cheapest protein you’ll find
  • Use the carb:fiber ratio to find healthier packaged foods, shoot for a ratio <5. 

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!