Retired? Stay Healthy at Home by Exercising

  • With Americans living longer on average than any time in history, people have questions about how to remain healthy during their retirement. Remaining healthy certainly includes physical activity; in fact, physical activity is essential. According to the Center on Disease Control, if you are 65 or older and are generally fit, and have no limiting health conditions, you should get two hours and thirty minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity each week–or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, and you should also train muscles twice per week.

Tufts Medical suggests several at-home exercises for retired people to develop stamina and strength. These can be done inside or outside the house!

Mature man working out at home

First two weeks

Walks: walk for five minutes to get warmed up and the blood flowing, outside if the weather suits or around the house. Treadmills are fine, too. The point is to get the heart pumping.

Squats: stand directly in front of a sturdy chair, with your arms stretched forward and parallel to the ground. With feet slightly wider than shoulder width, slowly lower your buttocks to the chair. Then stand again. Make sure you control the squat movement as you repeat 10 times.

Wall Push-ups: standing in front of a clear wall, place your palms on the wall–feet should be shoulder width. Then, bend the elbows as you lean toward the wall. Push back. Without ever locking your elbows, repeat ten times. Rest a minute. Do ten more.

Toe Stands: against something sturdy, such as a chair, counter, or wall, raise your self until you are standing only on the balls of your feet as you count to 4. Hold it at the top for 2-4 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Rest a minute. Repeat another 10 times.

Finger Marching: sitting or standing, imagine a wall in front of you while you walk your fingers up the wall, wiggling them at the top for ten seconds. Walk them back down. Repeat 10 times. Rest a minute. Repeat another 10 times. After, with arms and fingers stretched to the sky, try to touch your back with your hands. Continue the stretch if you can by reaching for the opposite elbow.

Increasing Strength During Weeks Three to Seven

For these additional exercises, you will need dumbbells and ankle weights, which are best purchased to add weight as you progress, beginning with 2 lbs for women and 3 lbs for men:

Bicep curl: sitting or standing, hold the dumbbells with arms down and palms facing thighs. Rotate forearms as you slowly lift the weights until palms are facing shoulders. Pause. Lower the weights to original position. Repeat 10 times. Rest a minute. Repeat another 10 times.

Step-ups: stand facing the base of some stairs with a handrail. Raise your left leg and place it on the stair. Then, place your weight on the left leg as you raise your right. Tap the right foot on the stair and then return. Repeat 10 times. Rest a minute. Repeat another 10 times for each leg.

Overhead Press: standing or sitting with feet should width, raise your hands with your palms and forearms facing forward, until the dumbbells are level with your shoulders and parallel to the floor. Slowly push the dumbbells up, fully extending, without locking the elbows. Pause. Slowly lower, as you count to four. Repeat 10 times. Rest a minute. Repeat another 10 times.

Side hip rise: standing behind a chair, with feet shoulder width, place your hands on the chair back. Slowly lift your left leg to the side, counting to 2 and keeping the leg straight. Remember, do not lock the knee. Then, slowly counting four, lower the leg. Repeat 10 times. Rest a minute. Repeat another 10 times for each leg.

After seven weeks, you should be in great shape, when you can add more strenuous exercises. Contact Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine for any orthopedic concerns as you develop your fitness. Remember, keep motivated by setting goals, and they will help you maintain a consistent workout.

Hip Arthroscopy Recovery Tips

How to Boost Your Recovery after Hip Arthroscopy

Having hip arthroscopy is scary when you do not know what to expect afterwards. Science has found that psychological stress is detrimental to the body’s healing process and can prolong your recuperation. Learning how to prepare for the typical recovery period before your scheduled surgery will help ease your mind and give you time to make arrangements for the necessary post-procedural support. These are all great questions to explore with Dr. Irvine before you have hip arthroscopy:

  • How long will you experience pain during your recovery? Recovery from joint surgery is different for each person. It is not unusual to experience pain and soreness for 3-6 months after the procedure. Talk with Dr. Irvine about pain control methods that will work best for you. Keeping on top of your pain levels reduces your psychological stress and aids in your healing process.
  • Will you need to use a walker, crutches, or a cane? Crutches are used for the first 2 weeks (possibly up to 6 weeks) after the procedure so that you are not placing weight on the affected side.
  • Will you need to stay at an inpatient rehabilitation facility afterwards? Typically this is not the case, however, inpatient rehabilitation may be required in rare instances and Dr. Irvine can address this with you.
  • When should you expect to start physical therapy? A post-operative appointment is scheduled about a week after the surgery to remove any stitches and check on your progress. During this visit Dr. Irvine will assess if you are ready to begin physical therapy, which often begins the following week.
  • How long does physical therapy usually last? The usual course of physical therapy is 2-6 weeks, though this varies from patient to patient.
  • Who will help you at home and transport you to your appointments? Enlist a friend or family member to stay with you for at least the first few days after the procedure. You will need assistance with activities of daily living, such as preparing food, toileting, and bathing. If you anticipate needing additional help, you may wish to arrange for visits from a home healthcare service.
  • When will you be able to start driving again? You may be able to drive as soon as a week after the surgery if Dr. Irvine clears you to drive at your initial post-operative appointment. Talk with Dr. Irvine to find out what criteria is used to determine when you will be ready to drive again.

At Missouri Orthopedics, we strive to help you achieve your mobility goals so you can get back to the activities you enjoy. Please contact us to find out how we can serve your physical rehabilitation and orthopedic needs in the Greater St. Louis area.

Celebrate Family Health & Fitness Day, USA!

Are you aware of all the opportunities to get fit as a family in the St. Louis area? Well, you can learn about many possibilities during the 20th annual Family Health & Fitness Day, USA on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine, Family Health & Fitness Day, Orthopedic Care in St. Louis, Saint Louis Orthopedic Doctors

Background of Family Health and Fitness Day

In a 1994 landmark study, the US Surgeon General reported striking findings about American family health habits and practices. The Surgeon General’s study discovered that “the majority of Americans, and especially children from 12 to 21, are not exercising nearly enough.” In fact, the report exposed that over half of Americans are not regularly active–over 60%, a quarter of Americans are not active at all, and activity decreases during Americans’ teen years.

Most importantly, the report trumpeted the benefits of physical activity. All American family members can “improve the quality of their lives through a lifelong practice of moderate physical activity.” That’s great news! Just 30-45 minutes a day of brisk activity, such as walking, bicycling, and even working around the yard can significantly protect against “risks of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes.” More, exercise improves one’s mental health, putting smiles on family faces.

What is Family Health & Fitness Day, USA?

Family Health & Fitness Day, USA is a national event that responds to this report. All across the country, local organizations will sponsor events designed to promote family physical activity. According to Pat Henze, Director, “This year’s programs will include exercise demonstrations, health fairs, family walks and more. Most programs involve family activities as well as education and information about health and fitness topics.” These programs will vary by region, leveraging local resources.

What You Can Do Together as a Family in the Greater St. Louis Area

  • Visit one of the 11 St. Louis area YMCAs
  • Bike ride together on one of the many St. Louis County Park Paved Trails
  • Walk each night after dinner together (start a new family tradition!)
  • Participate in Forest Park’s amazing array of activities, such as wild flower walks and birding tours
  • Start a small garden together
  • Play outside games together that your children love
  • Visit Laumeier Sculpture Park
  • Visit one of St. Louis County Parks’ Outdoor Play Areas

Check your local listings for specific, planned events for Family Health & Fitness Day, USA on Saturday, September 24, 2016. Remember, too, Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine can help you remain active on a regular basis.

5 Health Benefits of Swimming

Everyone loves cooling off in the pool on a hot day, but swimming for exercise is often overlooked.

Health Benefits of Swimming, Missouri Orthopedics, Orthopedic Doctors in Saint Louis

The fact is, though, that swimming laps is an excellent, low-impact cardio exercise with substantial positive health effects. Here are a few of the key benefits of swimming:

1. Combines Strength and Cardio Training

Not only does swimming give your heart a great workout, it also helps to tone and strengthen your muscles. That’s because when you’re in the water, your body is under constant resistance. It’s like two workouts in one!

2. Builds Bone Mass

Improving your bone density helps to prevent the development of osteoporosis as we age. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found a link between higher bone mineral density among those who swim compared to those who neither swim nor run. The lower the bone mineral density, the higher the risk for osteoporosis. (http://jap.physiology.org/content/91/4/1663)

3. Minimizes Impact

When swimming, you’re only bearing 10 percent of your body weight if you’re in water up to your neck. That makes it the ideal low impact exercise for those who are overweight, have arthritis, are pregnant, have been injured, or have other impediments that may make other types of cardiac exercise difficult.

4. Improves Lung Performance

Simply put, swimming regularly makes your lungs stronger. Research shows that swimmers tend to have a better tidal volume than non-swimmers, which means lower resting heart rates and lower blood pressure (two components of good cardiac health).

5. Burns Plenty of Calories

If you’re trying to lose weight, swimming is a great choice. This form of exercise burns as many calories than running or more, depending on the stroke you choose and the intensity. For example, 30 minutes of swimming the breaststroke will burn approximately 367 calories, compared to 300 calories for running the same duration.

Call us today if you’ve had an injury or are experiencing discomfort that keeps you from getting enough exercise.

Advancements in Knee Arthoscopy

Crystal Ball Technology

Advancements in Knee Arthoscopy, Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine

Most of us are familiar with arthroscopic surgery. This procedure uses tiny cameras and tools to explore and/or repair joints. The word root “arthro-“ actually means joint. Therefore, virtually any joint in the body, such as hip, elbow and knee, can be helped with the use of arthroscopy. The knee is probably the one most people think of when they hear “arthroscopy”, and an estimated one million people in the U.S. are expected to have the procedure performed this year alone.

Synovial fluid is located in each of our joints. This fluid has been used in the past to determine causes or severity of conditions involving those joints. A small sample is taken of the fluid and sent to a lab for analysis. It can be used to test for several disorders, but for our purposes, let’s concentrate on inflammation and degenerative diseases. Typical testing checks the physical appearance of the fluid, including color and clarity. The chemical composition is analyzed. Synovial fluid is comprised of glucose, protein and uric acid. Fluctuations in any of one of these components will signify certain issues are present. For example, lower than expected glucose levels would indicate problems with inflammation or infection.

Researchers have now discovered that these same synovial fluid biomarkers can be an indicator for predicting postoperative outcomes. There are several factors, such as age and duration of symptoms, which were included, along with the biomarker data, to help determine potential results. In other words, physicians would be able to tell how a person will respond after surgery and how successful the procedure will be for each patient.

Much of the terminology and chemical names are meaningless to a non-scientist, but one of the items looked at was T-cell response. T-cells may sound familiar to most as they are mentioned frequently in regards to cancer. They are part of the immune response system, and in cases of infection and inflammation, they are stimulated to respond in an effort to slow down or stop certain processes.

In the near future, surgeons may be able to provide patients with a fairly accurate prognosis regarding their recovery time and expectations after surgery using this technology, much like a prognostic crystal ball.

If you or someone you know is experiencing knee pain or discomfort, please contact us to set up a consultation.