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Walk Your Way Through This Pandemic

Walk Your Way Through This Pandemic How you walk is a revealing predictor of health and fitness.  Gait analysis can reliably foretell future falls, dementia, and even mortality.  A stooped over, short stride walk makes you look old and tired.  As a physical therapist, I encourage exercise that produces a stronger walk.  Physical therapy patients frequently report profound gait limitations came on without warning.  Fitness clients are often unable to walk for thirty minutes without stopping to rest.  During the pandemic isolation, we can all take a daily restorative walk. Dr. Shane O’Mara wrote an eloquent *essay on the value of walking as a necessary exercise activity.  Walking is directly linked to brain development.  Recent research has demonstrated that walking…

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The Simple Back Pain Reliever

The Simple Back Pain Reliever When you lift, carry, walk, or run, your shoulders and hips move while the lumbar spine stays stable.  Prolonged sitting, age, and deconditioning can create tight hips/shoulders and a lumbar spine that is unable to hold a stable position.   Much of the mechanical back pain we treat in physical therapy is related to this stability/mobility issue.  A simple exercise that can retrain the neural control necessary to restore this essential movement skill is the bird dog. The bird dog is commonly used in physical therapy and usually poorly performed in the fitness arena.  Three things to keep in mind.  You are moving your arms and legs, but the focus of the drill is keeping the…

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Dead Bug Exercise Variations

Dead Bug Exercise Variations Dead Bugs are one of our favorite core stability exercises that we use here at Fenton Fitness.  This can be one of our first exercises used with a deconditioned client, post rehab client, etc.  It can also be progressed for even the most advanced trainee.  If you can lie on your back (which almost everyone can), you can do some form of dead bug.  Dead Bugs work the anterior core by resisting extension in the lumbar spine (low back) and teach you to stabilize your ribs and pelvis.  This is a vital function of the core both for performance (walking, sprinting, jumping, throwing) and for injury reduction.  You use the opposite arm/leg like you would when…

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March 2020 Newsletter

In this month's issue, Mike O'Hara,PT gives exercises to strengthen the shoulder--in particular the serratus anterior. Demonstration of the exercises can be viewed on our youtube channel using the link in the article. Mike also wrote an article on training to restore foot function and Jeff Tirrell discusses the pros and cons of eating bread. Download Here

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In Times of Peace

In Times of Peace America is at war with the corona virus.  Our best defense is a vaccine, but that weapon is 12 to 18 months away.  At present, we are focused on “social distancing” to reduce the number of severely ill citizens we have to manage at any one time.  The hope is that less proximity will limit the transmission of the virus and reduce the stress on the health care system.  The duration of this strategy is uncertain and the trade-offs with other aspects of our communal wellbeing have become a concern.  To my friends from the now shuttered Fenton Fitness, I have a short message. Stay consistent. Exercise is the optimal booster of the immune system.  My…

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The Essential Exercise

The Essential Exercise “Walking is the best possible exercise.  Habituate yourself to walk very far.” -Thomas Jefferson If I can get fitness clients to walk three times a week and strength train twice a week for six weeks, the results are universally good.  Participants are often concerned that walking is not strenuous enough.  They do not see walking in Crossfit Youtube videos.  No one on the Biggest Loser just walks.  Walking does not leave them gasping for breath.  This is my response: Quality Lifespan The most recent survey reveals that Americans are living longer.  The secret to happy aging is keeping as much quality in this abundance of quantity.  Walking is the essential movement skill that we all need in…

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