After returning home from the hospital and a stint in the ICU from COVID-19, this once energetic man was unable to ambulate without the aid of a walker or take 20 steps without gasping for breath. Instead of seeing patients, his days were filled with home nursing visits, nebulizer treatments and walking exercises that were not improving his overall health. As a friend and colleague I asked myself, what techniques could I, as a physical therapist, utilize to help this patient recover? As it turns out, PT’s can do a lot.

The Physical Challenges of Curling

When the winter Olympics showcases Curling there’s always an uptick of interest in the sport. Being married to a US Senior National Curling Champion, I’m always intrigued, and have considered trying it, but I don’t want to (literally) hit the ice. Although Curing can appear sort of silly, with all that sweeping of the ice, it’s actually QUITE physically and mentally challenging. It’s literally a game of “chess on ice,” both brawn and brain are required for a successful outcome! On top of strategy and teamwork, you need strength, cardiovascular endurance, balance and flexibility to successfully compete. First, a little about the game:  There are 2 teams of 4 players or in the newer mixed doubles game, 2 players, that “deliver” or slide a 42lb granite stone across a sheet of ice toward a circular target of concentric circles dubbed “the house.” Points are scored for getting these rocks closest to the house’s center with both teams throwing stones in “ends” which are similar to baseball innings. Each game consists of 8-10 ends. Each team throws their stones trying to get as many rocks into the center while knocking their opponents rocks out, similar to shuffleboard. But why do they […]

Ready, Set, Spin!

Taking a new class can be a bit intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have never taken a spin class before, arrive early and find the instructor, they’ll be happy to help get you set up properly. A spin bike allows you to adjust for seat height, position and handlebar height, to create the perfect fit, ensure a great ride experience, and minimize the risk of injury. Here are a few how-to tips for setting up your spin bike like a pro. Seat Height: With proper bike set up you minimize the risk of injury. When clipped in, or if you place your feet in the toe cage rotate the pedals so that at the bottom of the pedal stroke your leg should have a 25 to 35 degree bend at the knee. Fore-Aft Seat Position: The seat will adjust forwards and backwards to ensure that your knees are properly aligned relative to your feet. Sit on your bike with your hands on the handlebars and ball of your feet over the center of the pedals. Then position your pedals so that they are level with each other and parallel to the floor. Using the forward leg to check alignment, the seat is in the right position when your knee cap is directly in […]