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Dry Tech Exercise Clothing

Dry Tech is the best thing that has happened to exercise apparel since “jogging suit” was donned by all the “cool dudes” in the 70’s and 80’s . It is has great style and even better function. The specially made material is light weight and breathable and wicks moisture from the skin to the outer layers. Therefore, it will not get heavy with sweat which can weigh you down and cause friction with your skin which can lead to chaffing and blisters. The following exercise apparel is now available in Dry Tech:

Exercise Mat

An exercise mat is helpful if you decide to exercise at home. Also, if you participate in yoga or Pilates classes, a mat is required equipment.

Hand Held Dumbbells and Sandbag Leg Weights

These are essential for those interested in home exercise. For the average beginner, 3-5-8-10 pound (two of each) weights will be adequate.  Dumbbells are good for shrugs, biceps, and triceps, bent over rows and lats, and lunges. Incremented and stackable dumbbells are also available by Bowflex SelecTech 552 (5-52 pounds for $299). and NordicTrack $189. Sandbags, which can be purchased as graduated weights from 1 to 5 pounds, are good for leg extensions, hamstring curls, hip hikes and hip abduction.  

Resistance Bands

These cheap and versatile bands are also essential for a home program. The bands come in different colors to represent the amount of resistance with yellow being the easiest and black the most difficult. They can be used for upper and lower body. For specific band exercises visit a previous column in “Health & Exercise Forum” at The Times Tribune or www.mackareyphysicaltherapy.com

Aerobic Equipment

Fitness Club Membership

Personal Trainer Gift Certificate or Home Virtual Trainers

This can be an opportunity for someone to either get the proper advice from a professional to begin a fitness program or to revamp and tune up an old stale program. Word of mouth is a good way to find a reputable certified trainer.

Peloton – ($1,495 bike, $2,495 treadmill); Mirror Exercise – ($995); FightCamp – ($1,219.)

Electronic Fitness Monitors or Wearable Tech Monitor

These devices use GPS technology to help the user track their activity to get more out of their exercise routines. They monitor activity, heart rate, distance, location, calories, and more. Some examples are:

Weight Loss and Activity Monitoring Apps

Note: Basic Apps are free and more advanced versions are under $10.

Nutritional Counselor Gift Certificate

Sometimes you need professional help to get started and stay focused. Just as with a personal trainer, a qualified and licensed nutritional counselor will assist you in establishing a safe and effective program to meet your nutritional and dietary goals. Again, ask around to see who has a good reputation or who may be a good fit for the recipient of your gift.

These gifts can be purchased at most local sporting goods stores or on-line.

EVERY MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum!”

This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: drpmackarey@msn.com

Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at GCSOM.

For all of Dr. Mackarey's articles visit: mackareyphysicaltherapy.com/forum

According to the New York Times, there is a shortage and backorder of bicycles this summer due to COVID-19, especially in the cities where public transportation is discouraged. Fortunately, in NEPA, the problem is not so extreme. For those who have a bike, now might be a good time to dust them off and enjoy the many beautiful and well-maintained trails are available at the Countryside Conservancy at Lackawanna State Park, other locations in the Abingtons or the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority.

WHY BIKE?

There are many obvious reasons to bike…cardiovascular fitness, burn calories, improve leg strength and others. But, the real question is, “what are the advantages of biking over other forms of exercise?” Glad you asked…

BENEFITS OF BIKING

  1. INEXPENSIVE – while not as cheap as running, biking can be much cheaper than other sports. Starter bikes can be less expensive than high end running shoes.
  2. EASY – most people can learn to ride a bike. Kids begin with training wheels and adult tricycles are available.
  3. FAMILY FUN – something the whole family can enjoy in your neighborhood, at the beach or on one of the trails.
  4. PRACTICAL EXERCISE – it is an opportunity to exercise while traveling to work, store, lunch etc…bike it!
  5. CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS – good for the heart and all that goes with it: burns calories, lowers blood pressure, lowers LDL, and elevates HDL and boosts the immune system.
  6. LEG STRENGTH – pedaling a bike is a great way to improve leg strength.
  7. CORE STRENGTH – core muscles of the neck, middle and lower back and the associated arm strength will improve while biking in order to maintain your torso on a bike on hills and turns.
  8. IMPROVES BALANCE/COORDINATION/FALLS PREVENTION – riding a bike requires some balance and coordination and therefore will improve balance as a form of falls prevention.
  9. GOOD FOR YOUR JOINTS – bike riding only requires partial weight bearing to the spine and lower body joints so it is more comfortable and gentle to your joints than walking or running. For this reason, it is often recommended to pregnant women suffering from leg or lower back pain as a safe alternative to running.   
  10. MENTAL WELLNESS – biking, like all aerobic exercise, is a great source of stress management as it releases endorphins and serotonin which improves mental health. With the added feature of being outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air, biking keeps you smiling!

INJURY MANAGEMENT:

Prevention is the best management of musculoskeletal problems associated with biking. First, many of the problems associated with biking such as knee pain, buttock soreness, and tendonitis can be prevented through proper fitting. Furthermore, it is important that your equipment be in good working order such as tires, chain, brakes and pedals. Next, be sure to maintain a fairly good fitness level in order to bike safely. If you are a beginner, start slowly. Warm up and slowly bike for 10 to 15 minutes and build up over time. Practice the coordination of stopping, starting, shifting and braking. Work on good strength and flexibility of the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and gluteal muscles. All of these muscles are necessary to generate pedal force. Balance is also important to safety and can be practiced on and off the bike. Be aware that adaptive equipment can modify your bike for added comfort and safety such as soft handlebar tape, seat post and front fork shock absorbers, padded biking shorts, c-out and gel pad saddle seats, and wider tires.

Be careful not to progress too quickly because inactivity to over activity in a short period of time can create problems. Overuse injuries such as tendonitis, can be avoided by cross training. Bike every other day and walk, run or swim on off days. Make sure to take time off to recover after a long ride. Use ice and massage to sore muscles and joints after riding.

Remember, cycling should be fun! Pain from improperly fitted and poorly maintained equipment is preventable. Excessive workouts and training rides should be kept to a minimum and consider cross-training in between.  

SAFETY

EQUIPMENT: Helmets are a must! Also, keep your bike in good condition. Road bikes should have mirrors and reflectors. Use hand signals and obey traffic rules. Dress for weather and visibility. Have a first aid and tire patch kit, tire pump and tools. Seat comfort can be improved with gel cushion or split seat.

BE ALERT: for traffic, parked cars, pedestrians loose gravel and cracks in the road. 

SOURCES: American Physical Therapy Association

Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.     

Keep moving, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly

EVERY MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum!” at https://mackareyphysicaltherapy.com/forum/ or visit our website at https://mackareyphysicaltherapy.com/

This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: drpmackarey@msn.com Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice in downtown Scranton and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at GCSOM. 

Paul J. Mackarey, PT, DHSc, OCS

A healthy immune system may be the difference between recovery from illness and dying. While you may not be able to improve an otherwise healthy immune system, you can take steps to maintain its health and integrity. Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy immune system.

With the closing of fitness centers, school gyms and exercise classes due to COVID-19, it may be a good time to begin a home exercise program that is quick and easy. For some, home exercises can be done before or after working from home to gain or maintain muscle tone. For others, home exercises may help maintain independence and safety performing daily activities around the house such as; climbing stairs, getting in and out of a shower, putting on shoes and socks, cooking, cleaning, and carrying groceries or laundry. 

I have comprised 10 simple exercises including upper and lower body and balance and core. The only equipment you will need is a chair and resistance bands; yellow has the least resistance, black the most, red, green, blue in between. They can be purchased at any sporting goods or department store.

Remember, for most people it is more harmful not to exercise, so contact your physician to discuss whether independent exercise is appropriate for you. If you have special needs, you may need to consult with a physical therapist to get started. Good luck…I hope this helps you survive the COVID-19 quarantine!

Sitting Exercises with Resistance Band

These exercises are performed while sitting in a chair with a backrest, slowly. Hold the position for 3 seconds. Perform 5 -10 repetitions. Do these exercises 3-5 times per week. Begin with a yellow light resistance band. 

Row the Boat (PHOTO 1)

Saw Wood (Photo 2)

Elbow Extension (Photo 3)

Hip Spread (Photo 4)

Hip Hike (Photo 5)

Leg Kicks (Photo 6)

Standing Exercises with Resistance Band:

Shoulder Shrug (Photo 7)

Elbow Bend (Photo 8)

Standing Leg Curl (Photo 9)

Standing Walk Aways  - Backward (Photo 10)

Standing Walk Aways  - Forward 

Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.      

Keep moving, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and live long and well!

Read Dr. Mackarey’s "Health & Exercise Forum" every Monday in the Scranton Times-Tribune.

This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: drpmackarey@msn.com

Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.