December 2015
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Health Tip
Water is Best!
Electrolyte-loaded athletic drinks can be a source of unnecessary calories, so drinking water is usually fine until you're exercising for more than one hour.  At that point, feel free to go for regular Gatorade-type drinks (and their calories), which can give you a beneficial replenishment boost.



Hello and welcome to our December newsletter!


This month, we'll be sharing tips for gift wrapping ergonomics and fitness tips for the holidays.



Ergonomic Guide to Wrapping Presents
By Janel Davis Heitzmann, PT, CSCS

The holiday season is fast approaching and many of us have gifts to wrap. Here are several ergonomic tips to keep in mind so your generosity doesn't take a toll on your body.

  • Set up your workspace before you begin. Consider keeping a space dedicated just for wrapping gifts if you have a large amount of packages - you can spread the task out over several days.  Keep items like tape and scissors in easy reach in front of your body. You should never have to bend or twist to reach your frequently used items.
  • Don't wrap presents on the floor. It's nearly impossible to have good posture while wrapping on the floor, as it causes you to lean over for long periods, putting increased strain on your discs and spinal stabilizers. Kneeling for long periods of time can cause aggravation and pain, and may flair up conditions such as knee tendonitis, bursitis and osteoarthritis.
  • Choose a table where your arms can be comfortably relaxed or consider standing at a counter. Don't use a table where your arms are elevated and your shoulders are near your ears, or you may find that you have headaches and shoulder pain the next day. 
  • Keep the area well lit. You want the same amount of light you use while cooking or writing/reading. Dining rooms are often too dim, especially at night, so think about adding more task lighting.
  • Consider some form of tape dispenser for efficient and swift movement. It makes the task of cutting a piece of tape a one-handed operation.
  • Choose a good cutting instrument. Sharp scissor blades will make the cutting task more efficient. If the blades are good, you will not need to exert much force. Or consider purchasing a Gift Wrap Cutter which will help you avoid the repetitive strain of using scissors.
  • Don't get so excited over the occasion that you strain your back. Nothing puts a damper on a Christmas party like a Herniated Disc. When lifting, keep the box close to your body, squat and bend your knees.  If you have a hand truck or dolly, use it. Even if it is a hassle to get out of storage, personal safety is always worth the extra time.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season!
8 Family-Friendly Holiday Fitness Tips
By Laura Williams
Dashing between shopping trips, Christmas parties, family events and regular work engagements makes it hard to figure out how to fit fitness into your schedule. The trick to staying healthy during the holiday season is to plan ahead and make the season work for you. You may not be able to hit the gym for your regular spin class, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo exercise altogether.

Holiday Exercise Outings
You probably have a number of family traditions during the  holiday season. Maybe you host an annual Christmas party, or you set a day aside for cookie and tree decorating. This year, decide to start new holiday traditions that revolve around a physical activity. Here are a few ideas:
  • Drive to the neighborhood in your city known for having the best Christmas lights, then spend an evening walking around the neighborhood while enjoying the scenery.

  • Sign up for a holiday 5K run or walk in your area. A number of cities offer holiday-themed events with names like "Jingle Bell 5K Run Walk" or "Reindeer Run." You and the kids can spend a Saturday morning enjoying exercise as a family.
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