Hello to all our friends! 

This is a letter on the importance of kindness and being more positive in our relationships with one another. These are difficult times. The Covid-19 virus has created more fear than anything I have ever experienced in my 66 years. As a result of these fears, I have not been enjoying my life as before. The fear inside has made me more unsure of so many things, and this has possibly made me less positive and less sensitive.

It is because of fear that I would like to bring up a study on the importance of being positive, caring and kind. It is because of this fear which can easily create an environment of insensitivity and self-absorption, that I would like to bring up the importance of not living a fear-based life for the sake of your health and longevity.

We have heard for years that tobacco use reduces life expectancy by 5.5 years in men and 7 years in women. Do these statistics create a fear like the Covid-19 virus? Absolutely not. Therefore, it seems that simply knowing statistics that create fear in a few of us, isn’t enough to enable people who do smoke, to quit using tobacco. I think it is very difficult for people to change. Most smokers I have met enjoy smoking; they know it’s bad for their health, yet they simply state it is too difficult to quit. For them to stop smoking would be as difficult as it would be for me to stop having desserts almost every day. The thought of me not having my sweets would make life much less enjoyable. I would hate it.

You may be wondering where am I going with tobacco use, desserts and our greatest present-day fear of getting the Covid-19 virus. A number of years ago I read a study from the Mayo Clinic. The study was conducted over 30 years, and its conclusion was that we could all increase our life expectancy by 10 years if we would just think more positively about life! That is an incredible thought! Thinking positively about life seems to be much less difficult than stopping smoking or not eating desserts, isn’t it? I think not, especially since Covid-19 came into our lives.

What the study was trying to show us is that we could help one another live longer (by as much as 10 years) if we would choose our words more wisely. If we could just say more positive than negative things to one another, we could affect the life expectancy of others – as well as our own.

We have all been introduced to this pandemic and a lifestyle to which we are not accustomed. We have all been introduced to a great deal of fear because of the Covid-19 virus. Speaking for myself, I do not necessarily do well when I am fearful. Fear can create an insecurity in myself which may cause me to be less caring and compassionate to others, as I close my mind out of self-protection.

Another study videotaped 700 married couples having 15-minute conversations. By listening to the conversations of these couples, the scientists were able to predict with a 94% success rate which couples would divorce within the next 10 years. These predictions were formulated by listening to how often they had positive or negative interactions. If the ratio was five positives to one negative (5:1), the prediction was that the couple would stay together. As the negative number increased, the ratio became closer to 1:1, the success of the relationship was less likely.

Wouldn’t this be something, especially during these fearful times, if we could be kinder and more positive to one another? I realize we are all under a great deal of stress. Nevertheless, maybe with the thought that we would be helping another’s immune system be strengthened by being more positive and kinder with our words, we could make a positive change. I guess I need to start looking for more ways to be positive- for my own health as well as all the people with whom I have contact. “Hello”, a smile, and little words of encouragement can help others feel more positive about themselves which could help their immune system be better prepared for the Covid-19 virus.

As we move into the fourth month of Covid-19, my wish is that we all try to say more positive things to one another. Maybe we can look for ways to help one another, too. Instead of quitting something (like smoking or eating too many desserts), we can extend our life expectancy and those of others through simple kindness. If we can be a bit kinder and more positive to one another, we will all have a greater chance of being there for our children, grandchildren, and maybe even great-grandchildren. 

Fran McDonald, PT, DPT, OCS

Physical Therapists Help You Overcome Barriers to Physical Activity

According to the Department of Health and Human Services' Facts & Statistics on physical activity, more than 80% of American adults do not get enough physical activity despite the proven benefits, such as a reduced risk of some cancers and chronic diseases, as well as improved bone health, cognitive function, weight control, and quality of life. As a result, half of adults — 117 million people — have one or more chronic diseases. The good news is that regular physical activity can help prevent and improve many chronic conditions.

Barriers to movement and physical activity can be small or large, real or perceived. Whatever barriers may be preventing you from enjoying the many important health benefits of physical activity, physical therapists will partner with you to create a safe and effective program to get you moving.

Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. Using the latest evidence, PTs design physical activity plans for people of all ages and abilities specific to your needs, challenges, and goals.

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants work together and collaborate with other members of your health care team to maximize your movement and empower you to be an active participant in your care.

You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, use the American Physical Therapy Association's Find a PT locator.

11 Barriers to Physical Activity, and
How to Overcome Them

1. It's too late to start, I'm too old, or I've been physically inactive for a long time.
It's never too late to get moving. According to a recent JAMA Network Open study , adding physical activity at any age has benefits. In addition to an increased life span, adding the recommended amount of physical activity for your age and ability to your daily routine can help you manage stress, improve memory and brain function, avoid chronic disease, and much more.

2. It hurts when I …
Movement is crucial to a person's health, quality of life, and independence. For some people, pain makes movement a challenge. Pain is one of the most common reasons people seek health care. PTs can help you move better and safely manage your pain .

3. I don't have time.
Some physical activity is better than nothing. Try to fit in a few short bursts of physical activity a few times a day for a total of 30 minutes. Make sure that the activity increases your heart rate.
Parents should make physical activity part of their family's daily routine to establish a lifelong commitment to health for their children. Play an outdoor game like hopscotch or tag with the kids (playing is for adults too!). If you're a caretaker, maintaining your health is vital to being there for those you love. Determine when it makes the most sense to fit small amounts of physical activity into your daily routine. If possible, include movement as part of the care you provide your loved ones. They need to move, too, and you'll both benefit.

4. I don't have access to a gym or equipment.
You don't need a gym membership or fancy equipment to enjoy the benefits of physical activity. You can get plenty in and around your home. Dancing, jogging, walking, climbing stairs, and gardening are all examples of physical activity that you can do without any equipment. To improve your balance, flexibility, and strength, try doing body-weight exercises at least two days a week. Use household objects, e.g., cans, milk jugs, to strengthen muscles.
Try one of these physical therapist- and physical therapist assistant-led home exercise videos .

5. I don't like to exercise.
Competitive sports and hour-long fitness classes are not for everyone. Physical activity doesn't have to involve things you don't like doing to be effective. Discover the types of activities that you enjoy and make them part of your daily physical activity routine.

6. I can't get motivated, it's too big of a hurdle, or I don't know where to begin.
Physical activity releases endorphins, and the feeling of well-being you get after a good workout will become its own reward. To help you get started, offer yourself a small reward each time you are physically active until it becomes a habit. Perhaps looking forward to a special reward will help you reach the recommended physical activity guidelines for your age and ability. Resolve not to watch your favorite TV show unless you have met your daily movement goal. Break down long-term goals into small goals and work on achieving them one at a time. Keep a journal of how you feel after you've been physically active and each time you reach a goal.
Set yourself up for success with these tips:
  • Make it convenient (walking shoes, hand weights, or resistance bands within easy reach of your desk or where you spend the most time).
  • Schedule time for a daily physical activity break and set a calendar reminder.
  • Track your steps daily. Increase your step count goal each week.

7. I have a chronic disease, condition, or disability.
Movement is essential for everyone. Whether you use a wheelchair or other assistive device to get around or have mobility challenges due to a chronic condition or a prior injury, there are activities that you can do to challenge your muscles and lungs and improve your health and quality of life. Physical activity can even improve some chronic conditions and prevent others.

8. I'm afraid of hurting myself.
The right activity for you depends on your age, ability, and goals. A physical therapist can help you identify a safe and effective physical activity plan for your age and ability that addresses your fears and helps you reach your goals.

9. I feel out of breath when I move/walk/exercise even a little bit.
It is normal to feel a bit winded when doing physical activities in which you exert yourself more than usual.
If you worry for any reason that physical activity will be unsafe, contact a physical therapist before you begin. After an evaluation, a physical therapist can work with you to find the right duration and type of physical activity to improve your stamina and overall health.

10. I'm tired all the time; I have no energy to exercise.
Research shows that exercise boosts energy levels. Physical activity helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to our tissues and vascular system, and other body functions work more efficiently. Physical activity also improves brain function and mental health, lowers anxiety, promotes better sleep, and aids in weight management. All of these enhance our energy and lead to feelings of well-being.

11. I work out all the time but can't reach my goal.
Finding the right plan for you is essential to your success. If you are having trouble meeting strength and conditioning goals, despite your best effort, a physical therapist can work with you to identify any issues and design a program to maximize your movement and enhance performance.

**From choosept.com

MPT Happenings

We could use your help as it is nomination time for the 2020 South Bend Tribune Readers' Choice Awards!

Thanks to our loyal patients, family and friends, MPT has been chosen "Best Local Physical Therapy" for 10 Years in a row!!!
Nominations will be accepted through July 20th as the first part of the competition-you can vote once a day .

The top companies that get the most nominations in each category will advance to the voting round that will run in August. Please consider voting for us again this year.
Follow  THIS LINK  to cast your vote for McDonald Physical Therapy.

Thank you for making MPT your therapy of choice!

McDonald Physical Therapy
(574) 233-5754