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Physical Activity is Good for Your Muscles, Joints, and Brain!

Have you noticed lately that you can’t remember where you parked your car? Or maybe you’ve had trouble recalling your latest email password? Sure, there’s an app for that, but maybe what’s really been missing is exercise. Regular physical activity can be linked to a long list of health benefits, ranging from maintaining a healthy weight to preventing cardiovascular disease, but more and more research is drawing a direct correlation between exercise and cognitive health.

Move it or Loose it

In fact, a study published in Comprehensive Physiology explores the notion that an insufficient amount of exercise can lead to metabolic dysfunction, a contributing factor to the development of neurological disorders. The researchers point to the troubling fact that about 70% of
Americans engage in less than 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day.

Start Slow

The knowledge that exercise is an effective, noninvasive way to combat neurological and cognitive decline is enough for most people to seek ways to become more active. To do so safely, particularly for those who have a low level of prior activity or who are deconditioned following an illness or injury, it’s best to begin with a consultation with a medical professional. In particular, physical therapists are trained to evaluate, treat and educate patients who are interested in increasing their activity levels.

Here at Advantage Physical Therapy, we work with a variety of patients who range in activity level. What ever level you are at, we can meet you there and get a program tailor made to you.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Because exercise is a core component of any physical therapy program, a physical therapist is the perfect professional to develop a custom treatment plan that includes some combination of flexibility, strength, coordination and balance exercises designed to gradually achieve optimal physical function. In addition, PTs are trained to tailor the approach to suit each patient’s specific goals, and to help develop a home exercise program for long-term, injury-free success.

Activity Improves Many Parts of Life

Engaging in physical activities that keep your brain functioning at top-notch can be as simple as adding a daily walk to your regime, training for a 5K or joining a community sports and recreation center—as recommended by a healthcare professional. In addition to boosting your brain function—and helping to prevent certain neurological conditions—being more active will
improve your mood, help you sleep better and enjoy a healthier lifestyle overall.

If you are in the Falls Church or Arlington, VA area, give us a call to schedule an appointment to help get you moving!

About The Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association
Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit
Alana Hamilton Alana Hamilton is a physical therapist at Advantage Physical Therapy in Falls Church, Virginia. She is a proud Hokie from Virginia Tech with a major in Biology and a minor in psychology and sociology. Following graduation, she immediately got her doctorate in Physical Therapy from Radford University. She is an avid fan of Pilates, running, and hiking. On the weekends, she can be found hanging out with her family and baby as well as doing Spartan races with her old physical therapy classmates and friends. She is a big believer that during rehabilitation, "Motion is the Lotion" and that staying active is key to remaining healthy.

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