Kaizen News



Pilates is a century old form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates. Its’ purpose is to build strength and endurance in the core(abdominals, low back, hips, and glutes) allowing for stability, control, and flexibility. It can be done on a mat on the floor or with equipment such as the reformer machine. Pilates aims to work on breathing, alignment, control, core or powerhouse, balance, and coordination. People who perform Pilates regularly note increased posture, endurance, smaller waist lines, and less pain.


Using a cane or walker can allow people with pain or weakness to remain more mobile.

Using a cane or walker can allow people with pain or weakness to remain more mobile.

They need to be properly fit and adjusted to each individual. You should not just grab one off the shelf or use a spouse’s as this can potentially lead to further injury. The handle of a walker or cane should come up to you wrists when arms are resting at your side.

There should be a slight bend in the elbow and no being at the waist. The most common misuse when using a cane, is that it should be in the hand opposite the affected limb. Please see a physical therapist to assess your gait and recommend the proper device, fit, and use for you.


Gardening is a common hobby that is stressful to many body parts such as knees, back, shoulders and neck.

Gardening is a common hobby that is stressful to many body parts such as knees, back, shoulders and neck.

Here are a few tips on how to reduce stress on the body when working outside.
• Warm up first by walking and stretching.
• Alternate positions or activities often.
• Sit on a bucket or stool instead of bending over.
• Use a wheelbarrow as much as possible.
• Plant in elevated potters so that you don’t have to kneel so close to the ground.
• Use proper body mechanics when lifting or pulling anything. Your power should come from the legs, not the back.


Recovery is an important, and often overlooked part of an exercise routine

Recovery is an important, and often overlooked part of an exercise routine

It is required to allow your body to be healthy to make physical gains. Stretching is required to maintain flexibility of muscles and should be done before and after an exercise routine. Maintaining proper hydration and nutrition is important to refuel the body after exercise.

Cross training is alternating the type of exercise or body parts that you are strengthening. This allows for parts of your body to rest and recover while you exercise others. Lastly, sleep is mandatory to help your body maintain its best function. It is not beneficial to get up early to exercise if you have had less than 7-8 hours of sleep.


Soreness is an expected response to vigorous exercise

Soreness is an expected response to vigorous exercise

We need to be able to differentiate it from pain, which can have a negative impact of fitness. Muscular soreness is a sign that you are working to your threshold, which will help you make gains. Pain however, is a negative sign that you are passing that threshold, and possibly causing injury.

“No pain no gain” is not the motto that you want to follow when exercising. Muscle soreness often peaks at 24-72 hours and is lessened by light repetitive movement such as biking. Pain is present despite rest and feels more sharp. If it continues longer that 1 weeks you should seek medical advise, and possibly physical therapy.


Exercise helps manage the pain associated with arthritis

Exercise helps manage the pain associated with arthritis

arthritisSome people think that people with arthritis shouldn’t exercise, or even that forceful exercise such as running can cause arthritis.  This is a myth.  Exercise is one way to help manage the pain associated with arthritis.  It just requires performing a routine that is beneficial rather than irritating to your joints.

The goal is to do a program that allows for strength and endurance in a way that is less than body weight. This is best done sitting or laying, and aquatic exercises are always beneficial for this population.


Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their work environment.  Sitting at a computer is the most common problem in a work or home setting.  Ideally, the top of the computer screen should be at eye level and down. It needs to be close enough that you don’t lean forward to see it well.

The arms should be down at your side and supported there by arm rests.  Your feet should be able to rest flat on the floor.  The chair should have proper lumbar cushion and support so that you maintain an upright posture.



The most common area of pain is in the low back, or lumbar spine.  The general diagnosis of degenerative spine problems are a common reason for back pain.

This is often seen in the older adult population, and sometimes includes leg pain. This set of conditions required a flexion based exercise program, which helps to open up the spine and decrease the amount of pressure in the area.

Extension exercises should be avoided and walking for exercise should be limited, as it is a common aggravating factor.  See a Physical Therapist for a specific plan that can help reduce these symptoms and return you to functional activities.


r7_fasciitis-1Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of connective tissue in the arch of the foot, and causes pain with standing. Pain is often worst in the heel first thing in the morning, as the tissue is tightest then.

It is imperative for people with this diagnosis to wear proper shoes that provide good arch support.  The plantar fascia needs to be stretched and the foot and ankle strengthened so that it has proper mechanics.


greater troch


Pain on the side of the hip is often caused by greater trochanteric bursitis.  This is an inflammatory condition of the bursa(a fluid filled sack) that is on the outside of the hip.  It causes pain with side sleeping and repetitive motions like walking or stair climbing.

The muscles in this area are commonly weak, and need to be strengthened to  stabilize the pelvis.


Sleeping Positions Impact

Sleeping Positions Impact

Sleeping can have a large impact on how you feel in the morning or even for the entire day.  Sleeping on your back with your legs elevated is the most beneficial position for people across the board.  It allows the spine to stay in a strait line, and does not cause increased pressure on any body parts.

On the other hand, sleeping on your stomach is the worst.  It requires an extreme amount of neck rotation and often people’s arms are above their heads, causing pinching at the shoulders.  If laying on your back(supine) cannot be tolerated, side-lying is second best.  This position however, requires the use of a pillow between the legs to decrease pressure on the hips.


Physical Therapy & Parkinson’s

Physical Therapy & Parkinson’s

The physical changes that people with Parkinson’s Disease are demonstrate are tremors, slow and small movements, poor flexibility, and balance and gait problems.  The studies have shown that physical therapy helps prevent further progression of the disease in the early stages, reduce the amount of medication needed, and improve physical symptoms in later stages.  Performing exercises such as walking on a treadmill or biking at speeds faster than desired, produces improvements in many symptoms, including hand tremors.  Large movements, outside of the patient’s comfort zone are also important in treating these movement disorders.  It is essential for people with Parkinson’s Disease to receive physical therapy immediately upon diagnosis, not just once they’ve fallen or had physical problems, and to continue exercise programs for the rest of their lives.


What is a carb?

What is a carb?


What is a Carb?

Know what Foods Contain Carbohydrates

  • Starches
    • Bread, cereal
    • Pasta, rice, grains
    • Beans and lentils
    • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, corn and peas
    • Crackers, pretzels and chips
    • Fruits and fruit juices
    • Milk and yogurt
    • Sugary desserts
    • Non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, carrots, asparagus and salad greens


How to Measure Carbohydrates

1 carb choice = 15 grams of carbohydrate

  • 1/3 cup cooked rice or 1 slice of bread
  • 1 small piece of fruit or ½ cup fruit juice
  • 1 cup (8 oz) milk or 2/3 cup (6oz) low-fat yogurt

Creating your Meal Plan

The amount of carbohydrates you eat should depend on your nutrition goals.  This booklet is a general guideline; consult with your dietician for the plan that is specific for you and your goals.  The registered Dietician (RD) is the health care professional trained to teach you how to improve your health and health choices.


  For Weight Loss For Weight Maintenance Snacks (If Desired)
Women 2 to 3 carb choices 3 to 4 carb choices 1 carb choice
Men 3 to 4 carb choices 4 to 5 carb choices 1 carb choice


Carbohydrate Choice Lists

Starch Choices

1 Carbohydrate choice = 15 grams carbohydrate


Food Serving   Size
Bagel 1/4 large (4 oz)
Biscuit, 2.5 inches across 1
Bread, reduced calorie 2 slices
Bread, white or whole grain 1 slice
Cornbread, 1.75 inch cube 1
English muffin ½
Hot dog or hamburger bun ½
Naan (8 x2) ¼
Waffle or pancake (4 x.25) 1
Tortilla, corn or flour (6 in) 1


Cereals and Grains:

Food Serving   Size
Barley, couscous, millet, pasta, rice,   quinoa, or polenta cooked 1/3 cup
Bran cereal, shredded wheat, or   sugar-coated cereal ½ cup
Bulgar. Grits. Palin oatmeal. Or wild   rice. Cooked ½ cup
Cereal, unsweetened, ready to eat ¾ cup


Starchy Vegetables:

Food Serving   Size
Acorn or butternut squash or pumpkin,   unsweetened 1 cup
Cassava or plantain 1/3 cup
Corn, green peas, or parsnips ½ cup
Potato, baked with skin 1 small or ¼ large
Potato, mashed with milk and fat ½ cup
Sweet potato or yam ½ cup

Crackers and snacks:

Food Serving   Size
Chips, baked 15-20 pieces
Chips, potato or tortilla 9-13 pieces
Crackers, animal 8
Crackers, graham 3
Crackers, saltine or round butter-type 6
Popcorn 3 cups, popped
Pretzels ¾ oz
Rice cakes 2

Beans and Lentils:

Food Serving   Size
Baked beans 1/3 cup
Beans (black, pinto, navy, or kidney)   lentils, or split peas, cooked ½ cup



Food Serving   Size
Banana 1 extra-small
Blueberries or blackberries ¾ cup
Fruit, dried or raisins 2 Tbsp
Fruit, fresh or canned unsweetened ½ cup
Fruit, whole 1 small
Fruit juice, unsweetened ½ cup
Grapes small 17
Melon or raspberries 1 cup

Milk Choices

1 carbohydrate choice = 12 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Buttermilk 1 cup
Milk(nonfat, 1%, 2%, whole) 1 cup
Rice drink, fat-free 1 cup
Soy milk, light or regular, plain 1 cup
Yogurt, plain or flavored with an   artificial sweetener, fat-free or low-fat 2/3 cup

Sweets and Dessert Choices

1 carbohydrate= 15 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Brownie 1 1/4 –inch square
Cake, unfrosted 2-inch square
Candy, hard 3 pieces
Cookie, sandwich 2 small
Ice cream, regular ½ cup
Pudding, sugar free 1.2 cup

2 carbohydrate choices= 30 grams carbohydrate

2 carbohydrate choices= 30 grams carbohydrate

Candy bar, chocolate, plain 1 ¼ oz
Cupcake, frosted 1 small
Donut, glazed 1

3 carbohydrates= 45 grams carbohydrates

Food Serving   Size
Flan 1 cup
Fruit pie with 2 crusts 1/6 of 8 in pie
Rice pudding ½ cup

Non starchy Vegetables

1 serving = 5 grams carbohydrates

Food Serving   Size
Vegetables, cooked ½ cup
Vegetables, raw 1 cup
Vegetable juice ½ cup

Combination Food

Food Serving   Size
Soup 1 cup
Stew, meat and vegetables 1 cup

2 carbohydrate choices = 30 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Lasagna or noodle casserole 1 cup
Pizza ¼    of 12 in thin curst
Potato or macaroni salad ½ cup

3 carbohydrate choices=45 grams carbohydrates

Food Serving   Size
Burrito (beef and bean) 1 (5 oz)
Dinner-type frozen meal 1 (14-17 oz)


Fast-Food Choices

Food Serving   Size
Chicken breast 5 oz
Chicken nuggets 6 pieces
Chicken stir-fried with vegetables 1 cup
Egg roll 1
Taco 1 small

2 carbohydrate choices= 30 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Breakfast sandwich, biscuit or English   muffin variety 1
Hamburger, regular 1

3 carbohydrate choices = 45 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
French Fries 1 small
Sandwich grilled chicken 1
Sandwich, submarine 1 (6 in)





It’s National Blueberry Month!

It’s National Blueberry Month!

BlueberrySummer is a great time to enjoy fresh fruit. Throughout the summer different fruits are readily available at the grocery store, farmer’s market or in our own backyards.

July is National Blueberry month and a great time to enjoy this colorful, flavorful fruit. Blueberries have been a staple in the American diet for many years. They are colorful, taste good, healthy and convenient. Blueberries are low in fat, sodium free and a good source of fiber and vitamin C. One cup of fresh blueberries at 80 calories provides 5 grams of fiber and 15% of the vitamin C you need for the day. Blueberries are easy to prepare and serve. There is no peeling, pitting, coring or cutting. Just rinse in clean, cool water, eat and enjoy.

  • Selection and Storage

When purchasing fresh blueberries look for ones that are firm, dry, plump, smooth-skinned and relatively free of leaves and and stems. Berries should be deep-purple blue to blue-black in color. Reddish berries are not ripe. Fresh berries should be refrigerated, but not washed until ready to use. Refrigerated they will maintain their quality for 10 to 14 days. Blueberries can easily be frozen for later use. The easiest way to freeze is to pack unwashed berries dry into freezer containers or bags leaving ½-inch of headspace. Washing blueberries before freezing will result in a tougher skin. They can also be frozen on a tray and then packed into containers as soon as they are frozen. Be sure to wash before using.

Using Blueberries

There are lots of recipes for using blueberries, but some of the best ways to use them are simple and easy:

  • Wash and eat
  • Add to pancakes, muffins or quick bread
  • Serve on top of ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Top dry or cooked cereal with them
  • Add them to fruit salad or tossed salad.

Enjoy this colorful, healthy fruit of summer!