Physical Therapy News

Benefits of Volunteering

Recent studies have shown a strong connection between
volunteering and significant health benefits. According to the
Corporation for National and Community Service, people who volunteer 100
hours of service per year can achieve healthier, happier lives than
those who do not.

These natural, healthy benefits can include:

  • Reduced risk for depression
  • Lower mortality rates
  • Increased longevity
  • Greater functional ability later in life
  • Increased sense of accomplishment and purpose
  • Less incidence of heart disease

Volunteering also allows you to stay connected with the community
while remaining active. Interested in volunteering but don’t know where
to start? There are a variety of websites that can help you get started.
Here are just a few:
liveunited.org (The United Way) volunteermatch.org & serve.gov.

We at NPT also contribute a lot of our time to local events and charities and we’d love for you to join us!

Manage Holiday Stress with these 3 Tips

Planning holiday meals, fighting crowds at the mall, and wrapping gifts can all make for a stressful holiday season! When we experience stress, whether we are conscious about it or not, our body releases stress hormones that can lead to tension, headaches, body aches and/or mental “fog.” Luckily, finding a healthy balance between hectic and peaceful is possible with a few simple techniques.

The first step in managing stress is simply to focus on awareness. Take several moments throughout the day to pause and observe your body. Are you clenching your teeth, holding your shoulders up toward your ears, locking your knees straight, or clawing your toes in your shoes?

Once you identify where in your body you are feeling stress, try these simple techniques.

Relax the shoulders, let your tongue rest gently at the top of your mouth, relax your toes, and let your knees bend just slightly to reduce tension.

Take a deep breath! Breathe in through your nose slowly and with LONG inspiration, followed by blowing out your mouth slowly and with LONG expiration. This allows proper oxygenation to your muscles, organs and brain.

Exercise and eat healthy. You may feel like you don’t have a second to spare, but it’s important to keep active (and racing around from store to store doesn’t count!) Even if you only have time for a brisk15-minute walk outside, do it. You will feel better and more relaxed later. Also opt for healthy foods with the right mix of protein and carbohydrates. Not only will it keep you energized, you won’t feel as guilty when it’s time to indulge in those yummy holiday treats.

Lastly, don’t forget to remind yourself of what’s really important during the holiday season. Taking time to give thanks, share with family and friends, and laugh can all instantly help you relax. Happy Holidays!