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Archive for category: Sports and Leisure

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Vacation Plans? Consult our Accessible Travel Guide

Are you travelling this summer?   Be prepared with our guide to travelling with a disability.

Travelling with a disability can be difficult, but with thorough planning it can be a wonderful experience.  Our free E-Book on Accessible Travel is full of helpful information, tips and checklists to help you plan, pack and prepare for a fantastic getaway.

Solutions for Living:  Accessible Travel E-Book

Also check out our OT-V episode:  Travelling with a Disability for more tips for planning a memorable vacation.

 

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Safe Fun in the Sun

Summer is here and with more time spent outdoors and the UV index at its highest it is extremely important to protect yourself.  Proper clothing, sun hats, and shade all help, but many health experts feel the best way to protect ourselves is by regular use of sunscreen.  But how do you know which sunscreen is best and which sunscreens can actually do more harm than good?  Many of the sunscreens we use contain harmful chemicals and though they protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, may actually be harmful in other ways.

Check out the Environmental Working Group’s “Guide to Sunscreens” which annually rates over 1800 different sunscreens available consumers.   Visit the website and see how your favourite brand stacks up.

EWG’s 11th Annual Guide to Sunscreens 

 

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Preventing Injury on the Playground

Remember this as a kid?  Hanging on for dear life as someone would try to spin you so fast you would become sick or fly off at record speeds. I can only imagine the injury rates that prompted the removal of these from playgrounds.

As parents, we all have a different “danger zone” with our kids. Yet, there is a balance between letting them play recklessly and engaging in the new trend of “dangerism” where we are preventing our kids from taking risks – risks that can be so important to healthy growth and development. Playgrounds are a great source of physical exertion and outdoor exploration, but can also be unsafe. According to Parachute playground injuries account for over 28,000 injuries per year in Canada and that while many kids suffer only minor injuries, approximately 10% are hospitalized for a more severe injury often involving the head. So, how do we let our kids enjoy the playgrounds, have fun with friends, and explore independently while still keeping them safe?

Today, July 5th, is National Injury Prevention Day!  Take a look at the following care of Parachute to learn how to create a safer playground experience for your children.  Also visit Parachute’s National Injury Prevention Day page to learn how to Stop the Clock on other types of preventable injuries.

Parachute:  Playground safety

 

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30 Day Healthy Brain Challenge: Day 13

Check Your Helmets for Proper Fit

One of the best forms of exercise, modes of transportation and fun leisure activity for kids and adults is riding a bicycle.  While riding a bike is great for your health and the environment there are dangers that come with it, and it’s imperative to know the rules of the road and to protect yourself with a helmet.

Learn more about helmets help prevent brain injury in our previous blog:  So I Guess Your Kid Doesn’t Wear a Seat Belt Either?

Knowing a helmet is necessary though is only step one.  Step two – you need a proper fitting helmet.

Check the fit of a helmet using the “2V1” rule:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And remember… helmets aren’t just for kids!  Adults, please remember to be a role model the younger generation– wear a helmet, stay safe and ride properly.

For more helmet safety insight visit Parachute’s Helmet FAQ.

Be sure to join the 30 Day Healthy Brain Challenge, complete each day’s activity and let us know your progress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month and in recognition Solutions for Living is introducing the 30 Day Healthy Brain Challenge. We challenge you to complete these 30 simple activities and tips which when incorporated into your lifestyle can help improve memory, boost mental health, prevent brain injury and reduce cognitive decline.

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Aquatic Therapy: Is it Right for you?

Guest Blogger: Carolyn Rocca, Student Occupational Therapist

Water has long been associated with health and healing, making it an excellent tool for rehabilitation. Aquatic therapy, also referred to as pool therapy or hydrotherapy, is one way in which water can be used for therapeutic purposes following injury or illness.

Aquatic therapy refers to water-based treatments or exercises aimed to enable physical rehabilitation, fitness, and relaxation for therapeutic purposes. Treatments and exercises are performed while floating, partially submerged, or fully submerged in water, usually in specialized temperature-controlled pools. The key difference between this form of therapy and land therapy is that movement is facilitated by the physical properties of water, particularly it’s density and specific gravity, hydrostatic pressure, buoyancy, viscosity, and thermodynamics (Becker, 2009).

Due to the specific facilitating properties of water, aquatic therapy can have several benefits for people who have loss or restriction of joint motion, strength, mobility, or function as a result of a specific disease or injury. Aquatic therapies are beneficial in the management of musculoskeletal issues, neurological conditions, and cardiopulmonary problems. More specifically, there is evidence to support that people with fibromyalgia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and chronic pain, as well as people who have undergone surgeries such as total knee and total hip replacements, can significantly benefit from aquatic therapy (CARI, 2014).

The benefits of hydrotherapy will depend on the purpose of why it is being used in your rehabilitation plan, what it is aiming to target, and the type of exercise being completed in the water. In general, there is evidence to support that within a wide range of ages and abilities, hydrotherapy may help people to increase their endurance and strength, improve balance and postural control, reduce perceived pain and muscle spasms, reduce joint pain and stiffness, aid in gait retraining, and improve functional mobility. Additional benefits can include the facilitation of relaxation, improved quality of life, as well as providing opportunities for socialization (CARI, 2014).

A key to the success of many aquatic therapy procedures is the constant attendance and guidance provided by a trained therapist. This can be any rehabilitation professional, such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, PTA/OTA, etc., who has taken additional and specific training in basic or advanced aquatic physical therapy. The rehab professional’s expertise will be able to match your abilities with the appropriate properties of water to achieve an optimum balance between facilitation and challenge. By adjusting the immersion temperature, type and intensity of activity, level of resistance, use of equipment, and treatment duration the therapist will be able to assist your recovery by gradually increasing the amount of challenge to eventually help you to transition to land exercises.

An added bonus to the therapeutic benefits of aquatic therapy is that it can help to introduce or re-connect you to a leisure interest, and can offer a social outlet. For example, a current client of mine has recently begun pool therapy following injuries sustained in a motor-vehicle collision. Not only will this help in her recovery while she begins to regain strength and function in her legs, but will also re-connect her to her passion for swimming, as this was something she loved to do with friends prior to her accident. Additionally, there is evidence to support that infants and toddlers with mobility impairments that engaged in aquatic therapy can experience significant functional gains in mobility compared to children who solely received land therapy, and that their parents noticed an increase in their socialization and enjoyment while in the pool. In this particular study, the children’s parents then reported an increased willingness and comfort in bringing their children to community pools following aquatic therapy (McManus, & Kotelchuck, 2007), therefore further increasing their future leisure and social opportunities.

Thus, aquatic therapy has the potential to improve physical function, as well as increase community involvement, socialization opportunities, and participation in physical activities. Additionally, this form of therapy can be appropriate and beneficial for all ages and abilities. If you feel that aquatic therapy may be a great addition to your rehabilitation and recovery, speak to your rehabilitation professional about some of the opportunities available in your community.

 

References & Resources

Becker, B. E. (2009). Aquatic therapy: scientific foundations and clinical rehabilitation applications. PM&R, 1(9), 859-872.

Canadian Aquatic Rehab Instructors (CARI) website: http://www.aquaticrehab.ca/

Canadian Aquatic Rehab Instructors (CARI) website link to research (2014). Retrieved from http://www.aquaticrehab.ca/research

McManus, B. M., & Kotelchuck, M. (2007). The effect of aquatic therapy on functional mobility of infants and toddlers in early intervention. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 19(4), 275-282.

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10 000 Steps: Is This the Magic Number?

Wearable fitness devices have set a benchmark of 10 000 steps a day for good health.  Have you ever wondered where this number came from?  And is this the right number for you?  The following article from the Huffington Post delves deeper into where this benchmark came from and how to set the target that is right for you.

The Huffington Post:  What Science Actually Says About Taking 10,000 Steps A Day

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Dance for Parkinson’s Disease

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Learn about how Occupational Therapists assist those living with Parkinson’s Disease in our previous blog:  My Grandma vs. Parkinson’s.  Also, check out this wonderful program, based in Toronto, providing an opportunity for creative expression, physical activity and increased movement control for people with Parkinson’s Disease:  Dancing with Parkinson’s.