HEALTH

Yoga For Runners.

1-hour yoga for runners class. Nov. 26 at 7:10 p.m.

Fleet Feet, 76 Pearl Street, Essex Junction. 872-8662

Prenatal Exercise Class.

A fun and unique class filled with a variety of exercises. $10 per class.

Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

RehabGYM, 905 Roosevelt Hwy, Colchester. 861-0111

Westford Turkey Trot.

Nov. 22, registration: 8:30 a.m.; race start: 10 a.m.

Westford School, 146 Brookside Road, Westford. $15. Call Andrea at 879-5726 or Allison at 878-5804

Italian Conversation Group.

Open to all.  Every second and fourth Wednesday of the month, 7-9 p.m.

St. Michael’s College, Room 101, St. Edmunds Hall, Colchester. Contact: 654-2536

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Turkey Truths

Thanksgiving is coming, along with all the family, fun and fixin’s. Although the tryptophan in turkey can cause sleepiness there are many other reasons this holiday’s main course is worth every bite.

  • Protein: Turkey is often overshadowed by other meats in refrigerated display cases, but it remains an excellent source of protein in a low-fat package. A typical 3.4- to four-ounce serving of skinless turkey breast (about the size of a deck of cards) contains around 30 grams of protein, providing about 65 percent of the average person’s recommended daily allotment of protein. Protein helps the body feel full and serves many essential functions in the body. Proteins regulate the entry of nutrients through cell walls, help the body grow and help it to generate antibodies that fight against illness.

 

  • Low-fat: A serving of turkey is only 161 calories and contains just four grams of fat, which is low in saturated fat.

 

  • B-vitamin benefits: Turkey is an excellent source of B vitamins, including B3, B6 and B12. Having enough B3, also known as niacin, is important for overall health, and higher levels of niacin can improve cholesterol levels and lower a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. B6 is also called pyridoxine. It’s involved in the process of making certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin and norepinephrine, which transmit signals in the brain. Important for neurological health, B12 helps decrease levels of homocysteine, which can contribute to cognitive decline.

 

  • Immune system effects: People may not know turkey contains selenium, which is key to healthy thyroid function. It also helps boost the immune system by playing a role in the body’s antioxidant defense system. Selenium may help eliminate free radicals in the body that would otherwise contribute to cancer risk.

 

  • Relaxation: Many people are aware of turkey’s ability to induce feelings of relaxation, particularly when eaten in abundance at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which plays a role in triggering production of serotonin. Serotonin can induce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
FILE PHOTO | OLIVER PARINI

FILE PHOTO | OLIVER PARINI

 

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YOUR life’s best performance!

WHY is physical therapy important?

Sean Fitzgerald

Sean Fitzgerald

There is a general misconception that all physical therapy approaches are the same. Through this column, I hope to educate healthcare consumers on physical therapy and the role that it can play in rehabilitation and prevention.

There are different styles, approaches, education levels and specialties within the physical therapy spectrum. PT can restore function, movement, strength, balance, range of motion, and performance before, during and after injury. Understanding how and WHY a physical therapist is treating is imperative to successful treatment.

Your body is a system that is controlled by input of information, like vision, proprioception and vestibular and output of information, like movement, tensing, shifting and extending. This system keeps us stable by taking in surroundings through the input and reacting to keep us stable. The goal of our stability is to maintain two critical objectives – the brain maintaining a horizon for eyesight, and the brain trying to keep the body from falling even if it means compromising neutral alignment of the body to achieve the stability. Understanding this relationship of input and output is critical to physical therapy interventions and approaches.

Traditional orthopedic approaches focus on a stretch-strength model that corrects just the output of the system. If something is tight, it is stretched. If something is weak, it is strengthened. If something hurts, treatment focuses on pain relief. The inherent trap of this approach is it only seeks to treat the symptoms not the cause and never asks WHY. Therapy that incorporates input and cause holds more promise in resolving and preventing injury.

What does this mean for you? If you are having pain and physical therapy didn’t work, try again. Aches and pains with activity are not a sign of getting old but a sign of compensation, which can lead to greater problems. Find a therapist that can tell you about the input and the WHY.

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Sean Fitzgerald, DPT PRC, is the owner of Transitions Physical Therapy in Essex Junction and Jericho. Look for a column by Transitions PT once a month. Learn more at www.transitionspt.com.