Trying to Get Over a Cold? Know When to Fight It With Exercise!

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A strong immune system is the key to avoid getting sick and to get over a cold. Research has proven that regular exercise will help to build your immune system! By doing physical activity at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes about 3-4 times a week you will increase your body’s production of T-cells. These important cells are your body’s natural defense against infections and bacteria. By building your immune system, you will stay healthy more often and you can continue your exercise regime. But do you know when you’re too sick to work out? Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know how to determine if it’s okay or not to exercise.

She uses the “above the neck- below the neck rule”; if your signs and symptoms are above the neck (stuffy nose, sore throat, ear ache) – you are okay to exercise. If your signs and symptoms are below the neck (vomiting, diarrhea, fever/chills, coughing/chest congestion) – take the day off from exercise.

It’s also important to always keep a few things in mind! You should always avoid physical activity anytime your body temperature rises above 101°. You should also avoid the gym if you are within the first 1-3 days of your cold. Although exercise it’s important, it’s best to do yourself and others a favor and know when to stay home to avoid spreading your germs. If all else fails, there is always at home exercises that you can do to burn some calories!

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518


1111 W Town and Country Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

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Exercise for Vacation Voyagers… No Excuses!

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Dr. Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist. Nutritionist agrees with this article by orthopedic physical therapist, John Bradley, when he says there are NO EXCUSES for not exercising on vacation!

Many vacation voyagers will be physically active during their vacations with hiking, long distance walking, kayaking or swimming, but others prefer to totally relax and doze off in their hammock or beach blanket every day.

Hours in the gym or running elevate our fitness to higher levels, and improve our quality of life, to help us just feel better.

I highly recommend to my patients some limited, concentrated exercise while away to maintain their hard fought gains in the gym, as they will greatly benefit from this. It is not uncommon to return from a two-week vacation, and never get back on a fitness program because of all that is needed to get done after getting back to work.

Don’t let this be you!

Here are three exercises John recommends people to do while on vacation. They require absolutely no equipment, cover the major body muscle groups, and the whole routine should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.


  1. Rapid step ups: Find a set of stairs. You could go into a stairwell at the hotel or just use a curb. Begin to quickly step up/down the first step. Step up with the right leg, followed by the left and step back down. Keep doing this quickly until you feel your legs getting fatigue, but not exhausted. Do 3 cycles of this. I guarantee you will get a great leg workout.
  2. One arm push ups: Lean against a wall with your arm in front of you at about 90 degrees away from your body and the hand flat on the wall. Lean in and push away, keeping the other hand behind your back. The farther you lean in, the harder it will be. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions and then switch arms.
  3. Seated core exercise: Sit on a firm chair with your back straight, sitting more toward the front of the seat. Pick one knee up so your foot is off the ground slightly and then take your hand from the same side, placing it on top of the knee that you are lifting and give gentle resistance to the effort of lifting the knee. Hold the effort from your leg and hand for 5 seconds, but don’t hold your breath. Do 20 times on each leg. This is a great core exercise!


Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center today to set up an appointment with one of our expert physical therapists!


1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

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Caring for Arthritic Joints

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Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This degenerative joint disease is a chronic condition characterized  by the breakdown of joint cartilage, leading to bones rubbing against each other. Typically, it affects the ‘bigger’ joints in the body, like the hip, knee, shoulder, even the spine. This leads to progressive stiffness, inflammation, pain and loss of mobility in the joint.image

Many people think that exercising with osteoarthritis is difficult, even impossible, because of the pain. The truth is that an arthritic joint needs to get nutrition, and there is no better way to provide joints their nutrients than movement itself. Exercise is actually beneficial for those with osteoarthritis, but there are some things to remember.

  • Exercise will help you feel better, reduce pain, and improve your ability to do daily activities if done regularly.
  • A common symptom is pain after activity, which may make you reluctant to exercise. However, you can help relieve pain with heat or ice to stay active.
  • Ice is a great drug-free pain reliever. It helps decrease joint swelling and pain. If your joint hurts, apply ice for 15 minutes. If you don’t have a cold pack, you can buy one from our office or a bag of frozen vegetables (like peas) will do the trick.
  • Exercise should be balanced with rest and joint care. If your joints hurt or you notice redness or swelling, rest your joints, then try a little exercise.
  • Sharp or unusual pain may be a sign of injury. Talk to your physical therapist or health professional if you have new or more intense pain.
  • Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Joints and muscles need to be exercised to prevent stiffness and weakness. Also, exercise will make you feel better and help you maintain a healthy weight. Excess body weight places extra force and pressure on arthritic joints, which helps osteoarthritis progress more rapidly.

Why Should I Exercise?

Here’s what happens without exercise. Less movement means more stiffness in your joints, making your osteoarthritis progress faster. Research suggests that if your joint is unusually loose or does not line up normally, some exercises may hurt more than help your joints. Your physical therapist is the right professional to help you determine what exercise is best for you.image

Stretching and strengthening exercises will help prevent
associated stiffness and reduce stress on the joint.
For example, strong thigh muscles will minimize some of the stress off the weight-bearing joints of the knee and hips.

Exercise for people with osteoarthritis can help to:

  • Improve joint function and movement
  • Possibly delay or prevent the need for surgery. (For example, the need for knee replacements due to severe knee osteoarthritis)
  • Improve strength, posture and balance in older adults, reducing the risk of falls.

Spring Into Group Exercise!

Exercising with a friend, or in a group is a lot easier than exercising alone. People with osteoarthritis who exercise in groups have less pain, less depression, and better joint mobility.

Here are 4 tips to keep your joints healthy:

  • Watch your weight. That’s the best thing you can do for your joints. Research shows that with every pound gained, a person puts four times more stress on the knees.
  • Strong muscles cushion your joints. If your muscles
    are weak, your joints take the beating, especially your
    knees, which support your entire body weight. Talk to
    your therapist before starting any exercise on your own.image
    You don’t want to strain the very joint you are trying to
  • Low-impact exercises like biking and swimming are great for arthritic hips and knees, but this varies from one person to another.
  • Find out what exercises are safe for your joints. Research shows that those who participate in a home exercise program and also attend an exercise class have better gains in function. So if you don’t know what exercises are right for you, call us today to see what’s best for your joints! We can help you spring into action!

Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, Orange County, CA 92868

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