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Exercise Classes

Exercise classes are available for UW Health Faculty and Staff. Sign up today!

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Recipe Resources

Browse numerous websites for the best seasonal recipes using ingredients found from the garden, Farmer’s Market or local grocer.

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Farmers' Market Cafe

Skip the Lines - Order Online! The Farmers' Market Cafe now offers online ordering. You can have your custom-made sandwich, salad, smoothie and more ready for pickup at a time that is convenient for you.

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Exercises and stretches to prevent walking related injuries

Amanda Gallow, UW Health Physical Therapist/Sports Rehabilitation, outlines some exercises and stretches to help address the injuries discussed in last week’s blog.  Remember the following exercises should be utilized as prevention strategies not treatment interventions. If you experience a persistent injury, please contact the UW Sports Rehabilitation clinic for consultation. In addition to the following exercises other injury prevention strategies include: proper foot wear, appropriate walking surface (non-cambered road) and gradual increase in walking speed, duration and frequency.

Clam Shells:

 

Purpose: Improve gluteal/hip strength specifically the gluteus medius muscle. This helps in maintaining pelvic stability.

Set-up: Be sure your top hip is rolled forward, keep your feet together and rotate the top knee towards the ceiling. You should feel this in the back pocket region along the outside portion of the gluteals. Don’t let your hips rock back and forth during this movement.

Progression: A resistance band or ankle weight (to the top leg) can be added to increase the challenge

Amount: 2 sets of 20-25 repetitions

Bridges:

 

Purpose: Improve gluteal/hip strength specifically the gluteus maximus muscle.

Set-up: Lying on your back with knees bent to 90 degrees, heels down and toes up, tighten your stomach muscles and squeeze your gluteal muscles, lift your hips off the ground. Do not arch through your lower back.

Progression: This becomes more challenging by the lifting arms overhead. To focus on one side at a time, lift one leg and hold, be sure to keep your pelvis level.

Amount: This depends on how well you can engage your gluteals. You may have to start with 5-second holds and progress to 10-15 seconds. Repetitions can be anywhere between 8-12 reps. Focus on quality rather than quantity.

Stretching:

Purpose: Flexibility of the thigh muscle (quadriceps) and calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus).

Quadriceps stretch: Standing, pull your foot to your buttocks with the same side hand, place opposite hand on the wall for balance if needed. Be sure not to arch your lower back, keep your stomach muscles engaged and stand tall. This should be felt across the front of the thigh.

Calf stretching: Place your hands on the wall, put one foot slightly behind the other. Be sure both toes are pointed straight ahead. Keep the back leg straight, a stretch should be felt in the calf. Then bend the back knee slightly, keeping the heel on the ground at all times. This stretch should be felt closer to the ankle.

Amount: Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side. 

Balance Exercises:

Purpose: Improve balance and stability in addition to working on pelvis control.

Set-up: Standing on one leg with the knee slightly bent (do not lock the knee straight), focus on keeping the pelvis level, trunk upright and maintaining balance. Pelvis alignment is achieved by keeping the knees parallel to each other and at the same height.

Progression: Closing your eyes or standing on an uneven surface such as a towel roll can challenge your balance.

Amount: Work up to holding each position for 60 seconds.

 

 

 

Share your companion

This week’s perfect score: 11

Group walking photoWe have been walking with each other for three weeks now. For many of us, we enjoy the swing of our stride accompanied by music or a favorite podcast. For this week’s challenge, share a few titles from your music mix, or which audio books you have been enjoying, or which podcasts are intriguing. And for those of us who enjoy walking in silence or with the conversation of a companion, let us know your vote too!

Last chance to register for Nordic Walking!  Don’t miss this great opportunity…

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at WIMR

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at AOB

A Chat with a UW Physical Therapist

The Participant Labyrinth represents our progress by points. 1463 out of 5555 points were posted this week. Every step leads inward.

The Participant Labyrinth represents our progress by points. 1463 out of 5555 points were posted this week. Every step leads inward.

At this point in your walking routine, you might have noticed a nagging twinge or some discomfort in your knee, hip, or calf. Amanda Gallow, Physical Therapist/Sports Rehabilitation, shares her insight on three common walking injuries.

Pain in your lower leg? It could be Achilles Tendinopathy….

Achilles tendinopathy is characterized by stiffness and discomfort in the lower portion of the calf following a long period of inactivity. Pain and stiffness in the achilles tend to be greater at the start of a walk and lessen

Amanda Gallow, UW Health Physical Therapist

Amanda Gallow, UW Health Physical Therapist

with increased distance. A risk factor for development of this injury is decreased flexibility throughout the calf muscles. Diagnosed more frequently in men than women, this injury is one of the more common overuse injuries and is often seen in the 30-50 year age group.

Pain outside of your knee and up into your outer hip? It could be IT band syndrome….

Iliotibial band syndrome (IT band syndrome) presents as a sharp pain along the outside of the knee during walking that may travel up towards the hip. The IT band is actually a long fibrous band of tissue that starts at the hip and inserts on the outside portion of the knee. It can become irritated with repetitive motion. Pain is typically worse towards the end of activity. As the injury persists, pain can be present at rest. A risk factor for IT band syndrome is weak hips which lead to poor pelvis control.

Pain in your kneecap? It could be patellofemoral pain syndrome…

Anterior knee pain, which is often referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is a broad condition characterized by pain across the front part of the knee with prolonged sitting, walking, running, or stairs. It accounts for 25-40% of knee conditions that we see in our sports medicine clinics. PFPS is a challenging injury with many potential causes and risk factors. Causes and treatment of PFPS are multifactorial, but research demonstrates the importance of hip strengthening in combination with improving pelvis and trunk stability.

 

Next Wednesday, Amanda will demonstrate various strength, flexibility, and balance exercises which address these injuries. If you are experiencing a persistent musculoskeletal injury, UW Sports Rehabilitation is available to help you. Remember, you can be seen Direct Access in any of our outpatient physical therapy clinics without a physician referral.

Don’t forget to register for the Nordic Walking events.  You’ll receive guidance on fitting the poles to you, as well as tips on how to use them effectively.  Tom will also be offering exclusive pricing discounts to Fall 4 Walking participants.  Don’t let this opportunity slip away…

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at WIMR

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at AOB

References:

“ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise.” American College of Sports Medicine. 28 June 2011.

Carcia CR, Martin RL, Houck J, Wukich DK. Achilles pain, stiffness, and muscle power deficits: Achilles tendinitis. Clinical practice guidelines linked to the internal classification of functioning, disability, and health from the orthopaedic section of the American physical therapy association. J Ortho Sports Phys Ther. 2010; 40(9):A1-A26.

Strauss EJ, Kim S, Calcei JG, Park D. Iliotibial band syndrome: evaluation and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2011;19:728-736.

Witvrouw E, Callaghan MJ, Stefanik JJ, Noehren B, Bazett-Jones DM, Willson JD et al. Patellofemoral pain: consensus statement from the 3rd international patellofemoral pain research retreat held in Vancouver, September 2013. Br J Sports Med. 2014;48:411414.

 

BINGO

This week’s perfect score: 9

Play BINGO now!Fall 4 Walking GAME_Page_1

Remember playing BINGO? Connect the squares horizontally, vertically, or diagonally; one free space in the center; multiple cards spread out in front of you; a surprising number of serious players next to you; and the caller is going just a tad too fast….

OK. In our game, you won’t have multiple cards, but the clues are more difficult to solve and you’ll still have the thrill of winning. 

Each grid has a clue about a location which is a great place to walk to, walk within, or walk along. For the free space, write your own clue for another location. Once you have BINGO, send us the answers and a picture of you or what you saw to wellness@uwhealth.org. You can keep trying to solve this puzzle until November 3rd.

For employees outside the Madison area, write your own five clues and we’ll post them on the blog. Perhaps Madison area employees will check out your suggestions. Road trip, anyone?

Good luck. Have fun. Use the internet. Recruit friends and family!
Tuesday 10/21 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Research Park Sports Medicine

Wednesday 10/22 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Edna Taylor Conservation Park

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Pheasant Branch Conservancy

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at The American Center

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at WIMR

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at AOB

Grounded Walking

Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.

The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth– in the present moment.

   Thich Nhat Hanh

The Participant Labyrinth represents our progress by points. 1010 out of 5555 points were posted this week. Every step leads inward.

The Participant Labyrinth represents our progress by points. 1010 out of 5555 points were posted this week. Every step leads inward.

One very effective way to connect your mind to your body is through your feet. Your feet are your body’s foundation. One quarter of all the bones in your body reside in your feet. Each foot is comprised of twenty-six bones, thirty-two joints, fifty-six ligaments, and thirty-eight muscles. They are your anchor into the Earth. Like the tap root of a prairie plant, or the root of a water lily, our sense of groundedness, safety, and surety is linked to our connection with our feet.

Grounded walking is a way of walking which draws your attention to the process of walking itself. As crazy as it sounds, bringing your attention to your feet and how you are standing, focuses your mind and gives you a sense of solidity. Give it a try. The video is 5 minutes long.

Find the time, give yourself enough space to take two steps forward, and reserve your judgment. Try it. (You’ll earn two points, too!)

 

Walking routes shared by Fall 4 Walking Participants

Tuesday 10/21 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Research Park Sports Medicine

Wednesday 10/22 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Edna Taylor Conservation Park

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Pheasant Branch Conservancy

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at The American Center

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at WIMR

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at AOB

 

 

Notice your surroundings

This week’s perfect score: 11

“We carry our mind around with us when we walk, so we are usuallybumble absorbed in our own thoughts to one extent or another” …. John Kabat-Zinn

This week’s challenge is to focus your mind on your walk. Similar to tying a balloon to a small child’s wrist so that they won’t accidentally let it go, tether your thoughts to your surroundings. Like the balloon, your thoughts might bounce about. Patiently bring your mind back to your walk….

Walk this week and notice what you see: big, little, familiar, unnoticed. Notice what you hear: your breath, a car, birds, voices. Notice what you feel: the air on your skin, your footsteps on the ground, the weight of what you are carrying. Notice what you taste: dry mouth, old coffee, breath mint, tension. Repeat this activity at work, at home, on errands, and during your walk. Then, share your observations with someone.

Tuesday 10/21 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Research Park Sports Medicine

Wednesday 10/22 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Edna Taylor Conservation Park

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Pheasant Branch Conservancy

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at The American Center

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at WIMR

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at AOB

 

Walking in Nature

Week 1 Lab

The Participant Labyrinth represents our progress by points. 1338 out of 3535 points were posted this week. Every step leads inward.

As a healthcare organization, we are familiar with the Hippocrates oath which our providers have taken. But are we as familiar with his admonishment: “Nature cures—not the physician”?

We know, deep in our bones, that nature is a place of wonder, rejuvenation, discovery, and solace. It is a place we need to connect to…like coming home.   When we cut ourselves off from that well-spring, we become ungrounded.

Turn off your treadmill. Don’t answer one more email, send one more text, or add one more pin to your board on Pinterest. Get up. Go outside.

Can’t you feel it? There’s a restlessness…a change is coming: geese are flying in larger and larger formations; corn is drying in the fields; sandhill cranes are gathering; the air is crisp; leaves are transforming; and the night is claiming a greater presence. Change is coming.

Go outside and let yourself re-connect with the natural world.  Lean into it.  It’s already there offering you a place without judgement to land, settle, and re-bound.

Where are we walking? Any suggestions?

Walking routes shared by Fall 4 Walking Participants

This week’s perfect score: 11elderberry[1]

There are places or routes scattered all around us that we enjoy for all sorts of reasons: they are close, hilly, level, scenic, near a coffee shop, or tucked away.   This week’s challenge is to share your favorite walking routes or places with the rest of us! It’s exciting to discover new places, and it’s fun to share those places with friends. If you take the time to share with us, you’ll earn an additional two points.

So many ways to share….

Post to the Blog: Just write a quick post

Email your route: Send your MapMyWalk route to us at: Wellness@uwhealth.org. We’ll post those links on the blog for everyone else to view. You do NOT need MapMyWalk to view the link on our blog. Remember, it would be helpful to the rest of us if you use descriptive titles for your routes.

Facebook: Share you MapMyWalk route with the Fall For Walking (UW Health) group.

Event:

The Madison area is blessed twofold: an abundance of lakeshore, and excellent public access. Join the Friends of the Lakeshore Preserve to discover some hidden gems. If you can’t make these events, don’t fret. You can still earn your two points. Pick another path in a natural setting, and take a walk. Then let us know about your experience.

Wednesday 10/1 Lunchtime Stroll  hosted by the Friends of the Lakeshore

Saturday 10/4 Morning Walk hosted by the Friends of the Lakeshore

Why do we walk?

From an incredibly young age, we become determined to walk. Why? ForFall 4 Walking independence? To get up and GO when we want to? For the joy of propelling ourselves forward?

At some point, we transfer that joy to other modes: skates, bicycles, cars or motorcycles. Faster, longer distances = even more independence. And yet, if you’ve struggled with your own health, or watched your parents struggle with their own mobility, you know the desire to get up and walk is deeply ingrained into our psyche.

Don’t wait. Rediscover that independence, that simple joy. You don’t need anything to enjoy a walk. Just you. Alone. With a friend. In a group. Let your body propel you and let your mind stop planning, worrying, anticipating, judging. Find a pace that feels right to you and just walk. See what unfolds as you go. Something unexpected can happen… and probably will.

The health benefits of walking

Tuesday 10/21 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Research Park Sports Medicine

Wednesday 10/22 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Edna Taylor Conservation Park

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Pheasant Branch Conservancy

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at The American Center

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at WIMR

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at AOB

All your logistical questions answered!

This week’s perfect score: 7HA-40235-14 Fall 4 Walking digital calendar (2)

Points, Points, Points….

In order to add a sense of accomplishment, commitment, adventure, (and a bit of competition), this program is point driven. You earn a point for every day that you meet your personal walking goal. If you participate in a challenge or an event AND post about your experience on this blog, you will earn an additional two points. A fillable PDF is available as a tool for you to track your progress and remind you about upcoming events/challenges.  These events can be easily uploaded into your Outlook calendar.

Some of us at UW Health can’t use the PDF form electronically, but can print it and use it as a chart. You will NOT have to send this form back to Wellness Options at Work. All participants’ points will be compiled by a survey tool which will be sent to you every Monday. Your input must be complete by Monday at midnight. An aggregate of Fall 4 Walking’s progress towards meeting their goals will be posted every Wednesday.

Community…

People are more resilient when they have a network of support: family, friends, close and casual colleagues. All these relationships have the potential to buoy you up. Fall 4 Walking offers a framework to connect with others. Do you like Facebook? Join our Group: Fall for walking (UW Health). Would you like to share or view walking routes? Use a FREE app called MapMyWalk. (More information on this next week.)

Register for a group event:

Wednesday 10/1 Lunchtime Stroll  hosted by the Friends of the Lakeshore

Saturday 10/4 Morning Walk hosted by the Friends of the Lakeshore

Tuesday 10/21 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Research Park Sports Medicine

Wednesday 10/22 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Edna Taylor Conservation Park

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at Pheasant Branch Conservancy

Thursday 10/23 Walk with a UW Physical Therapist at The American Center

Prizes…

All participants will receive a vibrant yellow cap to enhance your visibility while walking. Wellness Options at Work will distribute these prizes via inter-D mail so you can wear the cap during your walks. At the end of the program, the individual(s) who earns the most points will receive additional recognition. The most important “prize” will be discovering a different route to release stress: a pathway to change your outlook, become more aware, add more physical activity, and to connect with those around you.

Let’s Go…

It’s a partnership. You will meet your commitment today and promise to try at least ONE challenge/event. We will help and support you on your journey. You can expect an email on Mondays explaining the challenge or event. We’ll also send you the survey link that day as well. On Wednesdays, we will post thought provoking materials and video clips. Let’s get started.

Interesting Activity: MOVIE—Walking the Camino at Sundance Theaters 9/19-9/25. www.caminodocumentary.org (No, you can’t earn points on this activity…)