There’s no better time to commit oneself to a new regimen of health than in the new year — as long as you don’t over do it. For many people, returning to the gym after a hiatus runs the risk of injury to muscles or joints that aren’t in sync. Dr. Karyn Staples and the staff at ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio in Peachtree City are dedicated to helping inactive clients get back into top form as quickly as possible.
“Generally, if somebody gets hurt it’s because they do too much too fast too soon,” Staples says. “If somebody gets the idea that it’s an all new me or a new year, they may go into lifting weights that are too heavy or doing a cardiovascular program that’s too intense.”
The result may be soreness in muscles due to activity that hasn’t been done before, or stress on parts of the body that weren’t prepared for injury.
“The body always finds a way to do the task that it’s being directed to do,” Staples explains. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t always do that task in the most efficient plan possible. If the foundation is off or the alignment is off, or if there is a muscle that’s very weak, other muscles will compensate. After a while, those compensations can no longer continue because there are other issues that present themselves and the body begins to say ‘ouch.’ “
Even a finely tuned athlete who takes time off due to an injury requires a gradual ramp-up to get back in top physical form.
“Everybody’s body is different,” Staples says.
Pilates is all about creating symmetry and using postural stabilizing muscles as the foundation to prepare the body for any activity going forward.
“By creating this symmetry, it allows the body to be more efficient and work in a more automatic fashion,” Staples explains. “Pilates is not a cardiovascular or aerobic exercise, but instead a foundation, postural movement-based exercise that allows people to progress to other things.”
For someone new to Pilates, Staples always recommends starting with an individual assessment to determine exactly where the body is.
“Are there any strength deficits? Are there any movement deficits? Are there any medical conditions going on that may hinder some physical activities?” she asks. “Once that type of assessment is done, we can determine what someone is interested in doing. You never want to force someone into doing something that isn’t enjoyable because then they won’t stick with it.”
For those seeking relief after injury, Pilates is an effective physical therapy regime.
“In Georgia, you can come in for an evaluation to see a physical therapist for eight visits or 21 days, whichever comes first, without a physician’s referral,” Staples explains. “Most insurance will cover that. The main exception is state or federal managed health care, which does require referrals.”
For the mom whose kids are going back to school in the new year and who’s gained pounds over the holidays, or is looking forward to a vacation over the winter or spring breaks, it might be her New Year’s resolution to be healthy not only for her family, but to take care of herself so that she can be the best “me” she can be going forward, Staples says.
Stephanie (name changed) came to ProHealth after getting injured at boot camp. The 40-year-old wife and mother was originally gung-ho about her new routine, but then got sidelined by pain. Typically it could take two to four weeks of physical therapy followed by two to four weeks of Pilates to get someone like Stephanie back into top form, Staples says.
“After that we’ll have a really good foundation for adding in some other exercise.”
After 12 years in Kedron Village in Peachtree City, ProHealth recently relocated to a new facility just a few doors down on Georgian Park.
“It’s a more open space, with lots of natural light and more private treatment rooms for therapy purposes,” Staples explains. “The idea is to create a more welcoming atmosphere with an open concept that makes you feel like you’re part of an inviting environment.”
ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio is located at 1777 Georgian Park in Peachtree City. To schedule Physical Therapy or a Private Pilates lesson, call ProHealth at 770-487-1931. Or visit prohealthga.com.