5 Things To Do Every Day for Heart Health

February 25, 2021

In honor of American Heart Month, follow these five tips and you’ll be doing your heart a favor. You’ll feel better and be living a more heart-healthy lifestyle.
Eat healthy fats, NOT trans fats. We need fats in our diet, including saturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats. One fat we don’t need is trans fat, which is known to increase […]


Only One You

February 12, 2021

There are many reasons to make self-care a priority both because of and despite the COVID-19 pandemic. There is only one you. Taking care of yourself will allow you to be the best version of yourself and be there for the people you love.
Here are some great ways to practice self-care:
Don’t put off doctor’s appointments. Small aches and […]


Winter Workout Tips to Keep You Moving

January 29, 2021

Seek out an Exercise Partner or Group.

Exercise partners can provide social support, camaraderie and distraction from cold weather. There’s the additional benefit of making friends and hanging out with like-minded people. You can cheer each other on and probably get more accomplished than if you were by yourself.

Get Active Online.

Consider joining a live class, fitness group, or streaming fitness app — which are great winter workout options that don’t require you to brave the cold, pandemic or not. You may […]


What Your Thyroid Can Do for You

January 25, 2021

January is thyroid awareness month. According to the American Thyroid Association, “More than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime.” Thyroid problems affect both men and women but are more prevalent among women. If you’ve never had problems with your thyroid, you may be wondering what a thyroid is and why you need one.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in front of your neck under your voice box. It makes hormones that […]


Being Grateful in 2021

January 22, 2021

What are you grateful for? While it’s easy to come up with a list of things that haven’t gone well in the past few months, dwelling on these thoughts can harm your health. I want to challenge you to take a moment to write down a few things you are thankful for. It may not be easy at […]


A Little Bit of Exercise Goes a Long Way with Mental Health

December 31, 2020

For a mental health boost, you may need only about an hour of exercise per week! A recent Australian study has shown many cases of depression could be prevented if you exercise for just an hour and it doesn’t have to be intense. People in the study seemed to have mental health benefits regardless of exercise intensity. Of course, this minimal amount of exercise does not satisfy the weekly recommendations for the cardiovascular and overall health of 150 minutes of […]


Finding Joy

December 29, 2020

Are you waiting for joy to find you this holiday season? Many of us have the idea that joy is dependent on our circumstances.  Maybe you’ve thought, “I will be happy when I get a new job, get married, buy a bigger house, go on vacation…” The list goes on and on. If joy is dependent on our circumstances, then […]


Eating Your Way to Good Health for the Holidays

December 11, 2020

Written By: Alena Walrath, PTA
The holidays are right around the corner. Regardless of how you have been eating the past few months, the choices you make now can have a positive impact on your health in the months and years to come. Your diet is a great way to boost your immune system, which is something we could all use right now with flu season approaching and COVID-19 still lingering. What you put into your body not only affects your […]


Exercising to Increase your Bone Density

November 24, 2020

Written By:  Megan DeLuca, MEd, CPT Fitness Blogger
Exercising to Increase your Bone Density
As we age, bone loss and the risk for developing osteoporosis increases. Key factors such as a sedentary lifestyle and low intake of calcium and vitamin D can encourage the reduction in mineral content in aging bones and, over time, cause varying levels of bone loss. Bone loss can contribute to a decrease of balance and strength which can lead to falls, resulting in bone fractures and breaks. According to […]


Ways to Improve your Respiratory Health

November 13, 2020

By: Megan DeLuca, MEd, CPT Fitness Blogger

Stop smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke. The dangers of smoking, secondhand smoke, vaping, etc., are not a secret and should be taken very seriously. You only get one pair and taking care of them should be a priority.
Avoid indoor and outdoor air pollution. Be sure to seek out filtered air in areas where […]



November 11, 2020

This is the month that we celebrate our right to vote, honor our Veterans, watch football, eat turkey, and—grow mustaches.
Why mustaches? Let me explain: Growing mustaches in the month of November started as a way to gain awareness for men’s health. The concept began with two men in Australia discussing the disappearance of the mustache in current men’s fashion and the need for an organization to address men’s health. The movement, as they call it, is Movember.
On average, a man’s […]


3 Reasons to Care About Movember

November 2, 2020

For the past several years, I’ve spent an entire month out of the year growing what I like to call my Tom Selleck mustache. Given my clean-shaven look 11 months of the year, this ‘stache takes some people by surprise, prompting questions, conversations — and some funny looks. And that’s exactly the point of this annual adventure in facial hair: […]


6 Facts that Might Surprise You About Physical Therapy

October 22, 2020

By: Alena Walrath, PTA
October is Physical Therapy Month so this is the perfect time to share some interesting facts about physical therapy.

Physical therapy is not just for rehabilitation after surgery or an injury. Physical therapists treat many different medical conditions. For example, physical therapists are trained to treat chronic pain, headaches, balance problems, vascular conditions, weakness, neurological disorders, women’s health conditions, […]


National Family Health & Fitness Day – Saturday, September 26th, 2020

September 28, 2020

Family Health & Fitness Day USA is a day that promotes physical activity and health with your loved ones. Our food, activity, and habit choices can be similar among family members in the same household so it’s important to make sure we are doing the right ones to help keep each other healthy. After all, we share the […]


How Are You Doing Today…Really?

September 24, 2020

By Alena Walrath, PTA
COVID-19 has changed our world. We’re all adjusting to a new normal for now, but we each have a different set of challenges. To get through this pandemic we need to be intentional about self-care, find ways to connect with those around us, and learn more about how to help ourselves and others.
Now more than ever, it is important […]


Getting Better and Stronger with Age

September 14, 2020

By Alena Walrath, PTA
As you get older, strength training may be the last thing that comes to mind, but it’s exactly what you need to lessen the effects of aging.  The saying “use it or lose it” is especially relevant when it comes to strength.
Muscle mass decreases as age increases, and this loss of muscle mass is even greater with […]


Back To School Fun Family Fitness Challenge

September 1, 2020

Megan DeLuca, MEd, CPT, Fitness Blogger
With summer coming to a close and a different school experience beginning soon, keep yourself and your kids active and having fun together. Whether it’s during school hours, after school or before bed, your kids will love doing a fun activity or having some friendly competition to help take away the stress of a new schedule.



Back to School Vision

August 27, 2020

By Alena Walrath, PTA
As classes start back up again this fall, many schools have turned to technology to enable virtual learning. We are fortunate to live in a time where advances in technology have made this possible. One hurdle for most students with this new form of learning will be increased screen time. Even children with in-person classes may use […]


Simple Tips for Exercising in the Summer Heat

August 13, 2020

Written By: Megan DeLuca, MEd, CPT, Fitness Blogger
Whether you’re exercising indoor or outdoor, the summer heat can make things a bit more challenging. I’m not one to keep the AC very low so working out in the basement, somewhere cool, or with a fan blowing is a must. But if you’re taking your workout outdoor, remember these simple tips to make your […]


Summer is Here; Your Best Choice for Hydration is Clear

August 4, 2020

Written By Alena Walrath, PTA
Grabbing a glass of water is so simple, yet sometimes it’s easy to forget. As temperatures rise, staying hydrated is especially important. So what’s the best way to stay hydrated? While drinking water is certainly the best option for staying hydrated in most situations, it’s not the only option. Consuming other types of foods and beverages will increase your overall fluid […]


Boost Your Energy Level this Summer

Written by Alena Walrath, PTA
A few small changes to your daily routine may be just what you need to beat the heat and get more energy. Here are some tips to stay cool and energized:

Eat lighter meals more frequently throughout the day. Large or heavy meals can make you feel lethargic. Choose foods with a high water content and make sure you are drinking […]


Is Low Back Pain Halting Your Sex Life?

July 8, 2020

Written by: Paul J. Roubal, Ph.D., DPT, OCS
I bet that you didn’t expect to see this as a topic covered by your physical therapist! But, why
not? Part of my job as a therapist is to provide patients with an improved quality of life and
help them get back to activities that they enjoy and consider important – for some, that
involves the […]


The Pain Center Helps Working Mom Find Relief from Stress Headaches

July 7, 2020

A Repost from our Partners at Mary Free Bed. Original Source: https://www.maryfreebed.com/kathydahms/
For many folks, headaches are often more annoying than painful. But for Kathy Dahms, the pain of her constant headaches was enough to interfere with her daily routine and enjoyment of life.
“I don’t remember what it felt like to not have a headache,” Kathy says after being treated at […]


Research shows interdisciplinary rehabilitation best treats fibromyalgia

June 30, 2020

Guest blog: Dr. James Hudson is medical director of the Pain Rehabilitation program. He’s specialized in the treatment and management of patients with chronic pain at Mary Free Bed for more than 30 years.

He leads a specialized team of doctors and therapists who use a rehabilitation approach to pain management. In this blog, Dr. Hudson discusses the history […]


Stay Safe Out There


By Alena Walrath, PTA
Since Michigan’s COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order was lifted and many businesses have opened again, we face the challenge of maintaining health safety precautions in public spaces. Here are a few ways you can continue to protect yourself and others:
Wash your hands often. Hand washing is most effective when you wash with soap and water for at […]


Education is an Important Part of Pain Rehabilitation

June 23, 2020

From our experts: Nicole DeHaan is a physical therapist and therapeutic pain specialist in Mary Free Bed’s Pain Rehabilitation program. As a member of the program’s team of experts, she works with patients to reduce their chronic pain and improve their ability to function.
People with chronic pain recognize the pain they’re experiencing is … different. Unlike pain they’ve had before, […]


How to Play Sports with Your Children and Avoid Injuries

June 19, 2020

By Alena Walrath, PTA 
Not only have parents and caregivers played an important role in helping children with online learning and homework the past few months, but they have also been stepping up to the roles of teammate and coach. With fitness centers closed, we’ve had to get creative when it comes to getting exercise. Playing sports with your children is […]


Taking care of ourselves means staying connected with those we love

June 11, 2020

From our experts: Maggie Travin is a psychologist at Mary Free Bed.
In times of confusion, fear or panic, the most natural thing to do may be to lean in — both physically and figuratively — to those you love. There are few things more comforting than a warm embrace from a family member. However, during this unique time […]


Creative Solutions for Working From Home

June 3, 2020

By Alena Walrath, PTA
So you’re working from home now? Perhaps the better question is: where in your home are you working? If you don’t typically work from home and you haven’t given much thought to your workstation setup, you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.
 Here are some tips to help get you through your workday:

The desk. Ok, maybe you […]


Fun Ways to Keep Kids Moving When You Can’t Get Outside

May 21, 2020

Written By: Alena Walrath, PTA
With children finishing up the school year online, it may be easy to overlook two important parts of your child’s day: recess and gym class. According to the CDC, school-age children should get at least 60 minutes of “moderate-to-vigorous physical activity” every day. Younger children, 3-5 years old, should be “active when they play” and aim […]


I Think I’ll Go for a Walk Outside

April 9, 2020

Written By:  Alena Walrath, PTA
Before the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the Environmental Protection Agency reported that the average American spent 90% of his or her life indoors.
Now, with the social distancing measures that have been put in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, you can imagine the amount of time people are spending indoors is even greater than 90%.  Many of […]


Treating Jaw Pain With Physical Therapy

March 9, 2020

Written By: Alena Walrath, PTA
The temporomandibular joint, commonly known as TMJ, is located just in front of your ear on both sides of your head. It connects the upper and lower jaw, allowing you to open and close your mouth. If this joint is not functioning properly, it can cause symptoms such as stiffness, locking, clicking, popping, pain, soreness, ringing in your ears, […]


We Are Proud To Announce…

February 5, 2020

Dear Patients,

We are proud to announce our direct association with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Mary Free Bed is the fifth largest free-standing rehabilitation hospital in the United States.
Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they have been offering rehabilitation services since 1891. Restoring Hope and Freedom to thousands of patients over the last 129 years. Starting on 12/01/2019, Physical Therapy Specialists, […]


Shovel Snow Like a Pro!

January 6, 2020

Written By: Alena Walrath, PTA
We’ve already seen quite a bit of snow this year in Michigan and it technically isn’t even winter yet. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re prepared for the next snowfall:

    Make sure you have the right equipment. When selecting a shovel, make sure the shaft of the shovel is long enough. A shovel that is too […]


(Re)Learn to Eat Intuitively

Written By: Lisa Perry, RDN, Lisa Perry Nutrition, lisaperryrdn@gmail.com
Humans are born with an ability to recognize our bodies hunger and fullness cues. This natural ability is known as intuitive eating, a phrase used by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D, and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., in their book, Intuitive Eating.
If you watch a toddler eat, they will walk away from food when they are full. As […]


Don’t Put Your Exercise Routine on Layaway

The cold temperatures may have you in hibernation mode, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a couch potato. Getting out to exercise is more challenging in the winter months, and while it is tempting to reduce your amount of physical activity, reducing or eliminating exercise could lead to problems down the road.
Here are a few reasons why you should […]


Why I Chose Physical Therapy

November 20, 2019

Written by: Alena Walwrath, PTA
Physical therapy restores movement and function, eliminates pain and the need for pain medication, and helps prevent future injuries. If this sounds like something you could use in your life, keep reading.
Before I worked in a physical therapy clinic as a physical therapy assistant, I was a patient. From that experience, one of the things that […]


Exercise as Part of Breast Cancer Recovery

Written By: Megan DeLuca, MEd, CPT, PTS Fitness Blogger
Cancer is a serious matter. It is second only to heart disease as Americans’ leading cause of death. Of those cases, many will be invasive breast cancer. While these statistics are eye-opening, nearly half of these new cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyle changes. In fact, some of them […]


World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day

October 19, 2019

By: Lisa Perry, RDN, Lisa Perry Nutrition, lisaperryrdn@gmail.com
October 19 is World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day. Too often, bone and joint health are subjects we only think about as we age. However, adolescence is the time for building peak bone mass. Ninety percent of peak bone mass develops by age 18 for girls and age 20 for boys.
Good nutrition during adolescence plays a […]


World Food Day

October 16, 2019

By: Lisa Perry, RDN, Lisa Perry Nutrition, lisaperryrdn@gmail.com
October 16, 2019, is World Food Day. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations started World Food Day to achieve zero hunger worldwide, through healthy lifestyle choices. The FAO has created a Recipe for a Healthy Life. This “recipe” includes diet choices, life choices, and planet choices, which will […]


The Problem with Posture

October 11, 2019

By: Alena Walrath, PTA
If poor posture has become normal for you, it may be time to see a physical therapist. Good posture involves keeping your back straight and maintaining the natural curve in your spine. Prolonged periods of time in poor postures can have a negative effect on your muscles, create joint imbalances and put unnecessary stress on your spine. […]


Physical Therapy as an Alternative to Pain Medication

October 9, 2019

By: Alena Walrath, PTA
According to the National Institutes of Health, pain is the #1 reason people seek medical care and is a leading cause of disability in America.
 Pain medicine is one common way to manage pain, and it is often the first treatment people turn to. However, there continues to be growing concern about the misuse of pain medications, especially opioids.
 Pain medications are used to treat symptoms. While a temporary fix may work short-term, in the long run it is […]


National Food Safety Education Month

October 7, 2019

Written By: Lisa Perry, RDN, Lisa Perry Nutrition, lisaperryrdn@gmail.com

September is National Food Safety Education Month. Food safety is important to prevent food-borne illness. Here are some simple tips to keep your family healthy:

Wash hands before, during and after food preparation. Also, wash hands before eating. All
family members should make this a habit, even little children. This is the number one defense against the spread […]


How Would You Describe Your Pain

By Alena Walrath, PTA
If you could give your pain a number from 0-10 with “0” being no pain and “10” being the worst pain imaginable, what number would you give it?
 You may have been asked this question before. While coming up with a number to describe your pain may seem arbitrary, pain scales are helpful tools for medical […]


Progressive Muscle Relaxation For Stress Relief

August 30, 2019

Written By: Megan DeLuca, MEd, CPT,PTS Fitness Blogger
For many of us, relaxation means flopping on the couch and zoning out in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day. But this does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress. Rather, you need to activate your body’s natural relaxation response, a state of deep rest that […]



August 26, 2019

By Alena Walrath, PTA
If you are in a constant state of stress, you may not realize the effects stress can have on your mind and body. Prolonged periods of high-stress levels can lead to numerous side effects, including high blood pressure, back and neck pain, a compromised immune system, headaches, and difficulty sleeping, to name just a few. On top […]


Summer Corn Salad

August 21, 2019

Written By: Lisa Perry, RDN, Lisa Perry Nutrition, lisaperryrdn@gmail.com
Summer is in full swing, and my garden is providing a bountiful crop of tomatoes and
cucumbers. If you don’t have a veggie garden, this is a great time of year to explore your local
farmer’s market. This is a simple, nutrient-rich salad to showcase some of that beautiful
summer produce.
2 ears sweet corn, grilled, roasted or steamed
1.5 cups small tomatoes (grape, cherry, pear), cut in half
1/4 cup […]


Gluten-Free for Weight Loss?

August 19, 2019

Written By: Lisa Perry, RDN, Lisa Perry Nutrition, lisaperryrdn@gmail.com
Foods labeled gluten-free are everywhere these days. Will gluten-free foods help with weight loss? First, let’s take a look at gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten helps to give shape, structure, and elasticity to baked goods.
Since the biggest sources of gluten are wheat, barley, and rye, you may assume you […]


Golf Tips

August 13, 2019

Written By: Alena Walrath, PTA
Before you venture out to the golf course again this summer, there are a few things to keep in mind to help prevent injuries.
Perfecting your golf game requires work both on and off the course. If you step onto the green without warming up first, you may be setting yourself up for injury. Also, […]


How Can Exercise Help with Depression in Kids?

August 2, 2019

Written by : Megan DeLuca, MEd, CPT,PTS Fitness Blogger
Most of the research on exercise and depression has been conducted on adults, but symptoms often strike in childhood and can be as traumatic as later-in-life cases. Scientists are now turning their attention to the mood-boosting power of exercise in children as young as 6 years old and finding similar positive results. They […]