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Our Blog

#GiveBack by Giving to Push to Walk

This year has been such a whirlwind, and the pandemic drastically changed everyone's lives. Push to Walk was forced to shut down for a few months which caused clients to miss out on workout sessions and miss out on the comradery Push to Walk provides. Nevertheless, the pandemic has also caused us to slow down and realize what is important to us. This Thanksgiving, many of us will be thankful for our friends, family, health, and happiness. For clients, staff, and their families, Push to Walk provides the health, happiness, and even friends mentioned at Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, we encourage you to find the best deals possible on Black Friday & Cyber Monday, so you'll have something to give back on Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a movement that began in 2012 to celebrate global giving, collaborating, and acts of generosity. For one day a year, people have the power to transform communities and change lives by giving to non-profits and charities across the globe. We hope this one day will also inspire you to get more involved with facilities such as Push to Walk. Last year in the United States alone, those who came together raised $1.97 BILLION!

Donate to Push to Walk for Giving Tuesday and your contribution will allow us to provide more extensive training for our already dynamite staff, even more scholarships, and specialized equipment for our amazing clients.

To donate or read more, click here.

Also, please spread awareness of Giving Tuesday with friends & family!

AVM Awareness Month

Happy October! All spooks aside, we at Push to Walk (PTW) would like to do our part to bring awareness to AVM. After all, it is an AVM Awareness Month as well.

An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a rare disease (affecting 18 out of every 100,000 people in the US) characterized by tangled blood vessels that connect arteries and veins. These tangles disrupt normal blood flow and oxygen circulation and can develop anywhere in the body but are most commonly found afflicting a person’s brain or spine.

Some common symptoms of brain AVMs (according to healthline.com) include:
● Bleeding in the skull, most commonly a subarachnoid hemorrhage
● Seizures
● Headaches
● Focal neurological deficits, such as weakness, numbness, or tingling to one part or side of the body
● Confusion

If AVMs are occurring in limbs or the spinal cord (according to healthline.com) symptoms may include:
● Muscle weakness
● An inability to move a limb
● A lack of coordination

Children and teenagers with an AVM may struggle with learning or have behavioral issues. Some children born with AVM will have blue-tinted skin, which tends to darken to a deep red or purple as they age if untreated.

The clear causes of AVMs are unknown, but some doctors theorize they occur in the womb or shortly after birth and appear later as the child ages. There is little evidence to suggest that genetics play a role in the appearances of AVMs, but some other genetic syndromes can put individuals at a higher risk of developing AVMs. These syndromes include but are not limited to hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia and Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome.

If you want to learn more about AVM, check out the Facebook page for The Aneurysm and AVM Foundation (TAAF).

For more information or questions please contact Amanda at amudrick@pushtowalknj.org.

In Home Exercises for When You Can’t Get to Push to Walk

We’ve been closed for a week due to the global pandemic and, although we recognize the importance of social distancing, deviation from routine can be rough. We’re definitely missing our clients, but until the current mandate is lifted, we must remain closed to limit exposure and keep clients and staff safe. We hope to open our doors again soon, but in the meantime our training staff has taken the time to put together a list of recommendations and exercises (most with videos!) to help our clients take care of themselves mentally and physically while we’re apart.

Push to Walk training staff encourages everyone to get outside as much as they can to get a little sun and soak in that vitamin D. A change of scenery and a break from being inside all day long under artificial light can make a world of difference mentally. Maybe have someone help you bring your standing frame outside and do some work while in the sunshine? And it is perfectly safe to go for a walk / roll in your neighborhood! If you are using a manual wheelchair, please only push with the push bar and not from the actual tire for movement. Tires are a breeding ground for bacteria and pushing from them can also do damage to your shoulders.

Please take all safety precautions when exercising at home. Always make sure there is a family member/friend/caregiver present in case any issues may arise during home exercises.

Equipment-Specific Exercises

If you have a FES bike at home, use it for an hour each day.

If you have a standing frame at home, use it for at least an hour each day.

Exercises that can be done in the chair

Exercise: Pelvic Tilts
Position: Seated in wheelchair with back as close to backrest as possible
Movement: Squeeze from your pelvic floor and tuck your tailbone in so that your hips and low back press against the backrest of your chair. Hold each squeeze for 3 seconds and repeat 10x. Do as many sets as you can throughout the day.
Pelvic Tilts Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Karla

Exercise: Alternating Glute Squeezes
Position: Seated in wheelchair
Movement: Think of it as a seated alternating weight shift, depending on the amount of movement you produce. Start by squeezing one side of your buttock as much as you can and hold the contraction for 3 seconds and then switch. You may find that you will get hip movement if you squeeze hard enough.
Alternating Glute Squeezes Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Karla

Exercise: Tricep Dips
Position: Seated in wheelchair
Movement: With hands grabbing on to wheelchair armrests, and elbows bent, try to push down on the armrests and straighten out the elbows. Slowly lower, then repeat. Excellent for pressure relief as well. Make sure the armrests are secured before performing the exercise. 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Tricep Dips Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Amanda

Exercise: Back Rows
Position: Seated in wheelchair
Movement: With a TheraBand attached securely to a post or door in front of you, grab the other end of the band with your arm straightened out at the elbow. Proceed to pull the elbow to the side of your trunk, with your palm facing towards the midline of your body. Ensure that there is tension in the band to act as resistance throughout the movement. If TheraBand is unavailable, substitute with weight (as seen in video). Focus on squeezing your shoulder blade towards your spine. Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each arm.
Back Rows Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Kyle

Exercise: Bicep Curls
Position: Seated in wheelchair
Movement: With your arm straightened at the elbow down to your side (hand near the floor), bring your palm (and the weight) towards your shoulder by bending your elbow then slowly lower and repeat. You can use a dumbbell, or a different household object if you do not own a dumbbell. 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each side.
Bicep Curls Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Kyle

Exercise: Wrist Flexion & Extension
Position: Seated in wheelchair
Movement: Flexion-Start seated in a chair, with your forearm on a table, palm side up. Bend the wrist until a gentle stretch is felt on top of the forearm. Extension-Start seated in a chair, with your forearm on a table, palm side down. Lift your hand up by bending at the wrist until your hand is completely off the table with fingers pointed towards the ceiling. You can do 3 sets of 10 or until fatigued.
Wrist Flexion & Extension Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Kyle

Exercises on the bed or floor

Exercise: Prone Press-ups
Position: Lying flat on your stomach on the bed or floor
Movement: Palms facing down on the surface positioned at the level of the shoulders and slightly to the side, press down through the palms to raise the chest up until a stretch is felt, or until elbows are locked out. Hold at top for 3 seconds, then slowly lower down. Repeat 2 sets of 10 repetitions
Prone Press-ups Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Matt

Exercise: Low Back Stretch
Position: Lying flat on your back on the bed or floor
Movement: Keeping the shoulders flat against the floor, bend the left leg at the knee and bring it over the straightened out right leg. The left knee should be directed out to the side, to the right of the right knee. Hold for 30 seconds. Then return to starting position and do the same but crossing the right leg over the straightened out left leg. Repeat 5 times.
Low Back Stretch Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Matt & Special Guest

Exercise: Scapular Protractions
Position: Lying flat on your stomach on the bed or floor
Movement: Palms down, forearms flat on the floor with elbows placed under and in line with shoulders. Maintaining this position, attempt to bring the shoulders blades apart from one another as you raise your chest slightly. It is a small movement. Hold 2 seconds at top of position. Repeat 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
Scapular Protractions Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Matt

Exercise: Quadruped Stability
Position: On all fours (hands and knees), with your hands in line under your shoulders, and your knees in line under your hips. A family member/friend/caregiver may be needed to help you attain the position and can spot to prevent falls. Place a pillow under the ankles, and a pillow on the calves.
Movement: While trying to maintain this position, slowly raise one arm out to the side, and then bring it back down. Change arms, alter directions, but try to maintain the trunk to be as still as possible. Holding onto a dumbbell can increase the difficulty. Try 3 sets for 2 minutes per set. This is a great way to work on core strength, as well as core and pelvic stability, with the added bonus of arm strengthening as well while holding yourself up.
Progression: This can be progressed to cat/cow poses from yoga.
Quadruped Stability Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Matt

Exercise: Sit Ups
Position: Semi-reclined in bed or on floor. Knees straight.
Movement: Try to squeeze your stomach muscles and flex your trunk forward towards your knees. Make sure you are able to catch yourself from going too far forward. You can lower the repetitions.
Sit Ups with Progressions Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Amanda

Exercise: Sphinx Pose
Position: Lying flat on your stomach in bed or on the floor
Movement: Set your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms on the floor/bed parallel to each other. Lift your upper torso and head away from the floor into a mild backbend. This can stretch your abdominals while also strengthening your pushing muscles. Really work on pushing up and protracting your shoulder blades and keeping your head up.
Sphinx Pose Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Joe

Exercise: Cobra Pose
Position: Lying flat on your stomach in the bed or on the floor
Movement: This would be a progression from the Sphynx pose, where instead of being on your elbows, you push your torso off the ground with your arms extended. Keeping the shoulders protracted is the goal with this pose as well, relaxing the shoulders or pulling them back can put strain on the anterior side of the shoulder.
Progression: These can be then progressed into a modified pushup or press.
Cobra Pose Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Joe

Exercise: Prone Thoracic Extensions
Position: Lying flat on your stomach on the floor with your arms by your side and palms facing down
Movement: Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lift your chest off the floor while exhaling. Hold that position for 3-5 seconds then slowly lower your chest back down to the floor while inhaling. These may be difficult but will be a really great way to target the upper back. You should make sure you are not using your neck too much, and instead try to work on retracting the shoulders primarily.
Prone Thoracic Extensions Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Amanda

Exercise: Seated Marching
Position: Seated on bed or table
Movement: Sit on the bed or table with your feet on the floor. With your arms at your sides lift up one knee at a time until your foot is off the ground. Keep yourself upright and alternate legs back and forth. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each leg.
Seated Marching Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Amanda

Long Seated Exercises
Position: Seated on floor with back against a wall and legs straight out in front
Movement: Sit upright as tall as you can get holding this position for as long as you can. Start with 15 second holds gradually progressing to longer durations. Try to add arm movements while keeping that same upright position.
Progression: Single arm raises, double arm raises, single arm press, double arm press
Long Seated Back Extension Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Joe

Long Seated Single Arm Raise with Progression to Double Arm Raises with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Joe

Long Seated Single Arm Raise with Reverse Fly with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Joe

Exercises for clients who are able to stand independently and/or with a walker
*Always use safety precautions with any exercise but especially those done while standing. Make sure to have a walker in front of you for any balance assistance you may need as well as a family member/friend/caregiver present to help spot you in case you lose your balance.

Exercise: Hip Circles
Position: Stand in neutral position (feet hip width apart and aligned with your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles).
Movement: Start by imagining there is a pencil attached to your tailbone and then draw a silver dollar sized circle, a circle as big as a tennis ball, and if you have the movement under control and are able to balance, a circle as big as a volleyball. You can use upper body support as long as you make sure that you're not using upper body to move or making your whole body make a circle. Your knees can stay slightly flexed (bent) and will tend to flex (bend) and extend (straighten) based on how tight you are in your hips. Make 10 circles clockwise and 10 counterclockwise with each circle size that you're comfortable doing. Repeat as much as you want.
*No Demonstration Video

Exercise: Marching in Place
Position: Stand in neutral position
Movement: Alternating legs, lift your knee up to 90 degrees and place it back down on the floor in a controlled manner. Make sure you keep yourself upright and your shoulders and hips stacked over your knees and feet. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each leg or until fatigued.
Marching in Place Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Amanda

Exercise: Squats
Position: Standing in neutral position
Movement: Lower your hips from a standing position and then stand back up using a countertop or standing bar for stability support when necessary. When lowering your hips down, the hip and knee joints flex and when coming up, the hip and knee joints extend.
Squats Demonstration Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Kyle

Bonus: At Home Exercise Compilation Video with Neuro Exercise Trainer, Kyle

 

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