Warm up before hitting the yard!

Did you know that mowing your lawn with a push mower for 30 minutes could burn over 200 calories?Here are a few easy tips to warm up your muscles and joints to avoid straining your body, hopefully making your gardening and lawncare more enjoyable:

Be Prepared
Wear comfortable, light clothing that allows your body to breathe. If the weather is a bit cool, be sure to layer-up to keep your muscles warm and loose.
Warm up and stretch before AND after your chores
The key to keeping your body moving the way you want it to is to treat it well along the way! A quick muscle warm-up by walking around your yard, and a few stretches to loosen things up will help.
Switch hands to avoid repetition
Many people are most comfortable with one hand when gardening or pulling weeds, however it is a good idea to switch sides on a regular basis to avoid repetitive stress on the same side of the neck, shoulders and back.
Use your legs, not your back
This is a well-known slogan, but we need to follow it! The knees are meant to withstand bending while the low back does not like to do this over and over. Your leg muscles are much stronger than your lower back muscles, so use them!

The looming threat of a hard cap on physical therapy services under Medicare has been eliminated.
As part of a sprawling bipartisan budget deal passed today, Congress enacted a permanent solution to the problematic hard cap on outpatient physical therapy services under Medicare Part B, ending a 20-year cycle of patient uncertainty and wasteful short-term fixes.
Ending the hard cap has been a high priority for APTA since its introduction in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act. Legislators’ backing for repeal reached a tipping point in 2017, when lawmakers developed a¬†bipartisan, bicameral agreement to end the cap. Congress failed to enact that deal in 2017, but elements of the plan are included in the 2-year budget that was approved today.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that Congress chose to offset the cost of the permanent fix (estimated at $6.47 billion) with a last-minute addition of a payment differential for services provided by physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs) compared with payment for the same services provided by physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs), respectively. The payment differential, which was strongly opposed by APTA and other stakeholders, states that PTAs and OTAs will be paid at 85% of the Medicare physician fee schedule beginning in 2022.

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