We all know that there are two main methods of getting into, and maintaining, a healthy fitness level: diet and exercise. It makes sense, then, that physical therapy alone is not enough. While we believe that our services are key for helping you recover from injuries and getting into peak physical shape, we also know that engaging our patients in nutrition education is the best way to help them see the results that they want.
The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy argues that physical therapists have an obligation to present accurate nutritional information to our clients and to refer them to other information sources when appropriate. That’s why we are providing you with our top tips for nutrition education that will help you see results from your physical therapy.
How Nutrition Education Can Make Your Physical Therapy More Effective
Always Read the Labels
In the United States, nutrition labels are regulated by the FDA – and their rules can be incredibly confusing. Instead of relying on “front-of-pack” labels at the grocery store (the ones that say ‘low fat’, etc.), we recommend taking the time to read the back nutrition panels on all of your packaged foods. This may add a few extra minutes to your weekly shopping, but it will also help you get a more holistic idea of what you are eating. Oftentimes, foods that claim to be sugar-free have replaced that sugar with excess salt or fat. If you need help interpreting the nutrition panels, check out SelfNutritionData.
Build Healthy Plates
When you’re on the go, it can be difficult to know how much of each food group to eat. We love the USDA’s MyPlate movement. They break down exactly how much protein, dairy, and veggies need to make it onto your dinner plate each night. We love this resource because it takes the guesswork out of nutrition education and gives you real, concrete recommendations to follow.
Do you have more questions about nutrition buzzwords? Read our blog, 4 Health Buzzwords and What They Mean, for more help.
If you are suffering from a recent injury or just looking to get back in shape in 2017, request an appointment at DHT Physical Therapy today.