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In the spirit of Valentine’s day, here are 5 gifts to give to someone who will be with you forever- Yourself!

1-    Find ways to stretch every day.  Particularly your hip flexors, glutes & hamstrings.  They seem to get the most tight when we sit all day.  And muscle tightness in these areas can lead to back pain, knee pain and a myriad of other complaints.  You don’t have to lie down on the floor by your desk to do them either- a lot of stretches can be done in sitting or standing.

2-    Get to know your body better.  The human body is a never-ending complexity- you can always learn more about it.  Take a new class at your gym, or investigate a new fitness fad.  You don’t even have to leave the house- get a DVD or read a fitness book!  There are a million ways to “keep the spark alive” and find news ways to understand how your body works.

3-    Make a positive change in your diet.  Love is never about restriction, only generosity!  So make a commitment to ADD something to your diet that will improve your health.  Drink MORE water, eat MORE fruit, add MORE protein- you choose the “gift”- surprise yourself!

4-    Be kind to your body.  Working out shouldn’t be about pain and punishment.  If something hurts, stop!  You will only do damage if you work through pain.   If you can’t seem to do something without hurting, then it’s time to see a physical therapist or your doctor.

5-    Share your commitment to yourself with your friends and family.  Letting people know you have a fitness goal can give you the support you need to stay committed.  It can also start a conversation about health & fitness that will teach you something new, find a new workout buddy, or inspire someone you know to love their body too!

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About Trish Skarulis Stallone

I’m an orthopedic and fitness physical therapist, in practice in NYC. I received a master’s in Physical Therapy from Columbia University, and am a certified strength and conditioning specialist. I’ve performed physical therapy in several gyms throughout the city and seen countless orthopedic surgeries. My passion is post-op rehab as well as foot/shoulder/knee overuse injuries. I also cast custom foot orthotics.

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