Physical therapists are not dieticians or nutritionists, yet the role of extra weight in joint pain cannot be overlooked. Every extra pound exerts four pounds of pressure on our knee joints when we walk, run or climb stairs. Losing just 10 pounds means 40 pounds less pressure on those joints, a substantial difference! Beginning in February, Dr. Jennifer Penrose, owner of Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy, will offer an eight-week course focused on developing a lifestyle that supports overall health.

“It just seems logical as physical therapists that we should address weight loss as part of our scope of practice,” says Penrose. “A lot of our patients struggle with joint pain, and if you’re overweight you want to exercise, but you can’t because it hurts. It’s a vicious circle.”

The science-based, four-part program will support weight loss and wellness goals, powered by Lifestyle Systems and real food. It will target fat loss rather than weight loss, she notes, pointing out that diets focused on eating less and moving more often result in muscle and water loss.

One key factor: reducing inflammation by keeping blood sugar under control, which in turn will help to address cardiac, cholesterol and diabetic concerns. “We call it low glycemic impact eating,” says Penrose. “You lower health risks across the board. With this program, you increase energy and turn the person into a fat-burning machine.”

She also wants to make sure potential participants understand what the course is not. There will be no counting calories, no counting points, no prepackaged food and although there will be an exercise component, no requirement to exercise for hours every day. “This isn’t a diet or a temporary shift,” says Penrose. “It’s really trying to get people to commit to a healthier way of eating.”

Anyone interested can attend a free information session on January 13, via zoom at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Penrose. The eight-week course itself begins on Monday, February 1. Participants can attend all sessions virtually or come into the clinic for initial circumference measurements, a process that will be repeated at the halfway point and the end. Did you know for each inch you lose equates to 1% body fat lost? This program is focused on fat loss, not just weight loss, as we don’t want to lose only water weight loss or muscle loss.  Each session will include an educational component and some group sharing. Additionally, Penrose will be giving away nearly $1,000 worth of free services due to the time involved to work with each client.  There is no coaching fee at this time as we want people to be successful with this program.

“We’ll provide a lot of delicious recipes for people to choose from,” she says. “There will be a guide for how many vegetables, fruits and types of proteins or healthy fats. There will be rules to follow but there will be plenty of options.”

To learn more, visit the Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy website or call 360-456-1444.

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