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Heart Health and Occupational Therapy: A Holistic Approach

April is OT Month!

So, what is OT?

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Don’t think jobs but rather all the activities that occupy the hours of your day. Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.

It’s important to know what an occupational therapist does and can do because occupational therapists can look very different in different settings. For instance, one working in schools is likely to play a very different role than one working in the inpatient hospital setting or outpatient neuro setting. If you know someone or you yourself are having problems with an activities throughout your day, you might be appropriate for an occupational therapy evaluation. Talk to a Spero staff member today and find out how occupational therapy can help you to function easier in your everyday life!

Featured Staff Member!

Congratulations to one of our very own on getting into The Univeristy of St. Augustines Occupational Therapy Program!

Lauren Ellingson has been with Spero since August of last year working as therapy tech at our Katy location. Lauren is a wonderful addition to our team and is always making everyone smile. She is passionate about helping others and is always going above and beyond for everyone around her. She was recently accepted to St. Augustine’s OT program and will start this May along with continuing to work here at Spero Katy. Help us in congratulating Lauren on this accomplishment and we cannot wait to collaborate with her as an OT in the near future! Good luck Lauren!

Role of Physical Therapy on Heart Health

The impact of heart disease is significant, since it affects the quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day.

The good news is that lifestyle changes can make a difference. Your physical therapist can play an important role in improving your heart health. Don’t wait until your physician tells you it’s time to exercise, take some pre-emptive action. Call our office today and ask us to craft a “heart healthy” exercise program. Even if you have never exercised before, we’ll improve the health of your heart with a safe, progressive exercise program. Expect to work closely with us, and together as a team, we’ll improve the way your heart functions.

If you currently suffer from heart related issues, your physical therapist can help you regain an active lifestyle by working on three specific areas:

  • Mobility issues
  • Healthy eating and lifestyle changes
  • Physical activities geared towards your specific abilities and goals

The Heart – An Amazing Organ

The average heart rate of an average adult is 72 beats per minute. If you live to be 80 years old, your heart could beat almost 3 billion times. The heart is an amazing organ that keeps beating involuntarily and powers blood circulation for the entire body. Here are some important considerations for heart health.

  • Understand the impact of lifestyle – While genetics play a part in heart disease, lifestyle choices have a significant impact. Smoking, overeating, eating unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle are factors that must be improved, especially when heart disease runs in the family.
  • Eat healthy – Minimize the consumption of sodium and trans fats. Eat healthy fruits and vegetables daily (try frozen versions when fresh produce is not in season as they hold the most nutrients).
  • Join heart healthy programs – Several programs can help you achieve a heart healthy lifestyle. In September 2011, the CDC launched a national initiative called A Million Hearts that includes a list of partners (federal and private sector) committed to keeping people heart healthy. Among those participating are the American Heart Association, the YMCA, Walgreens, and numerous health insurance companies. You may want to consider challenging your family and friends to take the Million Hearts™ pledge (or taking the pledge yourself) at
  • Keep Moving – Being active doesn’t mean having to run on a treadmill or attend a workout class. Simple things like taking a daily walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from your destination and walking to it can make a difference. Just keep moving!

The ABCS of a Healthy Heart

Although exercise is an important part of heart disease prevention, it is important to remember the ABCS of a healthy heart. Consult your physician for more information on these four key factors:

A – an Aspirin a day can help keep your heart healthy. Ask your physician if low dose aspirin is a good idea for you.

B – know your Blood pressure numbers. If your blood pressure remains high for a period of time, you may be at risk for heart disease. Ask your physician for more information.

C – know your Cholesterol levels – your body has ‘good’ cholesterol and ‘bad’ cholesterol. The ratio between these numbers is an important determinant of heart health.

S – there’s no question Smoking is detrimental to the heart! Smoking has a detrimental effect on other organs including your lungs and has been proven to cause cancer.

As your physical therapists, we are committed to helping you live a healthy lifestyle brimming with energy and abundance. A strong, healthy heart is the first step, and we want to help you. Don’t wait, just give us a call today and ask us for more information. You owe it to your heart.


Upcoming Events:

April 23rd, 2019

LoveYourBrain Yoga 6 week series, ask a staff member at Spero for more information

April 27th 2019

Austin Adapted Sports Ultimate Frisbee at Manchaca Baptist Church starting at 11:00 am

April 27th and 28th, 2019

BPMS 150 Bike for MS Event

April 28th, 2019

Painting with a Twist for a Purpose at 8820 Burnet Road, Suite 507 starting at 2:00 PM

May 4th, 2019

Austin Adapted Sports Lazer Tag at Blazer Tag starting at 11:00 am

May 23rd, 2019

All Abilities IFly Night at IFly in Austin from 5:00-8:30 PM

May 24th, 2019

Stroke Awareess Event at Spero in Katy starting at 1:00 PM

May 31st, 2019

WillPower Community Night at the Round Rock Express Dell Diamond starting at 7:00 PM

Weekly Austin Adaptive Sports Schedule:

Monday – Different Training (weights, speed, sports etc) on a scheduled appointment basis

Tuesday – Wheelchair Football at Northwest Recreation Center 6:30-9:00 PM

Wednesday – Wheelchair Men’s Basketball at Doris Miller Recreational Center 6:30-9:00 PM

Thursday – Developmental Wheelchair Basketball at Manacha Baptist Church 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday – Adaptive Kayaking at Texas Rowing Center 6:00-8:00 PM

*Hosted by Lonestar Paralysis Foundation and directed by Raymond Turner. Please contact for more information.

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Katie Bouchillon

Spero Rehab



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Spero Rehab 23225 Kingsland Blvd. Suite 600 Katy TX 77494 Phone: 281-395-9090