Louisville, Plattsmouth & Hooper Ne 68031

What is Aerobic Exercise?

February 11, 2020 – What do you think of when you think aerobic exercise? Walking, biking, swimming, golfing? The truth is that all of these are great examples of aerobic activity and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

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(image obtained from study.com)

Some people find it much easier to participate in aerobic activities in the summer months. We generally get more sun and because of that we are usually in a better mood and thus more active. It is easier to go for a walk or a jog outside, to head to the local pool or lake for a swim, to go to our great State Parks and do some hiking or rowing. But what about this time of year?

In the winter most of our days are spent inside trying to get exercise. This is hard to do as we are usually stuck inside working and then don’t want to go outside in the sloppy and cold winter weather, making it hard to get a good workout in. At the gym we can get on the treadmill, exercise bike, stair climber, rowing machine, or elliptical to get our heart rate up. But sometimes, getting around some other people makes that workout seem better. Taking a kick boxing or dancing class can get our blood pumping. Working on circuit training or doing other aerobic classes can also help.

Once you find an activity that you enjoy then we need to understand how well it works on our heart. In our blog last week we presented ways to measure how hard you and your heart are working. Typically moderate intensity aerobic activities could include walking, biking, golfing without a cart, or dancing. Vigorous activities including running, soccer, basketball, cross country skiing, or swimming.

For further guidelines or questions please contact us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team #homegrown #backtolife

How Hard Are You Working?

February 4, 2020 – When we are working out there are certain measures we should be at. These include what our heart rate is at and for how long, how we feel on rep 1 versus rep 10, and how long we do certain activities. For aerobic activities we can look at two measures, RPE and Target Heart Rate.

RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion. It is measured on a scale of 0-10 and is used as a subjective measure to determine how hard you are working while doing certain activities. For exercise the ideal number is between a 4 and 6. A 0 is equal to sitting on the couch and a 10 equates to pushing a car up a hill.

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Target Heart Rate is the heart rate you should be at when working out to achieve proper aerobic stress. It is calculated by figuring out your maximum heart rate. Take 220 minus your age and that is your maximum heart rate. Ideally you should be at 50% for a beginner and up to 85% for an experienced aerobic trainer. For example, a 36-year-old man who works out 3 days per week would have a maximum heart rate of 184. Therefore, his target heart rate should be about 70% of his maximum heart rate or 129 bpm.

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Following these simple guidelines will help make sure that every minute that you put into your workout is maximizing your potential to reach your ideal aerobic and cardiac health levels. By doing this you are decreasing your risk of heart disease which is a leading cause of complicated health conditions and death in the United States. Please contact us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth if you have any further questions.

Your Witte Physical Therapy Team #homegrown #backtolife

General Neck Exercises

January 28, 2020 – If you have taken the time to read our previous blogs for the month of January you have seen a common theme, postural issues causing neck problems. Now that you have read this previous information, lets take the next step. What can you do about it?

At home you can start with some basic daily exercises to help with your postural awareness and to decrease strain on your neck. These include general neck range of motion exercises. We call these yes, no, maybes. Making the motion with your head of these simple movements (without shrugging your shoulders) can help keep your neck moving normally. Also, adding in some basic neck stretching for your upper trap and levator muscle groups will help keep these relaxed. Finally, doing some simple shoulder blade squeezes will remind us to sit up straight and keep those muscles strong.

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Of course, doing these simple things will reduce your chance of developing neck and postural pain or headaches, but it can’t eliminate the risk. If doing these simple things doesn’t work for you then contact us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth.

Your team at Witte Physical Therapy #homegrown #backtolife

How much energy do I need to shovel the snow?


December 12, 2019 – Have you ever noticed that while you are shoveling snow that you get tired? Have you ever thought about why? Is it the cold, the extra layers, the heavy load? How much energy does it really take to move snow?

Energy is measured in MET levels. A MET level is the amount of energy or calories you expend each minute while resting quietly. The more demanding the activity the higher the MET level.

How many METs do we experience with each activity level?

  • 1-3 METs: dressing, casual walking, desk work
  • 3-4 METs: showering, doing laundry, golfing with a cart
  • 4-5 METs: having sex, push mowing, climbing a set of stairs, walking during golf
  • 5-7 METs: SHOVELING SNOW, walking at 5 mph, occasionally lifting 50 pounds
  • 7 METs or more: running, playing basketball, occasionally lifting 100 pounds

If daily, you are only expending 3-4 METs and then on a heavier day doing 5 METs it can be a shock to system when you now must expend 6-7 METs to shovel that snow. Usually these increased expenditures are also done under a time crunch making it even tougher.       


As we prepare for the upcoming winter season, we must remember that it is important to have the snowblower and shovels ready, make sure to have hats and gloves that fit, and to condition our cardiovascular system for the rigors of moving snow. Start now by doing 30 minutes of brisk walking, stair climbing, or light weight training at the proper MET level 5 days per week. (Before starting any fitness program you should consult your physician or qualified healthcare professional.) If you need a place to increase your MET level tolerance or a support system to do it with, Witte 24/7 Wellness has both!

Your Witte Physical Therapy Team #homegrown #backtolife

Post Surgical Rehab: Range of Motion and Strength

November 19, 2019 – Well you survived the surgery, but now what? What can I expect next? What does physical therapy work on? The answers to these questions can be as specific as we need them to be, but in generic terms we must get you moving again.

Outside of pain control, most physical therapy programs initially will focus on improving your range of motion and strength after surgery. This is done because we must build a foundation to work from. There is no point in working on balance, athletic situations, work scenarios, or how to get you going in the yard without having a good base.

First, range of motion. Often our initial goals focus on getting you back to moving fully and normally. This include things like being able to lift our arm above our head or bending your knee back so we can sit normally. These are very basic things, but without them you can’t wash your hair or get on and off the toilet. Range of motion is first addressed passively, where you focus on relaxing and remaining comfortable while our team works you through your available range of motion within a comfortable pain range. Next, we work on active assistive range of motion, where you use other body parts or machines to help the area regain its range of motion as pain free as possible. Finally, we work into active range of motion where we are focusing on improving your normal range of motion and function as much as possible.

As your range of motion is improving, we move our focus onto my strengthening activities. It is important to strengthen in a manner that allows for continued improvement in range of motion. It makes no sense to only be strong through 90 degrees of range of motion when that joint normally has 120 degrees of range of motion. Strengthening starts isometrically where we are working on pain free muscle contractions without any joint movement. As this strength improves, we can begin to work on concentric and eccentric strength. Concentric strength is used to move a load through a range. Think of a bicep curl. Eccentric strength is used to control a load through a range. Think of lowering your self down from a high step. These are both very important but treated very differently.

At Witte Physical Therapy we will help you work to efficiently improve your range of motion and strength while being aware of your pain levels are affected. We will work to develop a plan made only for you so that you can achieve your goals as quickly as possible. This is a big goal for us, and we continue to try to work for you every day.

Your Witte Physical Therapy Team 

#homegrown #backtolife