October is National Physical Therapy Month. Besides treating injuries and movement problems, physical therapists are also interested in general health maintenance and improvement.

That brings us to a question: How exactly do you know how fit you are year to year? It is likely that during your annual physical with your physician, they take several measures of different facets of your health (you do go to your annual physical, don’t you?). Blood pressure, heart rate, body-weight and BMI, and cholesterol levels are often standard data collected annually. These measures all provide information on how you organ systems are working, which is always great information to have.

Fitness is another component of overall health beyond blood pressure and body weight that is not often measured annually. Physical therapists are concerned with not only how the body is working on the inside, but how it interacts with the outside world as well. We care about your strength to mass ratio, how well you can lift and move things around your house or yard, how easily you can get up from a chair, and how finely tuned your balance system is.

This October, our Petoskey East clinic on Mitchell and Division is offering free Fitness Snapshots. This will be a 5-10 minute test that is intended to get an overall idea of your strength, cardiovascular capacity, and balance. The actual test items vary slightly depending on your age and fitness level. Our hope is that people who take advantage of these assessments will return for a re-test every October to track their fitness progress year to year.

If you’re interested in a Fitness Snapshot, call to schedule your time at 231-348-7950.