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Looking for a Healthy Holiday Gift?

holiday giftGive your loved ones a little wellness this holiday season.  ACPT is offering a Wellness Combo at participating locations.  For $90, get a 1 hour deep tissue massage and 1 hour personal training session.  This offer is available to all personal training or massage clients from November 1, 2014 through January 1, 2015.  Participating locations include ACPT’s Butler, Eastside and Edgewood Offices. 

Click here for additional information.



Welcome, Albert Garcia!

Garcia, Albert (website)

ACPT is excited to welcome Albert Garcia to the team!  Albert is a personal trainer at ACPT’s Eastside Office.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from Shippensburg University.  Albert is currently working on his Master’s Degree at the University of Pittsburgh in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Wellness and Human Performance.  With experience working in cardiac rehab, corporate wellness and fitness centers, he has worked with a variety of different populations and is excited to share his knowledge and skills with his personal training clients.


Fill My Plate –Hold the Weight Gain

Tips provided by Andrew Wade, Dietician/Nutritionist and owner of Case Specific Nutrition.


With the Holiday Season right around the corner, most families are filling their refrigerators and bringing out the pants with the elastic band. If your priority this season is to eat yourself into a food coma and sleep through the Thanksgiving Day football game, more power to you! But what about those of us currently focused on losing weight? After months of careful planning the pounds are coming off, and the holidays present a new obstacle many fell unprepared to face. How can we be expected to over come the temptation? The secret lies within the Lifestyle Triad: balance, moderation, and variety. Here are some tips to help you and your goals survive the holiday season.


  • Do not expect to lose weight, instead focus on preventing gaining weight.
  • Remember that bodyweight fluctuates throughout the day, so a change on the scale may not reflect fat added.
  • A larger calorie surplus leads to a proportional gain in weight. Even if you eat too much, stopping will allow for damage control.
  • Don’t completely restrict yourself; Allow yourself to enjoy realistic portions of traditional holiday foods.
  • Save your calories for the foods you truly love.



thanksgiving plate

  • Survey the spread before making your plate. It’s always disappointing to get to the heart of a buffet line and see your favorite dish with no room left on your plate (Why did I get the buttered roll and bread?). Solve this problem before you get in line with some strategic reserving of plate space.
  • Don’t skip breakfast & lunch to save space for a big meal. This will cause overeating, and the meal will be guaranteed to surpass your needs.
  • Eat a snack containing fiber and protein before leaving home to eat less.
  • Limit beverage intake so you can eat your calories instead of drink them.
  • When you are a guest, bring a low calorie dish to share.
  • Try not to hang out near the food.
  • Watch portion sizes. Eat slowly and focus on flavor.
  • Select your preferred carb and fat sources, allocate plate space, and fill the rest in with steamed vegetables!
  • Eat vegetables first to get the body to fill up more quickly.
  • Don’t feel obligated to clean your plate if you get full sooner than expected.
  • Eat until satisfied not stuffed; you can always eat again in a couple hours!
  • Stop eating frequently to socialize.



  • Walking, running, stair climbing can be done anywhere and takes 30 minutes.
  • Resistance bands fit into suitcases and can work out the entire body.
  • Tabata, cross fit, yoga, and many other exercises can be done in a home with limited space in less than 30 minutes.
  • Most towns have a Thanksgiving 5k walk/run (“Turkey Trot”) -Start a new tradition!
  • Do an outdoor activity (weather permitting) before the big feast.



  • Reduce fat by replacing oil with applesauce in baking.
  • Use a banana as a substitute for oil or butter.
  • Reduce sugar and fat in recipes by adding protein sources.
  • Greek Yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream, and can be used with spices and mixes to a make high protein, low fat, low carbohydrate dips! This greatly reduces the calories eaten subconsciously (Damage control).
  • Using spray butter to flavor your mashed potatoes is a great way to reduce calories and save flavor!
  • Use an egg white and 1 Tbsp. of powdered flax seed instead of a whole egg.
  • Use ground oatmeal, almond flour, and coconut flour instead of white flour to reduce calories and add a unique taste to the dish.
  • Almond milk can be used to replace milk in recipes. Choose unsweetened for the best calorie savings.
  • Use nuts and dried fruit in baking mixes to add flavor and texture instead of candied bits and frosting.
  • Black Bean brownies sound odd to many, but are very hard to distinguish from normal brownies.
  • Oats can be used for breadcrumbs. This isn’t guaranteed to provide a reduction in calories, but usually has more fiber than the bread it replaces.




  • Winter squash and pumpkin can be used in sweet & savory recipes.
    • Good sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
    • Contains Beta-carotene, vitamin C, Riboflavin, Iron.
    • Functional Ingredients in pies, cookies, custards, soups, side dish.
    • Pumpkin Seeds can be toasted for high-fiber snack.
    • Contains phytosterols, folate, tocopherols, carotenoids, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
  • Bright orange and yellow squash (ex. Butternut)
    • Commonly sliced, stewed, boiled, and baked.
    • Contains Carotenes, lutein, calcium, and magnesium.
    • Acorn and Hubbard squash are good sources of potassium and fiber.
  • Apples
    • Crab, bramley, Jonathan best for pies, cakes, crisps, and chutneys.
    • Golden or Red Delicious best for eating.
    • Contain phytosterols, quercetin, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein.
    • Source of Pectin: Soluble fiber, which slows digestion and helps, reduce cholesterol.


Remember, moderation is key. You can enjoy the food and your surroundings without eating excessive quantities. Planning ahead and keeping some of these tips in mind should help you navigate your holiday offering!



December Toileting Tip

The Toileting Tips are a series of guidelines that the ACPT pelvic floor physical therapists recommend you follow for a healthy pelvic floor.

tolieting tips


Don’t Fall Back – Have a Fall Fitness Plan

As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, for many of us it becomes tempting to abandon a planned workout to grab a cozy afghan, a good book or the remote control, and a spot on the sofa — in spite of all the work we put in over the spring and summer honing an exercise plan. Don’t let it happen! Fall is a great time for exercise, both indoors and out.

Outdoors, walking and running are always great exercise, with the added benefit of beautiful fall scenery thrown in. Turn your walk or run into a hike or trail run on one of the many beautiful trails available in Western PA  to get a little closer to nature. Cycling is also a great fall activity. Take a friend out for a ride along one of the area’s great river cycling paths, and perhaps visit some of the Trail Towns along the Great Allegheny Passage that stretches all the way from Point State Park in Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. 

fall exercise

There are a few important things to remember when exercising outdoors in the fall. It may get dark sooner than you expect — always take a light with you when walking, hiking or running, and attach a headlight to your bike or helmet when cycling. Also, remember to stay hydrated — without the obvious cues of being hot and sweaty, you may not remember to drink as much water as you should!

These following hints come from ACPT’s Deirdre Amos on dressing for the cold: “As the weather gets cooler it can often be a game of trial and error to figure out how to dress properly for outdoor exercise.  I seem to forget every year how to dress for the cold until I’ve done it a few times.  My best tip is to start out cold.  If you start your hike or run feeling warm and comfortable, then as your heart rate increases and you produce heat, you will overheat.  The happy medium is struck when you start off slightly cold.  Although it may be uncomfortable at first, 10 minutes into exercising, your temperature will increase to a toasty warm level.  What clothes does one wear to achieve this?  The best bet is a light, moisture-wicking base layer underneath a fleece or light coat that can be easily removed if needed. Join my Facebook page, Square Coach D, for weekly tips on running, exercising, and staying fit.”

If the outdoors no longer appeals to you as the daylight fades, then it’s time to hit the gym! Or the dance floor, or the pool, or the court — there are plenty of ways to stay in shape indoors that have nothing to do with treadmills or machines (not that there’s anything wrong with those!). Take the chance to try something new. Pick up a new sport, like racquetball or futsal (indoor soccer on a court floor) — one game a week with friends might not be enough to stay in shape, but it is certainly enough to remind you of the shape you want to be in (and why the treadmill might not be such a bad idea after all). Take a class with other people, whether yoga, Zumba, swing dancing or anything else. Having a partner who expects you to come to class will help keep you going.

Fitness experts suggest that it takes roughly 30 days to settle into a new exercise routine. Start your fall workouts now, and whatever you choose to do, sticking with it will be that much easier come the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Who needs New Year’s Resolutions — get started now!




Dr. Colin Gundling from ACPT’s Point Breeze Office spent an evening at The Climbing Wall. He was on-site to answer questions and assess aches and pains. He also offered information on risk factors, facts and injury prevention. If you have a group that is interested in sports specific screenings or educational presentations, please contact
Climbing Wall-Colin Climbing Wall



Dr. Nathan Blakeley from the Edgewood Office is one of ACPT’s concussion experts. He administers ImPACT testing and specializes in post-concussion management. Dr. Blakeley, in partnership with Dr. Justin Berthold of Rehabilitation Physicians of Pittsburgh, gave a presentation on concussions hosted by the JCC in Squirrel Hill. If you are a coach, parent, youth athlete, trainer or teacher who would like more information on concussions, feel free to contact Jessica @

JCC Concussion Clinic 10 20 2014