“Our ‘Age-Proof Your Body’ series provides the motivation we all need to get started, and just as importantly, to keep going.” – Dr Natasha Beauvais, NVFPA
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Staying mobile is the key to independence as you age, but becomes increasingly more challenging for people dealing with pain, chronic disease and balance issues. To help, Northern Virginia Family Practice Associates (NVFPA), a concierge family medicine practice, partnered with physical therapists at MovementX to develop an innovative eight-class series in fundamental movements aimed at building strength and preventing injury.
“Our goal is to literally ‘age-proof’ the body by focusing on mobility, balance and strength, setting our patients up to lead a healthy and active lifestyle,” says Natasha Beauvais, MD.
“Every session is aimed at helping participants feel stronger, more independent and more knowledgeable about how exercise can benefit them,” explains Dr. Josh D’Angelo, MovementX.
Classes include a review of foundational movements needed to accomplish simple tasks such as picking up a laundry basket or lifting a heavy box, and progress with exercises to strengthen core, back, lower body, shoulder and arm, hip and knee, all of which impact mobility. The three physical therapists also cover exercises to improve balance and prevent dizziness, analysis of gait and posture, and ways to develop agility, endurance and speed.
“This training is thoughtfully designed to provide a host of benefits, from improving cardiac and bone health to helping prevent the incidence of many chronic diseases,” says Dr. Josh D’Angelo, MovementX. “By demonstrating the basics of movement at each lesson, we’re creating a foundation for exercising in this way and reinforcing strength-building habits.”
The response has been amazing, reports Dr. Beauvais. “The group setting has been extremely well received by our patients and the first series filled to capacity so quickly we added a second session simultaneously. There is a real recognition of the benefits of exercise, and this provides the motivation we all need to get started, and just as importantly, to keep going,” she says.
The series began with a session on preventing and eliminating lower back pain, a leading cause of disability. A condition experienced by fully 80 percent of American adults in their lifetime, it’s a topic of particular concern to Dr. Beauvais, whose focus at NVFPA is on wellness and proactive treatment.
“Research studies support the use of regular, ongoing exercise targeting core musculature to help reduce lower back pain and prevent future pain,” says Dr. Beauvais. “Our patients are carefully guided through core-strengthening training movements during class, and then provided with step-by-step instructions to repeat at home, empowering all to continue these vital exercises well beyond the eight-week series.”
Patients have experienced the benefits right from the beginning. “I am doing the adapted versions of the first two exercises and am stunned at how much better my lower back and hip feel. Hooray!” noted one. Others enjoyed the measured cadence of the series, sharing comments including: “I liked learning that I could do useful, targeted exercise in nine minutes time and that I could start slow and build up to better fitness” and “Well-tailored to different ability levels, good targeting of core muscles with exercises I can easily do at home.”
A proactive approach to disease prevention has inspired the vibrant and growing Wellness at Every Stage program, offered on a complimentary basis to every patient at NVFPA, according to Dr. Beauvais. In addition to the new Age-Proof Your Body series, interactive education and seminars on nutrition, fitness, pain management and other topics are scheduled regularly, as well as monthly Walks with the Docs at Fort Ward Park.
“We believe our most important role as healthcare providers is to educate, coach and empower people to make healthy choices and take responsibility for their health and well-being,” says Dr. Beauvais. “It is deeply gratifying to realize how profoundly that message is being embraced by our patients at NVFPA.”
Interested readers are invited to follow the Age-Proof Your Body sessions and download weekly instructional handouts online at https://nvafamilypractice.com/age-proof-your-body-class-summary/.
Dr. Natasha Lewry Beauvais received her B.A. from Yale University and her M.D. and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at SUNY Stony Brook and at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Jamaica Hospital Family Practice Residency in New York City. She emphasizes caring for the whole family and the whole person and values patient relationships built through long-term continuity of care at NVFPA, the first concierge family medicine practice in the country.
Dr. Joshua D’Angelo received his B.S. from the University of Michigan and his DPT from the George Washington University. He is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He is passionate about personalized healthcare and utilizing the movement system to improve quality of life. Seriously injured when he was younger, Dr. D’Angelo was guided through the healing process by a dedicated physical therapist, inspiring him to provide the same high quality care to others.