News - Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy
Wednesday May 13, 2015

Sleep Tips for Tweens and Teens


Just like we talk about healthy nutrition and exercise, sleep is food for the brain.  Many important body functions and brain activity occur during sleep.  Sleep is crucial to our well-being.  It is as important as the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.

Tweens and teens require about 9 ¼ hours of sleep each night for optimal functioning.  Some can get by with 8 ½ hours.  However, some studies find that only 15% of this age group is getting adequate sleep.  One factor resulting in not sleeping enough is that they stay up too late on the weekends, thus sleeping in too late also.  This affects biological clocks and hurts the quality of sleep.  Biological sleep patterns also naturally shift to later sleep times in adolescence.  The problem arises when later bed times aren’t followed by later alarm clocks.

The following are consequences of inadequate sleep:

  1. Limited cognitive or brain function.  Sleeping less than 8-9 hours affects the ability to learn, listen, concentrate, remember and solve problems.
  2. More prone to skin problems including pimples.
  3. More likely to act aggressively with inappropriate behavior toward friends, teachers, and family.
  4. Lack of sleep affects mood, and a depressed mood can lead to a lack of sleep.
  5. Increased likelihood to eat too much or eat unhealthy foods that lead to weight gain.
  6. Unsafe driving:  Drowsiness causes more than 100,000 car crashes each year.
  7. Lack of sleep contributes to illness.

Solutions to ensure enough, good sleep during adolescence:

  1. Make sleep a priority.  Decide what you need to change and do it!
  2. Napping can be good if done early enough in the day and not too long to interrupt night sleep.  For the most part, sleeping less than 2 hours and before 3 pm is a good place to start.
  3. Make your room good for sleep.  Keep it cool, quiet, and dark at night.  When waking in the morning, open the shades, turn on the lights to give you brain a natural wake up call.
  4. No pills, vitamins, or drinks can replace good sleep.  Avoid caffeine close to bedtime.
  5. When you are able to drive, recognize if you are too sleepy to drive, and call for a ride.
  6. Find a good bedtime and wake time and stick to it even on the weekends!
  7. Don’t exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
  8. Don’t leave homework for the last minute.  Give your brain an opportunity to relax before hitting the pillow.
  9. Avoid screen time two hours before going to bed if you are having trouble falling asleep.  The lights from screens have been known to trick your brain into thinking it is daytime.
  10. Participate in activities that slow your engine down and are calming.


For more information, or to receive a personalized plan to improve your sleep, contact Elise Spronk, OTR/L at or 641-621-0230.

Wednesday May 13, 2015

The dog days of summer: How heat illness might affect you



The time of year we’ve all been waiting for is just around the corner! Yes, the hot temperatures will be here before we know it. Whether you enjoy throwing your line in the water, hitting the biking/running trails, catching up on some much needed yardwork, or grabbing your mitt to compete in America’s favorite pastime, there are some things we all need to be aware of for summer.

Heat illness is very prevalent around this time of year. According to the CDC, climate change and extreme heat causes more deaths each year than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods combined. That is why it is extremely beneficial for us to know some of the signs and symptoms of various heat related illnesses, as well as management strategies and tips for preventing heat illnesses from happening so we can all enjoy summer a little safer.

When our body can’t cool itself, heat illnesses can occur. On hot, humid days, our sweat is more challenged to evaporate and dissipate the heat so our normal body processes can function optimally. Three common types of heat illness include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Heat cramps usually result from overexertion and excessive loss of water and electrolytes resulting in painful muscle spasms. To help manage heat cramps, drink plenty of water, gently stretch the muscle as tolerated, and find a cool area to ice the muscle as well.

Heat exhaustion is caused by inadequate replacement of lost fluid through sweating and presentation often includes disorientation, profuse sweating, pale skin, dizziness, and a rapid pulse. Individuals suffering from heat exhaustion need a cool environment where they can ingest plenty of water and occasionally may need an IV for fluid loss.

Heat stroke, on the other hand, is a very serious and potentially life threatening condition. It usually comes on very suddenly and cause people to collapse with loss of consciousness. Signs include flushed and hot skin, decreased sweating compared to heat exhaustion, shallow breathing, headache, and very high body temperatures. These individuals should receive medical attention as soon as possible.

Here are some helpful tips to prevent heat illnesses from you and your family this summer:
• Drink plenty of fluids (High quality H2O is best), and don’t wait until you are thirsty
• Gradually acclimate to the environment and take rest breaks in shady areas
• Wear lightweight, loose fitting, and light colored clothing when possible
• Avoid high temp times of the day (usually from 11-5) and check weather alerts
• Avoid highly caffeinated beverages and alcohol
Don’t be afraid of the hot weather! Throw down your cell phones, Netflix, and video games and be active in the great outdoors! Enjoy yourself and be safe and conscious about your environment.

Thursday May 7, 2015

Kayla Landhuis


Kayla Landhuis is originally from Dallas, Texas and is our customer care coordinator. She exists to enhance each clients experience by answering questions about things like insurance or the therapist’s plan of care. Kayla also helps with some marketing and administrative tasks for Kinetic Edge. Kayla loves our clients and works hard to make each person’s experience a positive one.

Kayla earned her bachelor’s in history from Iowa State and was formerly the office assistant in our Ames clinic. Kayla and her husband Zach live in Roland with their daughter Virginia and puggle.


  • Something on her bucket list: Own a pet cow
  • Actress she’d pick to play her life: Isla Fisher
  • Celebrity she hopes will do therapy at Kinetic Edge: Julie Andrews because she’s fabulous and it would basically be like having the queen at your clinic
Thursday May 7, 2015

Abi Weidemann

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Abi is the office assistant for the Des Moines clinic. Abi answers the phones, welcomes clients into the office, helps with insurance questions, does scheduling, and pitches in with whatever else is needed! She loves being a part of Kinetic Edge because they impact people’s lives for the better every single day. Her mission is to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere as soon as a person walks in the door.

Abi graduated from Watburg College with a degree in fitness management. Abi is a triplet originally from Iowa Falls but now resides in Des Moines.


  • Place she most wants to visit: Greece
  • Something on her bucket list: Go to see the Olympics
  • Favorite TV show: Grey’s Anatomy or Parenthood
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