How to put the spring back in your step
Spring is just around the corner and that means a lot more outdoors time. However, if you suffer from knee pain, arthritis, low back pain or other aches and pains that keep you from being active, there are things you can easily do to become more active.
Change How You Sit
A lot of aches and pains relate to how we use our bodies in the day. Many back pain sufferers actually begin having back pain, because they sit too much. Here are some simple solutions to help you feel better:
- Stand up and move around every 30 minutes, even for 1-2 minutes.
- At work, vary your activities. Don’t sit for 4 hours in a row for example. Vary your activities so you can be walking, standing, sitting, squatting or other positions. The key is to mix up your positions and move throughout the day.
- When you do work or play at a computer, make sure you have good posture. A good rule of thumb is that the top 1/3rd of the screen should be at eye level, your shoulders comfortably back and the keyboard / mouse a little lower than the height of your elbow.
Being active, doesn’t mean you have to go out and run a mile. Make it simple and something you enjoy, otherwise you won’t stick with it. Many studies show that to improve heart health and overall conditioning, you just need 30 minutes of walking a day. This can significantly make you healthier and stronger.
- Start with an easy goal. If you tire after 10 minutes of walking, start with that, then slowly increase your time each day until you get to 20-30 minutes.
- Make time for activity. In today’s busy world, if it doesn’t get planned, it won’t happen. Therefore, make a time where you can get out everyday or at least 3-4 days a week.
- Do an activity you enjoy. For some, this is a group class and for others it is a sport. Whatever it is for you, find local activities or just get out and walk.
Eat, Sleep, Drink
You are what you eat and do, so if you don’t feel well or are in pain, you can feel better rather quickly by simply eating well, drinking enough water and getting enough rest. This is different for everybody, but the bottom line is get enough vegetables and fruits in your diet, limit the intake of fried or processed foods and layoff the sugars. Did you know that a can of soda actually contains about 6 packets of sugar! It’s OK to treat yourself to goodies now and again, but make smart choices overall about what you eat.
Get enough rest! Sleep is the time your body needs to rebuild after using it all day. Instead of staying up late to watch TV or be on the computer, tape your favorite show and do something different before bed. More and more studies are showing that working on electronics before bed actually makes you sleep worse.
Drink enough water. Your body is almost 80% water, and you expel a lot through breathing and going to the bathroom. Make sure you replace this fluid. It is needed to make everything in your body run. Many common aches and pains, such as headaches, are attributed to being chronically dehydrated. You don’t have to be thirsty to be dehydrated. When you slurp down a soda, it quenches your thirst, but can actually make you lose water in your body.
Get help if you are in pain
If you suffer from low back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain or you aren’t happy with the way you feel, physical therapy can help. Our physical therapists have years of training in analyzing and treating pain with movement. Not only do we quickly relieve your pain, but we improve your strength, movement and ability to do the activities you love. We also teach you how to maintain your results and keep progressing toward your goals. To find out more how we can help you, give us a call!