SMALL WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
How many reminders do you have each day that you aren’t getting enough physical activity in? The running shoes collecting dust in your closet. The yoga mat curled up in the backseat of your car. The gym membership you keep paying for but don’t actually use. We know that sticking to a daily exercise regimen can be tough, but hey, no one ever said New Year’s is the only time you can make resolutions
Here is a list of tips we’ve compiled to help you grow stronger, healthier, and more active. These suggestions will provide at least a little motivation to put those yoga pants and fancy gym wear to good use!
DIVIDE & CONQUER…YOUR CHRONIC PAIN, THAT IS!
Chronic pain can put a major damper in anyone’s exercise routine. You’d think that something so common would send more people running to a physical therapist’s office, but yet over half the country suffers from some sort of debilitating pain that goes untreated for years!
If you’re suffering from an ache or pain that is to blame for you not getting enough exercise in your daily routine, get yourself to a physical therapist ASAP. Physical therapy is a safe, natural, and effective way to help alleviate pain. It’s way more proactive than turning to prescription medication or watching TV in bed all day. The best part is that the results of a physical therapy program are long-lasting, and in many cases, permanent!
A physical therapist can manipulate your bones and joints to reduce discomfort and pain. Physical therapy can help with all types of chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic types of pain, from chronic migraines or headaches to fibromyalgia. He or she can work with you to form an exercise and movement plan that reduces your pain and improves your range of motion and your physical abilities.
A physical therapist can also help you with the use of laser therapy, massage or microcurrent stimulation, ultrasound therapy, aquatic therapy, and more. The list of ways a licensed physical therapist can get you up, moving and living life to the fullest, is endless.
MIND OVER MATTER: THINKING POSITIVE IS KEY!
We know you’ve probably heard it all before, but all of that “mind over matter” stuff really works! Information on the Mayo Clinic site states, “Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.”
Your body “believes” what you think, so try to focus on maintaining a good attitude always, and seeking out the positive wherever possible. If you find that you’re unsure or feeling stuck regarding how you can go about getting yourself out of a negative rut, repeat the following mantra out loud: I have the power to create change.
Because you do.
HEALTHY EATING HABITS
No matter how much we deny it, everyone loves to spoil themselves with yummy snacks and treats! The key is to balance those delicious foods with a well-rounded, healthy diet. Here are some tips to get things started:
- Avoid skipping meals. Providing yourself with consistent meals gives your mind and body then necessary fuel to help you become active and stay that way. It also helps you avoid your blood sugar dropping, which can lead to irritability, nervousness and a handful of other unpleasant issues.
- Eat your greens. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products is the key to a healthy diet. Try to stay away from consuming too much red meat! Beans, eggs and nuts are also great to add in to your daily intake. Keep the saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars to a minimum.
- Choose healthy snacks. It’s a good thing to snack. Doing so keeps you at your best so that you can sustain your energy and stay positive. Choose carrots over cookies, and peanuts over pretzels.
Yep, you read that right! This is your permission slip to be sneaky when it comes to exercise!
Oftentimes, physical therapists recommend small changes to a person’s routine in order to make the adjustments manageable. Consider these changes to be “bite size chunks,” so that you don’t feel as if your entire routine has to revolve around working out.
Some changes to your routine that a physical therapist would approve of include:
- Exit the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way to your destination.
- Choose the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Shovel snow, rake leaves, and garden in your yard as the seasons change.
- Park farther away from your destination and walk the extra distance.
- Walk up and down the field while your children are playing sports.
- Take the dog on walks around the park or your neighborhood every day.
CONTACT OUR CLINIC TODAY
No matter what age you are, or what condition is ailing you, living a healthier, stronger and more active life will improve your physical and mental health.
If you’d like help developing a plan or alleviating pain, contact our office to see how physical therapy can help you get living a more active and healthy lifestyle!