Physical and mental health are both important, and inextricably intertwined. In this blog post, I encourage you to take stock of old injuries, current habits, and and to try out a lifestyle of moderation rather than always going ALL IN.
rehab old injuries
When I was a teenager, I had ankle sprain after ankle sprain. After a particularly bad injury in college, I went to physical therapy for the first time. After going through those exercises for months, I finally felt like I had STRONG ankles. I haven't re-injured since!
Physical therapy can be used for a variety of conditions. If you've gone to PT in the past, dig out those exercises and slowly start doing them again. Maintaining and improving mobility helps all of us!
If you think you need to seek out a physical therapist, consider in-home physical therapy services, especially in this pandemic era when you want to avoid waiting areas and working out in the same spaces as other clients.
If you've ever had a foot or leg injury, you know how difficult life can become when you're getting around on crutches. Positivity is important to maintain during any recovery. Check out this article for 12 ways to stay positive while recovering on crutches.
drink plenty of water
Many people don't realize how much better they COULD feel until they start drinking enough water. How can you start drinking more water? Make it easy.
For me, I like ice cold water that I can sip with a straw. So I keep a pitcher of water in the fridge and a clean tumbler, straw included, by my desk.
Set goals to increase how much you drink by a few cups a week. You can also incorporate water into your routine, such as drinking a glass of water when you wake up in the morning. I always drink a glass or 2 before having my morning coffee. Another routine is to have a glass of water when you take a break from sitting at your computer desk. Before you know it, you'll be drinking lots of water.
How do you like your water? Room temp? Ice cold? Still? Bubbly?
don't overdo it
If your personality tends towards 'all or nothing', try a new approach - moderation. Going "all-in" with fad diets can often lead to dramatic but unsustainable weight loss. When you return to your previous eating habits, your new weight 'norm' is often higher than it was before. When you start a new exercise regimen with the idea 'no pain no gain', you can end up injured and out of the game.
To try moderation, think about how you can make modify what and how you eat, and how much you exercise, in a way that is sustainable. Start small, and pay attention to the voice in your head (or the voice from this blog) telling you that you don't need to go big or go home.
The only way to get off the rollercoaster of fad diets and exercise routines is to make lifestyle changes. Healthy lifestyle choices aren't something you try on for part of the year and then abandon.
Encourage your kids to exercise and make moving fun. Make 'moving more' a mantra they grow up with so that they don't see exercise as a chore but rather take joy in moving their bodies.
Take small steps like parking further away in parking lots, taking the stairs when it's < 3 floors, and have dance parties!
a blog about health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness from an epidemiologist / dietitian with personal trainer experience
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