The Core Essentials to Physical Health and Well Being
Physiotherapy helps you to become free of pain. My goal as a therapist is to also help you to remain free of pain. By teaching you some Core Essentials, you will be able to resume your normal daily activities, and continue to do them.
As you age, don’t accept the myth that you have to reduce your physical activities. Remain active, pay attention to your body. You just need to incorporate more movement in your daily routines. Stand, twist, shake, or bend, and your body will thank you.
Is your Body a Ferrari or a clunker?
There are some basic principles and tools I share with clients. When I go over them I am often reminded of an old TV ad for Midas Brake and Muffler.
The announcer says,“You can pay me now … or you can pay me later.” In the middle of the sentence you hear the screech of brakes followed by the sounds of a car crash.
What does this have to do with remaining pain free and functioning normally? Think of your body as a finely tuned automobile. It is a lot cheaper to keep your car in good working order, by doing regular maintenance, than it is to fix it when crashes.
The same is true of your body. Keep it in good working order, and you will reduce break downs, and hopefully avoid crashes. Be the Ferrari!
Core Essential #1 – Move your Body
One of the core essentials I teach is about moving the body, a lot. Here are some ideas and benefits of why you should become more mobile.
The human body is designed to move, and the movement we are best designed to do is walk, or run. To learn the many beneficial effects of walking on the human body watch this slick five-minute video titled “23 and ½ Hours”
Get Out of Your Chair
Just going for a walk, or exercising on a regular basis, is not the same as being active.But, it’s a start!
Gym memberships rates have not changed over the past 20 years, yet the rates of obesity, diabetes, etc. have risen dramatically. The main reason is that we have become far more sedentary during the rest of our waking hours.
Chances are you’re reading this while sitting in a chair. And, if your’e like most computer users, you’ve been there for a while. Consider how much time you sit in any given day:
- Commuting to and from work (in a car, transit, etc.)
- you sit at your job
- you pay bills, shop, visit on- line sitting down.(you used to RUN those errands)
- unwind in front of the television all evening
Recent studies have shown a 10-15% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease for every extra hour we spend sitting, as well as increased risks for diabetes, obesity, and blood clots.
There are two main reasons for this.
- If you sleep for say 8 hours per day, and you exercise for 1 hour per day, that still leaves 15 hours unaccounted for. If you spend most of that time sitting, then you are burning virtually no calories. This makes us prone to gaining weight and all the health problems that are associated with being overweight.
- The more sinister reason is that, when we sit, there are biochemical changes that occur in our body that are harmful. Active muscles produce a number of chemicals that affect how our body uses/stores sugars and fats. When we sit, our leg muscles stop working and so stop producing these chemicals, leading to a host of medical illnesses.
Move Your Body Some More
So what can you do about it? Quite simply just stand up.
- Interrupt prolonged periods of sitting by getting up and stretching
- Go to the bathroom
- Get up to answer the phone
- While watching TV – stand up during every commercial
- If you have a rocking chair – rock.
- At work – remember the 30-30 rule: every 30 minutes stand up for 30 seconds and stretch a bit or do some calf raises. If you use a computer a lot, just program it to remind you to do so. If possible use a stand up desk.
The bottom line, use that 15 hours a day to Move it! Move it!
Watch for other Core Essentials in future posts, so that you can truly live a healthful and active life.
To your pain-free health,
Physiotherapist & owner of Bridge Physio