Check out these tips from an occupational therapist to optimize your health, wellness, & daily function:
Stretch: All 360 joints in your body are meant to go through their full range of motion each day and several times a day.
Move: Park farther away from the grocery store entrance, take the stairs, take a walk at lunch and after dinner. Walk during meetings, socially with a friend and your dog will love you more as well!
Pain? Pain is not gain. Find out why you have discomfort. Avoid tasks that increase pain and swelling. There is a reason. Ask your medical provider and learn to strengthen opposing muscles, protect joints, modify tasks and the tools you use.
Alternate How You Move: If you have a desk job, stand when talking on the phone, eating lunch and in meetings. If you have a very heavy physical job, choose lighter hobbies like kayaking, wood working, scrabble or crafting.
Modify Your Tools: If your hands hurt use a tooth brush with a built-up handle, a padded steering wheel, don’t hold your coffee cup by the handle. Low back pain? Modify how you lift, sit and perhaps consider a back brace. Foot and ankle pain? A padded rug under where you stand, the right shoes and/or orthotics can be life changing.
Reduce Sugar: Eat lower glycemic vegetables and fruit. Avoid processed foods and pay attention to labels. Know what you are eating. Write it down and keep yourself in check to avoid diabetes and other conditions that contribute to poor health.
Hydrate: 64 oz per day is the daily recommendation.
Learn: Keeping your brain sharp is essential to remaining in top functional form. From learning a new recipe, a hobby or a new vocation. There is plethora of ways to obtain new information from the internet, U tube, community classes & local activity centers.
Find Your Jam: What is your passion and interests? Are you carving out time to do what fills you with joy? Has it been awhile since you walked on the beach, took pictures, gardened or took a long drive? If so, something needs to change. Imagine all the possibilities of activities you have yet to try…today is the day.
Fellowship: We were not meant to be alone. Are you building deeper relationships with your family & friends? Are you making new friends? Find opportunities to spend time with those that you care about.
Give Back: Do you have the opportunity to volunteer at least one hour per week? Nothing may provide you with the satisfaction of assisting others. There are endless venues including the food bank, reading to elementary school students, the library, park system, local skilled nursing facilities and the Red Cross.