As we get older, the complaints get louder. Oh, my back hurts or my knees are stiff. Prevention and maintenance are how we can reduce or eliminate these issues. Life creates a vicious circle, get up, go to work, life after work and then sleep, then repeat. This would be great if our work was 8 hours, sleep was 8 hours and time for our life was 8 hours. However, that is not the case. A few things dramatically affect this cycle … 1) Work is never just 8 hours, 2) We take on too many commitments in life, and 3) Those electronic timesavers (your phone, TV, internet) are actually time wasters. Therefore, when wetalk about time for prevention and maintenance activities, many things can take away from that time and it is always the first to disappear from our schedule.
How to Develop Time for Prevention and Maintenance?
No matter how old you are, you can start with some small habits to improve the time you have for prevention and maintenance. It is especially important for the people working in their 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s to find time to stretch, exercise and relax.
Stretch and Exercise
Stretching and exercise should involve your entire body. You can incorporate it in your morning trip to work, walk up some stairs, extend your walk from the car or ride your bike to work. During work, stretch various parts of your body like your arms, neck and back. Avoid spending your breaks on your computer or your phone. After work, you can also take a short walk when you drop your child off at their activities (just don’t answer work e-mails or watch a video on your phone). Targeting your entire body is the best, because your sore back may be the result of compensating for an inflexible shoulder. So taking care of all the moving parts may elevate larger problems.
Care About Your Foot
Another area for concern is that the majority of the population have foot problems. Neglecting foot problems can result in neck, back, hip and knee problems. So take a look at your footwear, are they worn out, torn, misshapen, have parts of the outersole worn off, are you experiencing foot pain or are calluses developing? All these issues can affect your ability to stabilize yourself and to sense your environment. With your primary contact (the foot) with the environment being unstable this will be problematic for all the other joints in your body. Check out best insoles to wear to enhance sensation from the bottom of your foot and remain balanced.
Now you likely know how to stretch and exercise, but do you really know how to relax? Relaxing is not watching videos on your phone, binge watching two seasons of a TV show, or laying on the couch. For you to completely relax, you have to remove yourself from all those situations (work and life) and experience the outdoors or engage in an activity that removes you from anyone else’s influence. This will permit you to refocus and get more restful sleep so that the cycle of your day is less of a strain. Lack of sleep has become a large contributor to declining quality of life and technology may be one of the root causes. Break from your norm and seek out something that really relaxes you.
Prevention and maintenance prepares the body and mind to have enough stamina to breeze through your day. We all wish we had more fuel in the tank to get through our day. Making small changes and doing them on a regular basis will make a world of difference.