It can be difficult to get out there and be active. It happens to the best of us – the yoga mat gets thrown to the back of the closet, the running shoes begin to collect dust, and the dumbbells disappear somewhere in the garage. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips to help yourself become more active once again. For more information on how to increase your health, strength, and physical activity, contact Hands for Living today.
1. Be positive.
If you go in with a positive mindset, exercise and eating right will become significantly easier. Research shows that a positive attitude can boost your immune system and increase your energy levels. Even if you aren’t really excited about getting up to go for a run, your body will believe what you think. Essentially, “fake it ‘til you make it” – because that mantra really works!
2. Eat nutritious meals.
Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to spoil yourself with treats every now and then. Nutrition is all about balance – so just make sure you balance those treats with some healthier choices. This includes:
- Implementing Uncle Sam’s recipe for health. “What is this?” you may ask – it is essentially the following: lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products; some lean meats or meat substitutes, including beans, eggs and nuts; and minimal saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
- Avoiding “meal skips.” Many people think that dieting includes “eating less,” but skipping meals can be just as detrimental to your nutrition as over-eating. Eating consistently provides your mind and body with the fuel necessary to help you get and stay active. It also helps you avoid your blood sugar dropping, which can lead to nervousness, irritability, and a whole host of other problems.
- Snacking smart. It is good to snack! – as long as it’s healthy. So instead of those pretzels, try grabbing some peanuts. Snacking keeps you at your best so that you can sustain your energy and stay positive.
3. Sneak exercise into your day.
It can be hard to find the time to exercise throughout the day – so try sneaking it in! Occupational therapy often prescribes small changes to a person’s routine, in order to make the adjustments manageable. Some simple ways to be more active during your daily tasks include:
- Parking farther away from your destination and walking the extra distance.
- Exiting the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
- Opting for the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.
- Taking the dog on walks with the whole family.
- Walking up and down the field while your children are playing sports.
- Maintaining your yard – raking leaves, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, etc.
4. Seek help for the pain.
Did you know that over half of the United States suffers from some sort of limiting pain? Chronic pain can significantly hinder your quality of life, but occupational therapy can fortunately help correct it. It is a natural, non-invasive, safe, and effective way to manage and treat pain. In many cases, it can even eliminate the need for harmful pain-management drugs or surgical correction. The best part of all is that occupational therapy provides long-term relief, while other methods may only work in the short-term.
Occupational therapy can help with all types of chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain, from ongoing headaches to fibromyalgia. An occupational therapist can manipulate your bones and joints to reduce discomfort. Your therapist will work with you to form an exercise and movement plan that lessens your pain and increases your mobility.
Contact us today!
Whether you’re 22 or 72, suffering from chronic pain or simply in need of more motivation, an occupational therapist can help you achieve your goals. Living a healthier, stronger, and more active life will improve both your physical and mental health. If you’d like help developing an exercise plan or alleviating pain, contact our Lynnwood, WA office to see how occupational therapy can help you begin living your life to the fullest.