How Do I Stay Healthy If I'm Not in Pain?
In this article, I will discuss some topics of how to decrease your risk of getting injured and how to stay out of pain longer. This article is NOT for people that are already injured or in pain. If you are in pain, you need an expert diagnosis and treatment to fix your problem. Call 630-499-4078 or visit Vitality Chiropractic Center for an appointment or questions.
I think we can all admit that being in pain is terrible. It keeps us from doing the things we love and robs us of our attention. I think we can also agree that when pain is present, we want it gone fast, and we don’t want to spend money on the problem. Unfortunately, by the time pain is present, there is typically many layers to the problem that need to be fixed–this won’t be a do-it-yourself weekend project (refer to paragraph above).
The first rule of staying healthy is not abusing your body. I like to push myself just as much as the next person, but there are lots of times when listening to symptoms or going less than full effort is smart. The only way to make the body stronger and perform better is by recovering. This is pretty easy to track with a performance journal. Being sore all the time and barely able to move is not a sign of success–it’s a sign of an early problem. Same can be said with nutrition. Don’t put stuff into your body that won’t make it function well and abuse you. The goal isn’t to make yourself beat up after a workout; the goal is to make you better for the next one.
The next important factor is a variation of activities, intensities, and movements. I typically enjoy doing CrossFit for this reason as it fits all these criteria. Find a schedule that works to keep you healthy and perform different activities to avoid overuse injuries. Don’t let your ego get in the way of doing a workout at 50% if you are feeling particularly tired or beat up from the week. Run, do push ups, ride a bike, walk, swim or play on the playground with your kids. The more variation you have, the healthier your body will be. Find what you enjoy and make it fun.
Self-maintenance for your muscles is like brushing and flossing your teeth–you do it every day, so you don’t get cavities. Things that fall in this category are stretching, foam rolling, and specific mobility work. These activities are designed to pump blood through tissues and keep joints mobile. This can also be used as an early warning sign to let you know what areas of the body are potentially injured or which body parts need rest for that day. These activities are NOT treatment and will NOT fix a problem (refer to the first paragraph). These activities only work when the muscles and tissues are already healthy.
Yoga, Pilates, and maintenance exercises are a great way to get variety while keeping you healthy. Working with a coach or trainer can make these activities more enjoyable and provide added benefit.