We have all heard about “weekend warriors.” You know the deal. Weekend Warriors are people that spend all week sitting in an office, exercising very little, and on the weekend they tackle the world. Every undone chore is on their “to do” list. Ultimately, many will pay for it with strained muscles or worse.
So, how much physical pain is self-inflicted? A lot! Making unwise choices, ignoring little signals when light pain begins or neglecting ourselves can lead to a whole string of physical maladies that are simply not necessary. We all talk about “taking care of ourselves” but sometimes our efforts are too little too late.
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Here are some ways to prevent pain before it happens:
7 Best Ways To Keep From Hurting Yourself
Walk – walking is a perfect form of exercise. We were made to walk and there are so many ways to incorporate this simple movement into your lifestyle. When shopping, park farther away from the door so that you get in a nice walk on your way into the store.
Have you seen those dog-walking commercials on TV? They look like they are having so much fun “walking it out” that I got inspired to walk my own dogs more often. My dogs need the exercise and so do I! I have two dogs and I take them on walks separately. Sadie, the yellow lab, is older and she likes to stop and sniff things as she goes. Bailey, the puppy, trots along at a fast pace. When I take them one at a time, they can each enjoy their special time out their own way and I get lots more exercise.
Lawn cutting is another way to add steps to the day. We used to have someone cut our lawn for us. He moved away and, rather than looking for someone else to do it, I bought myself a self-powered walk behind lawn mower. I love cutting the lawn and it is another way to add movement into my week!
If lawn cutting isn’t possible, you can always vacuum the carpets more often! The primary objective here is to build more movement to your life.
Stand – does your job require many hours of sitting at a computer? Consistently sitting for many hours is not good for your health. Make a point of getting up from the computer and walking around every so often. If you need to, set a timer to reminder yourself to get up and move.
Recognizing the hazard of sitting at work too much, many employers have installed standing desks in their offices. They easily adjust from sit to stand to sit again and you don’t miss a beat! The prices are quite reasonable for work-at-homes to get one of their own. The investment is well worth it.
Strengthen – lifting light weights every day can maintain or even strengthen your muscles. If you are not accustomed to working out, go easy. Start lifting very light weight dumb bells or even two unopened cans of soup! Consistency is the key. As the repetitions become easier, you can increase the number of times you do it and even add a little more weight. You aren’t out to set a record. The goal is to protect your body by building strength.
Get Help – do not lift or carry things that are too heavy for you. Do you know how many times you lift the same groceries in one shopping trip? At least five times. Don’t believe me? Think about it.
- You take them off of the shelf and put them into your cart.
- You take them back out of the cart and put them on the conveyor.
- Then you take the bags out of the cart, again, to put in your car.
- Fourth time, you take them out of your car and bring them into the house.
- Finally (fifth time) you unload the bags to put the items away. That is a lot of lifting! Grocery stores often have people who will load your bags into the cart. That will eliminate one lift. If you have help at home, definitely take advantage of the opportunity. Make it a bit easier on yourself at the store and ask the cashier to pack the bags lightly. Then it is up to you to not carry too many of them at a time.
Watch for Signs – sometimes the very thing we use to make our lives easier can be causing a strain on our joints. Our son learned this lesson the hard way. His backpack for school and athletic bag were so packed full of stuff that he was injuring his shoulder, which was already sore from throwing a ball. He switched to a bag on wheels, which eased the strain.
Have you ever had a purse that was too heavy? Same deal. Get a light weight purse and keep contents to a minimum. Don’t strain your joints. If you feel a twinge in a shoulder, for instance, switch that purse to the other side. Change what you are doing right away so that you don’t do any more harm.
Sports Parents: a rolling cart can be a real blessing when taking stuff to the field. Check out this collapsible sports utility cart...it can also be used for going to the beach or even for gardening!
Nutrition – eat sensibly, keep your weight down and take health-boosting supplements like joint supporting glucosamine – chondroitin – msm supplements.*
Sleep – getting a good night’s sleep let’s your body repair and refresh. Is it hard to fall asleep? Try cutting off the use of caffeine earlier and definitely before evening. Slow down your activities as the day comes to a close and unwind before bedtime. If sleep still eludes you, try taking a melatonin supplement.*
Sadly, sleep itself can produce problems. Some of us have experienced muscle and joint pain after a long night’s sleep. That is just so wrong, wouldn’t you say? It is not the way to start a day. If you struggle with muscle or joint aches after sleeping, consider that you may need a new pillow or even a more comfortable mattress.
*Though these health supplements are over-the-counter products, it is a good idea to consult your medical professional when adding something to your health regimen, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.