Live a healthy life

I was having dinner with my Bachan (grandma in Japanese) and she gave me some advice for living a long, healthy life:

1)   Walk at least 15 minutes every day

2)   Eat reasonably healthily

3)   Surround yourself with friends and family

4)   Remember to laugh

I couldn’t agree with her more but it got me to thinking what advice would I give to my patients to encourage them to live a healthy life.  Although it partly comes down to genes, whatever genes you inherited, living a healthy life starts now.  The best advice is look after your body now – this can be achieved in 3 simple steps:

Don’t overdo it

Too many injuries come from patients deciding to start something they have never done before and go at it full blast eg run a marathon, take up zumba or even begin knitting.  It doesn’t mean you can’t do these things, it just means when you decide to change your activity do so gradually, pacing yourself rather than go at it like a bull to a china store.

Manage your problem areas

Everyone has one, whether it is dodgy knees, a back injury or sore shoulders.  It is important to continue to maintain your aches and pains and injured areas.  Just like you get a haircut, equally your joints and muscles need maintenance.  It doesn’t take long- only a few easy exercises every day and you’re on your way.  And every once in a while you may require a physio appointment or massage…go on reward yourself.

Remember the simple things

It doesn’t all have to be hard work.  A lot of injuries, aches and pains can be avoided by remembering the simple things.  So think about the way you lift something heavy next time.  Remember to warm up before sprinting onto the soccer field, maintain good sitting and standing posture and stretch after a run.

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