The news media is bursting at the seams with stories of the incidence of people addicted to pain medications. Every year prescription painkillers cause more than 16,000 deaths and 475,000 emergency room visits. Now admittedly, some of those people just take the meds for the “high”, but, the majority of folks began taking prescription painkillers to help alleviate chronic pain, and now cannot live without that medication. While Grandpa might have rubbed liniment on his joints to help the pain subside a little, people today feel the need to be as pain-free as possible, even if it means popping pills on a regular basis.
One of the best choices for getting your daily exercise is walking. When Michelle Obama promoted a campaign to walk 10,000 steps daily (the equivalent of five miles), many people began to take notice that walking was easy and fun. As a nation, we also began to understand what doctors have been preaching for years – you need to get up and move, especially if you have a job where you spend the majority of your day sitting.
You can combat a sedentary lifestyle in several ways. Carry those loafers or pretty pumps in a tote bag and lace up your walking shoes before you leave the house. Park as far away as possible and take the stairs if you are able to do so. Once at the workplace, get up out of the chair to stretch several times a day or take a stroll down the hall. If you are not one to hit the gym at the end of the work day, why not erase those dinner calories by grabbing your partner, or your pooch, or both, and walking in the neighborhood?
Do you dread winter? Do the short days and below-freezing temperatures make you want to hole up in your house, cuddling under blankets and watching your favorite program’s all-day marathon? If this sounds like you, you’ve got to know you’re not alone. Millions of folks see winter’s chill as vindication for their inactivity. So what happens when that thaw comes and you realize you’ve not only spent four months lounging around the house… you’ve also allowed winter’s heightened snacking to gravitate right to your hips? Luckily, there are answers to this yearly question. The good news about cold weather is that it comes with its own special set of workouts that not only help keep you from gaining winter’s typical 10 pounds; they can also help chase away those winter doldrums and lift your spirits ‘til summer. Here are some great ideas for winter workouts, from those that are meant to be performed in the cold such as skiing and ice skating, to those you wouldn’t normally consider this time of year, such as walking and swimming (with extra tips on swimmer’s ear prevention).
Recent research has indicated that inactivity is much harder on the back than participating in a reasonable and active lifestyle. Physical conditioning is one of the essential keys to preventing lower back injuries. Exercises which strengthen the core along with aerobic exercises cane help stabilize and strengthen the spine which can be critical in maintaining good spinal health as well as keeping the back pain free. At the same time, back injuries are some of the most commonly reported types of sports related injuries that athletes suffer from. There are several types of exercises which can help strengthen the back as well as help maintain good spinal health. Remember that it is always advisable to discuss any new exercise regimen with a physician before beginning.