Aches and pains really suck, especially as we get older. But, with age comes wisdom, right? Like when you realize that it feels really crappy when you over-drink and it takes longer to recover so maybe you learn to say “no thanks” to the last few cocktails. The same is true for the body aches and pains you may be waking up with or dealing with on a regular basis. It’s time to realize that with a little effort and personal responsibility you just might make a change for the better.
One of the things I speak about most in my presentations and training courses is what I call Body PRIDE,
Personal Responsibility In Daily Effort
Now, by “daily effort” I don’t mean you must go to the gym every day. News flash: I don’t go to the gym every day. What I really mean by daily effort is a daily check-in with different aspects of your health. A great time to do this is right when you wake up.
Take a brief moment and check in physically; roll your ankles, take a deep breath, roll your shoulders, etc. How does your body feel? Do you have that same shoulder twinge that’s been there for weeks? Is your low back still stiff from all the sitting/standing/lifting you did at work yesterday?
Check in mentally. What’s weighing most on your mind? Do you have to deal with a grumpy coworker today? Are you stressed financially?
You can check in emotionally and spiritually as well if you like. Pay attention to all of this information because it is feedback that helps you figure out what YOU are going to do about any problems you may be having.
So here is the “personal responsibility” portion comes in. It is up to YOU and only YOU to make changes in how you feel, act, move, etc. Yup, you. Let that sink in for a moment.
It’s your responsibility to pay attention to pain in your shoulder or back or what have you and begin to pay more attention to what may be causing it. (Disclaimer: I deal with the body, the body and its’ functional movement are my specialty, so if you have problems in the other areas, I’m sorry but that is for another professional.) Let’s continue with this shoulder pain as an example. Are you hunched over a desk all day? Is your work more physical but keeps you in the same hunched over posture?
This is not a great place to be for long periods. The body is a very efficient machine and will get really good at whatever posture you are in the most. Often, the result is an imbalance in your muscle function.
Your job is now to figure out for yourself (or ask your nearest ninja trainer) what you can do with your body to counteract the posture you happen to be in most of the day.
The first step in this example is fairly easy, try to catch yourself in poor posture and immediately correct it. If you are unable to change your posture or position during your work day, it becomes a game of opposites. Think of stretches and exercises that correct the opposites:
- If your head is forward while working, what is the opposite of that posture? Head backward.
- If your shoulders are rounded forward, what’s the opposite? Shoulders backwards and open chest.
- If you are constantly sitting? Standing
- If you are constantly standing? Sitting, sort of…squat breaks are actually quite helpful
Are you catching on? The first step is awareness, understanding you have something working against you. The second step is to do something about it. If you need help, feel free to post a question on my Facebook page. Whatever the plan of action, it is ultimately up to you to start the change and follow through to develop your own Body PRIDE. Good luck!