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Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Your Body

Stressful times abound! We’re all coping with high unemployment rates, a crazy stock market, a housing market in the crapper. We’ve gotta stay sane. Don’t forget to take care of that body though! Healthy body…healthy mind. Oftentimes we end up spending more time focusing on the problems and tend to neglect our bodies. It’s a funny (ok, maybe “tragic” is a better word for it) downward spiral that we put ourselves in. For instance, I used to run about five miles every morning before work. I’d be cranky if I didn’t. Yet when getting stressed I may be too tired to run. When I forced myself to run I felt better. When I didn’t run, I felt worse. Yet, I’d still wake up and have that debate with myself as to whether I should run or not.

Staying active isn’t the only thing we need to pay attention to however. We need to make sure we’re putting the right stuff into our bodies and we need to maintain each system that our body has. I’ve been fascinated with the human body since middle school. The nervous system, endocrine system, skeletal system, pulmonary system, muscle system…so many separate systems yet tied so closely together. It’s truly a fascinating set of “machinery” that our bodies are composed of.

Remember that each of these systems interact with each other and that a problem in one spot can create problems in other spots. Take care of the entire body. For instance…my knee has been giving me problems for a while (maybe I shouldn’t play so many games of soccer each week. Hmmm…) and I haven’t been able to run (another thing that annoys me). Now one may say “Your knee is messed up”. Well duh. However, after getting it looked at by a reputable orthopedic guy and physical therapist, they explained how it all came about. It most likely stemmed from when I pulled my hamstring and it tightened up on me. This tight hamstring kept a lot of pressure on my patellar ligament thus irritating it as it stayed tight over my patella. Conversely, my quads had to work extra hard to compensate for a tight hamstring when I extended my leg, thus causing more stress on that very same tendon. Well I’ll be! After only one week of stretching (which I was avoiding before therapy because I thought that may be too much stress on it) I’m already feeling better. Hurray! Yet another reminder though…there’s a cause, a reaction.

So…as we head into the holiday season and think of ways to take care of our families and loved ones, let’s not forget to take care of ourselves. Let’s keep the bodies healthy which will in turn keep the mind healthy. May you all read this in good health!