By Dr. Sarah Greenwell, PT, DPT, CSMPT
As a physical therapist, I cannot prescribe medications. However, as a Doctor of PT, I am here today to prescribe a daily dose of M.E.D.S.
But not the kind that comes in a pill. The MEDS I am talking about are:
Most people come to physical therapy because of pain. Or because they cannot workout or participate in life the way they want. But along with strengthening muscles and mobilizing joints, many of these issues can be significantly improved with a healthy and daily dose of Mindfulness, Exercise, Diet, and Sleep. And along with improving joint and muscle pain, daily M.E.D.S. can help improve stress, anxiety, lack of energy/motivation, poor mood, and upset stomach.
Let’s quickly break these down.
Mindfulness: is achieved by focusing on the present moment, accepting your thoughts and feelings, and being able to focus on what you CAN control.
Instead of mindlessly going through the motions of your day, take time to think about what your goals are for the day.
In the morning, ask yourself: What do you want to accomplish or what do you have to do to overcome the day’s challenges?
Or in the evening, reflect on what went well, what didn’t, and what can you learn from today to make tomorrow better.
Don’t focus on the obstacles. Focus on the progress. Progress gives you purpose, energy, passion, enthusiasm, joy, gratitude, and hope for the now and the future.
Exercise: It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week. But if you are not there yet, start with something.
Make it a daily routine to do at least 20 minutes of physical activity.
Try to include a mix of flexibility, strength training, and cardiovascular exercise.
A daily walk or a beginner yoga session is one place to start getting your body moving.
We are learning more about the protective effects of muscle mass and strength on lifelong health and aging while maintaining an active and Independent lifestyle. So make sure to pick up some weights a few times a week.
If you need any help or guidance, shoot us a message or give us a call today! 331-253-2426
Diet: We are not talking about a short-term weight loss strategy. Rather, your diet is the way you fuel your body to perform.
Although it can be confusing and conflicting in today’s world to know what is healthy, most nutritionists would agree that if it is a plant – eat it; if it was made in a plant – don’t. Try to stick to food in its more natural form and with ingredients that are found in nature.
And although added sugars may taste good, they do not provide your body with nutrition. Instead, they add inches to our waistline and increase inflammation in our gut and skeletal system.
Sleep: Adults need 8-9 hours each night to function at our best (and kids need even more)
Any less, and our bodies struggle to repair tissue, store memories, support immune function, and fight fatigue.
Napping and caffeine do not replace the need for consistent quality sleep. The physical and emotional stress that we put our bodies through during the day needs a full night of rest to recover and prepare for the next day.
So instead of an ‘apple a day to keep the doctor away,’ try to take your M.E.D.S daily, and reach out to us if you have any questions or would like some trusted resources on any of these topics!