stress

Moving

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You’re moving, great news, right? While there is excitement with moving, relocating can also be highly stressful not only financially, but on your body as well. Especially when you do it yourself.

We all have boxes of hidden treasures that we’ve collected over the years. Boxes of books, knick-knacks, old magazines, dishes and other things that make for heavy lifting. Lifting heavy boxes and bulky furniture is enough to wear anyone down. That’s why it’s important to remember spine health during your move.

Back injuries can be very common during moves, the following are common mistakes people make during the moving process that can be avoided.

Mistakes people make when moving that irritate the spine:

Not warming up prior to lift: Cold muscles are prone to injuries. Before carrying boxes, stretch your arms, legs and hips to  warm up your body muscles and get them ready for a physically demanding day. Do stretches that mimic the muscle movements you’ll make when moving. Also take breaks through-out the day to stretch your muscles and hydrate.

Over lifting with back, bend twist: It’s important to know your limits when it coming to lifting boxes and heavy furniture. Beyond just knowing your limits, also be sure to use good body mechanics and ask a friend for help with heavy boxes and furniture.

Poor sleep: We’ve all been there, right? The night before you stayed up late to get those last kitchen cupboards empty, and stayed awake in bed mentally going through your checklist for moving day. As hard as it might be, be sure to get a full nights sleep prior to moving day.

Not stretching post activity: It’s important to stretch and stay active to keep blood flowing through your muscles.

Over relying on caffeine: So you didn’t get those eight ours of sleep, did you? Relying on caffeine to get you through the day isn’t a great idea. Relying on caffeine too much can have negative impacts on your body. Coffee, rather the caffeine in coffee can contribute to the build up of stress. Not to mention that “high levels of caffeine can affect your mood, leaving you angry.” (read more)

Extended driving: Unfortunately back pain and driving often go hand in hand. Prolonged periods of sitting in the same position with poor driving ergonomics can take a toll on your body. To prevent back pain from the long drive try to maintain a healthy posture as your drive. Adjust mirrors so there isn’t strain on your neck to use them. Considering using a lumbar support cushion and take regular breaks from driving.

 


Life can be a real beach, if you’re not really at the beach.

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What if we told you that there’s one healthy activity you could do to keep your heart healthy, improve work production, enjoy less stress in your relationships, feel happier and live longer. What would you guess?

When asked most people guessed some form of exercise or sleep. Those are pretty good guesses, but it’s something even easier, and even more fun! Anymore ideas?

I’ll give you a hint:
beach-vacation-relaxation-holidays
Vacation.

It’s true, but did you know that a large percentage of people who have access to PTO (paid time off) either don’t use it, or just use it as sick time? On top of that, how many of us use our vacation days for our kid’s school breaks or even when our kids get sick? Life can get so busy and it seems the first thing to be put on the back burner is vacation. We’ve all done it, said we’d wait until the kids are a bit older, or the weather is nicer. How many of us feel guilty leaving work? We put vacation off until the new employees are trained; just to have new employees follow them and so on and so forth. Many people find the solution is to take work with them on vacation. This seems like the best of both worlds, right? Studies have showed that up to 61% of people take their work with them when they leave the office. This is actually counterproductive, ideally you would be leaving the work behind as it’s important to switch off. Taking a technology break during this time would be a great idea as well.

Rest, relaxation, and stress reduction are very important for our health and well-being. Some much needed time off has significant health benefits such as; decreasing risk of heart disease and fewer arguments with your spouse. Additional benefits of vacations are more positive emotions and lower risk of a major depressive episode.

Another perk of vacations are improved relationships. According to Wisconsin Medical Journal – women who take vacations twice a year are “less likely to become tense, depressed, or tired and are more satisfied with their marriage,” and that the “odds of marital satisfaction decreased as the frequency of vacations decreased. These personal psychological benefits that lead to increased quality of life may also lead to improved work performance.”

Speaking of work, there are many benefits of taking a vacation at the work place too. Skipping out on vacation may be hindering you from completing your tasks. Working day in and day out without taking a moment to step out and disconnect can lead to no enjoyment or connection at work. Studies have also shown that not taking vacation causes people to feel resentment toward coworkers and increases likelihood of mistakes in the work place. Taking a vacation can help refresh motivation, boost productivity, improve memory skills and increase levels of happiness.

So next time you get the chance to get away, do it. Studies do show that by the third day of vacation most people will improve sleep quality and gain an hour of sleep by the 3rd day. Those effects can hold on for a minimum of 5 weeks after you return. Are you ready for a vacation?