What’s your Body trying to Tell You?

Do you suffer from aches and pains? The constant niggles which remind you that your body just can’t manage to do those things it used to do quite so well. I’m sure you mean to do something about your sore knee or back but you just keep thinking it’ll sort itself out and you don’t want to trouble anyone about it. Or perhaps you don’t want to stop doing your favourite sport or have time off work to get it sorted.

Weeks and months go by and the aches and pains seem to get worse, and you think, ‘I really must ring someone next week’. Then the joints get stiffer and your range of movement is more limited, then one day you reach down to put on your shoes and PING! You know what I mean; that shooting pain which tells you that you’ve just left it too long and you should’ve booked in to get it looked at. You’re wondering what on earth has happened: ‘have I slipped a disc’, ‘trapped a nerve’, ‘pulled a muscle’ and worst of all ‘how am I going to straighten up?!’.

Well the fact is your body is so fine-tuned it will send you little messages to let you know that things aren’t quite right a long time before an injury occurs. We often think we’re too busy to do anything about it and just treat it like a bit of an inconvenience and hope that if we ignore it for long enough, it’ll go away. Well it won’t! You might get away with it for a while, but f you don’t listen it will make you STOP. So when you think about it for a moment, that’s pretty amazing really, to have your own early-warning system hardwired in.

Just think if you act on these signals straight away you could easily avoid having a serious injury. And maybe instead of missing weeks or months off your favourite sport you could have got it sorted straight away. What about the inconvenience of having all that time off work, especially if you’re self-employed, losing all that money too!

So remember next time your body is doing its job by warning you in advance that something needs attending to, just give it a little time and respect and do what it’s telling you! That is:-

  1. Stop doing what hurts and rest and see if it improves
  2. Don’t take painkillers to simply exert your body even more
  3. If it doesn’t get better with rest seek professional advice and/or treatment.
  4. STOP trying to do too many things and please too many people. Take up coping strategies like yoga, relaxation, tai-chi, walks in the countryside etc.
  5. Prevention is better than cure. Look after your body, treat it like a temple! Take moderate exercise i.e. walking, cycling, swimming to raise the heart rate and strengthen muscles.
  6. S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G. Commonly known as Yoga and it strengthens muscles too and improves your balance. Most people forget this one, but this is essential to reduce injury and keep joints and muscles free.   Yoga has been around for thousands of years and quite simply it works! Health Professionals know this and recommend it to their patients.
  7. Take responsibility for your own body and health.
  8. Maybe take life a little more lightly, laugh a bit more!

And just because you might be getting older it doesn’t mean that you have to end up like one of those signs at the side of the road that says, “elderly people crossing”!