My brother and I have worked here for quite some time and have noticed the wear and
tear landscaping/gardening can have on your body. I never really thought about the issue
until I started feeling aches and pains myself but what really opened up my eyes to my own vulnerability was a car accident in 2012. The car accident wasn’t some small ding in the back;
I was actually rear ended by a two ton tow truck. It could have been pretty serious but luckily I was in the right truck and was still young.
After that incident, I took it upon myself to rebuild and restructure how I ate and took care of my body and mind. I made a semi serious post earlier about “taking care of yourself” but this is more on the serious side. I am even considering bringing in products that may help and prevent injury if people are interested. Certain things I may list here people may not agree upon, but please look into what I post because they have worked for me and many people I know from professional athletes to hard working individuals like yourselves. You only have one body and if you screw it up by not giving it rest, making it stronger, or giving it what it needs, you will regret it.
1. Food Intake
I really hope none of your are on some sort of gimmicky diet. The word “diet” automatically makes me assume its not sustainable over a long period of time so its not a feasible plan to begin with. However, I can understand how people would want to completely overhaul their eating habits but your body and stomach cannot adapt to massive changes immediately either. Cutting out carbs completely does not work… most people who do this live off caffeine or look incredibly gaunt. To counter fatigue from a keto style diet(no carbs) people compensate by eating more fat(yes, fat is actually good for you. do not believe the misinformed people about how saturated fat is bad for you. It’s interaction with cholesterol is a precursor to testosterone), however, it will take time for your body to adjust to such a huge diet change. My advice? keep eating what you’re eating, but little by little, start weaseling in healthy foods. e.g. if you eat Mcdonalds everyday eat a banana, orange or one of those green salad boxes from save on with your Mcdonalds. At least you’ll get some nutrition. Over time start letting the healthy food take a bigger percentage of your food intake in the day. This really does work, but it has to be worked in gradually and not rushed. Lastly, when I say “healthy foods” do not assume that it only applies to fruits, vegetables etc…
If you’re unsure of what is considered healthy then make your own food, that way you at least you know whats in there. Despite what people think, pasta IS healthy. Carbs do not make you fat or give you diabetes. Over eating will make you fat and get you diabetes. Eating huge pieces of protein will spike your insulin just like eating huge amounts of carbs. Sometimes its not really what you eat, but how much of it you eat as well.
Try to manage a percentage between carbs, protein and fat. More protein for muscle building(obviously) and carbs if you expend lots of energy. Fat is very important for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins(A,D,E,K).
2.Rest and Sleep
Sleep is so important and I feel a lot of our clients are deprived of it. For some of you folk who work 6 or even 7 days, sleep is the only time you will recover so make sure it counts! First of all turn off your electronics(phone and tv). Anything emitting blue light effects your body from producing the hormone, melatonin. If your melatonin levels are disrupted then you have a higher chance of getting a poor nights rest. If anyone has a problem with sleep, consider supplementing with zinc, magnesium and melatonin before bed. Why Zinc? Zinc helps metabolize melatonin. Why Magnesium? Magnesium helps with relaxation of the muscles(ever try a espsom salt bath and you start to feel sleepy and relaxed? Thats basically magnesium sulfate) and helps decrease cortisol, a stress hormone that can effect your sleep quality quite a bit if you have high levels of it. Why melatonin? If you feel you’re unable to sleep or if you have to be glued to a computer screeen before bed because of work, then use it. It’s very effective. People will get great results with 3mg alone.
3. Body Management
Something as simple as acupuncture, massage therapy or chiropractic work can go a long way for body alignment and muscle tension and pain. Too many people out there try to “wait” it out or “man it out”. If your car has a weird sound coming from the engine, wouldn’t you go to the mechanic? Or are you going to wait for the engine to blow up and have smoke come out of it? What I am trying to say is don’t wait until its too late. Some people have never experienced pain, but when you get it, sometimes it’s unbearable. Would you rather maintain your body or just be on prescription drugs the rest of your life, upping the dosage when the previous amount doesn’t effect you anymore? No, right?
I had this really great chiropractor who helped me through my car accident. His name is Dr. Glen http://www.canadawaychiro.ca/ and I have to say, if it weren’t for his help, I’d probably be in a different situation. Basic alignment of the spine is crucial for posture and health. Now I can see how people would be “afraid” of getting hurt during the adjustments, but you have to understand that being on your feet all day, carrying heavy things etc… puts your body in strange positions and even though you don’t feel it now, your spine is not in its proper alignment. Consider seeing a chiropractor if you’re lifting heavy things on a daily basis or even sitting down for a huge portion of the day. Sitting all day is apparently worse, especially on the lower back and SI joint.
Sometimes the ligaments are not so much the issue but the muscles that surround them; Its really easy to misdiagnose yourself. Being negative and all, you would just assume your life is done when you get a back injury but chances are it’s muscle fatigue or your muscle proportions are not even. In either case, a really good registered massage therapist can make things right and give you exercises to strengthen the weak muscles that caused the problem to begin with.
4. Preventative Measure For Injury
One of the products I am using myself is the Intelliskin shirt. I do my best on my own to keep my posture upright, but sometimes your back just fatigues or you’re just tired. After using the Foundation series, I noticed a significant difference in how I stand. More over, the claims of how posture can elevate mood and energy are not mere exaggerations. I definitely feel a huge difference! The clothing has these sticky tabs that work almost like an adhesive and sticks to the muscles on your thoracic spine. Putting on the clothing correctly will help activate your upper back better(the tabs help you feel your upper muscles).