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Taking care of yourself

Linda Stultz
Certified Fitness Trainer

(2/2018) We have all heard that we need to take care of ourselves for many reasons. Our health is the biggest reason but others may be that you are a caregiver for an elderly parent, spouse, child or grandchild. Many grandparents today are the ones raising their grandchildren without the help of the child's parents. Sometimes circumstances put you in a position you never thought would happen and you have not prepared for. People are also faced with working longer than they planned because of insurance or other financial responsibilities.

Our health is the most important thing we have and is the resource we will pull from all through our lives. Eating well and exercising are two of the best known ways to keep our health at it's best but there are many other less talked about ways to keep or get you back to the best health possible for you. Acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, meditation and osteopathic practices are other channels to improving the aches and pains that have made their way into our daily challenges.

I know many of these doctors and therapists are not covered by insurance and therefore many people do not think about them. Researching these alternative treatments may benefit you greatly. Stress is so overwhelming and such a big part of most people's life today that they don't realize what a toll it is taking on their bodies and health.

Stress not only affects your mood and mental health but it can actually cause physical health problems. I realize many of the alternative practices are not covered by insurance but there are ways of trying some of them at no cost. Meditation is something everyone can do at your own pace. Learning to meditate is a skill that takes practice and patience to learn but is so beneficial.

We all need some time to ourselves to renew energy, relax our shoulders and take a few deep breaths. I realize finding that time is almost impossible for some but can make such a difference in your life. Even if you take a few moments right before you go to sleep to clear your mind, breath deeply and let go of the busy day that just passed it may help you sleep better and release some relaxation hormones to ease the stress of the day.

Practicing some of the exercises such as meditation, yoga, stretching or whatever you find you enjoy enough to keep doing may not make an immediate change in how you feel but give them a chance. Alternative medicine and practices do not work as quickly as traditional medicine but they also do not have the side effects and potential problems that many medications have. Improving our health naturally is a less invasive, longer lasting health improvement.

We still need medications and traditional doctors and many of the procedures to identify, treat and cure disease and I so appreciate the doctors and nurses that help us everyday. Never stop a medication or do anything drastic in changing your medical routine without talking to your doctor first. Many doctors are encouraged when people want to add some of the alternative practices along with their medical treatment. Both approaches working together may improve the condition faster and the natural alternative practice may be the way to prevent the problem from coming back down the road.

Meditation is one thing you can do at home without costing you but sometimes you can even talk with a chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist or osteopath at a community or hospital health fair. Research any activities happening in your area. That would be a great way to meet and talk with the practitioners and experience some of the alternative practices that may benefit you.

I met my massage therapist at a health fair a Mount St. Mary's years ago and she knows exactly what I need now. Make this the year you explore what is out there and see if it may help improve or keep your health on track. I'm sure you want to take care of your family and friends as long as you can and taking care of yourself is the best way to insure you will be there for them. You will also feel the best you can for years to come. Remember to Keep Moving!

If you have any questions or need help getting started, please call me 717-334-6009, or via e-mail at

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