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Repetitive stress injuries, falls, pulled muscles… ?while not deadly as some of the other common dangers electricians face, the physical wear-and-tear on your body can cause a long list of chronic aches and pains. The best way to avoid these injuries is by getting into great physical shape and staying that way. You’ve seen electricians who start their day with aspirin along with their coffee and keep popping them all day long. Getting into shape is the first step in avoiding this future for yourself. Healthy living isn’t just a trendy lifestyle topic; it’s the simplest thing you can do to prevent a lifetime of chronic pain.
Drop Those Extra Pounds
If your week regularly includes fast food lunches, office pizza and cookies, snacks all day long and drinks after work, you’re like a large percentage of contractors today. You’re probably also carrying around more than a few extra pounds.
Being overweight isn’t only a danger to your heart and other organs, it’s also a major cause of daily aches and pains. By dropping a small amount of weight each week, you’ll gain more energy, sleep better and be able to do your job more easily.
Losing weight doesn’t mean going on the latest fad diet. In fact, that’s the worst thing you could do. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to do it slowly. Make one small change each week and stick with it as you move on to another one. Start by kicking your soda habit and switching to water. Bring your lunch to work three days a week instead of going out every day. Limit sweets to only one day a week. Every small change should create even more weight loss, week after week.
Get Some Fun Cardio
“But I’m on my feet all day long! Why do I need to get even more exercise?” Sure, you might be standing, bending and lifting all day, but you’re standing still at the same time. Your heartbeat never rises. Believe it or not, the human body needs to sweat and your heart needs to beat faster in order for you to be healthy.
That doesn’t mean you have to take up jogging or put in hours on exercise machines at the gym unless that’s what you like to do. If it moves your body, makes your heart race and causes you to breathe hard, it counts as exercise. Play basketball with your crew, take your dog for a fast walk, wrestle with your kids or get into bicycling around the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter how you move your body, as long as you get it done for half an hour each day.
Learn to Relax
Relaxing doesn’t mean cracking open a beer and watching a ball game on the weekend. Well, that’s a relaxing activity, but it doesn’t really benefit you during the week. In order to get rid of stress and learn how to deal with the tense parts of your business life, learning relaxation tools is key. If you have tense and knotted muscles, have a short temper or get frustrated easily on the job, getting stress reactions out of your life is doubly important.
No tool works perfectly for everyone. If you give something a legitimate try and it doesn’t do you any good, give it a rest and move on to something else. Some of the ways you can learn relaxation techniques are:
? Tai chi
? Guided imagery
? Music therapy
Relaxation techniques, when done successfully, have a long list of physical benefits including lowering blood pressure, reducing muscle tension, minimizing anger and frustration and reducing chronic pain. Take a class or go it alone – but try different methods for relaxation until you find one that’s right for you.
Getting healthy is the key to living a long and pain-free life, along with doing your job without physical limitations. What steps have you taken to live a healthier lifestyle?