Health Tip on Tuesday: Avoiding Neck Pain for Desk Workers

Tomorrow is Wednesday, and I will be posting my May special just for Moms.  Be sure and check back to see what it is.

Do you get neck pain, or headaches when working on your computer, or at your desk?  I know I do.  But, why?

The number one reason I get neck pain while working on the laptop is that I don’t actually have a proper desk, and I am always looking at a downward angle.  After a while, this causes me great strain and tightness in my neck.

For me, neck stretches, getting up and moving every hour, and wearing a neck support pillow for part of the day all help prevent me from getting the neck pain to start with.  My neck pillow is nothing special, just a cheapo one bought at my local Walmart.  I get up and walk at least 250 steps each hour.  I do the stretches at the beginning of my day, and sometimes at the end of the day.  If I was in an office I might choose not to wear the neck pillow there, but wear it at home.

I chose the video below for this post because she is thorough and uses a good form to teach the stretches.  She is a bit slow, however.  Once you learn the stretches you won’t need to watch the video.

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Sweating on Sunday: Full Body Stretching

OK, I am going to straight up admit it, I do not enjoy stretching.  It is slow, and boring.  However, right up there with using light weights to strength train, stretching at least once a week, is super important.  You should technically stretch, at least the muscles you worked, after every workout, for a few minutes.  This helps keep lactic acid from building up, which can cause your muscle soreness the next day to be much worse.  But, a full body stretch, helps strengthen, relax, and elongate the muscles.  If you find one with music, and the personality has a nice voice, you will be all set.  I chose the one below, because it is the one that I personally use.  It is easy, no stress on the joints, and great if you already have an injury that needs stretching to heal.  Follow her tips, and don’t push past where you should.  The object is not to be Gumby, but to slowly increase strength, and flexibility.  Have fun, and let me know if you tried it, and what you think.

If you would like to meet your stretching, and flexibility goals, use the contact form below to message me.

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Sweating on Sunday: Heart Rate Zones for Exercise

Updated 4/11/2021 Hi, and welcome to Sweating on Sunday.  Here in Florida, this time of year, you can sweat just sitting.  But, that is not what you need to increase stamina and get fit.  Heart rate zones, are important to learn.  For me, with CKD, I need to be careful not to make my heart rate go so high to increase my blood pressure too much.  That is true for all CKD patients.  Increasing the blood pressure can cause the kidneys to strain harder.  I try to stay in the light to moderate range of my heart rate.  This can be hard when I am also trying to build strength, stamina, and endurance.  It is a balancing act, just like everything else with CKD.  That is why I do fitness walking, water aerobics, and light weight training.  I try to do a full body stretch once a week.  Yoga, and Pilates are great, but I find them rather boring.  I especially love working out in the pool when it is time to do squats and lunges, because the impact on my 50 yr old joints, is less stressful.  Same thing with upper body.  I actually keep my dumbbells in the water, and use them at least twice a week.  Trust me you still get a great workout, and will feel it the next day, it just causes less stress on the joints.  I wish my Fitbit was waterproof.  The images below are from the Fitbit website.  Remember if you feel excessive pain, can’t talk, or are gasping for breath, your heart rate is too high.  Experts say to never just stop, instead walk around, or slow down, and take deep breaths until the symptoms go away.  Find your age, and then locate the heart rates for each intensity zone.  This is the highest that your heart rate should go to be safe for light, or moderate intensity workouts.  No one should jump into an extreme exercise routine, start slow, and build your endurance.  CKD people should avoid intense, or peak heart rate workouts, staying within the 50-70% range.  Your heart rate may go high when you are sedentary and start exercising.  This is normal as your heart is a muscle and needs to be strengthened.  If that means you can only walk 5 minutes then only walk 5 minutes.  You will get stronger.  I started at 10 minutes, and I am now up to 60 minutes 6 days a week.  Not adding arm movements to your aerobics will help keep your heart rate in the lower zones.  If you are stage 4, or 5 exercise may not be safe for you due to the water you will lose through sweat.  Be sure to re-hydrate after exercise.  This may be tricky for some so talk to your doctor about fluid loss through sweat.  Excessive thirst is a warning sign that you may be becoming dehydrated.    Make sure you talk to your doctor first, and everyone should consult their doctor before going from sedentary to active.  Most doctors will say walking is OK, for most people.  If you don’t have a Fitbit, or other heart rate monitoring device, you can learn to take your own heart rate.  It is easy, hold your first two fingers on the inside of your wrist, thumb side, and feel your pulse.  Count how many times you feel it in 10 seconds, and then multiply by 6. As your fitness level increases and your heart strengthens, you may find you can work out in a harder zone and it won’t have much affect on blood pressure or heart rate. This takes time, patience and endurance. At the time of this update I can now work out at a more moderate level without it causing a spike in my blood pressure. That is because I am becoming more fit. I can walk faster now, and my heart rate can still stay in the fat burning zone, unless it is very hot out. My new goal for 2021 is to be able to run/walk 1.5 miles in 15-20 minutes.

Exercise can be both a stress reliever, and a stressor. Exercise is great for stress relief. However, if you over exercise you can cause an injury which is a stressor due to pain, decrease mobility, loss of stress release. Would you like a free coaching session related to Stress? Click here to read how. Limited to 10 people and expires on April 30, 2021.

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