How to (actively) enjoy the rest of your summer
REMINDER: Summer isn’t over yet, so you still have a lot of time to enjoy the outdoors before the Chicago weather turns and forces us indoors. Studies also show that enjoying the outdoors reduces stress, cortisol levels, and muscle tension which benefits us both mentally and physically! Here are 5 simple things you can do to reap these benefits and enjoy the rest of your summer.
1) Walk 30-45 minutes daily between sunrise and sunset:
A lot of us spend up to 8 hours a day working in an indoor environment, but we shouldn’t let this rob us of the Vitamin D that our body needs. Our body produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, and Vitamin D helps your body maintain calcium and prevents brittle or thin bones. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day or more is also a great way to improve or maintain your overall physical health.
2) Get in a pool at least 2-3 times a week:
Swimming pools are synonymous with summertime and getting in the pool a couple of times per week can bring a lot of benefits to your overall health and strength. Getting in the pool builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness which in turn helps you maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs, tones muscle and builds strength.
3) Go for a bike ride:
One way to keep our legs strong and reverse that lower body pain would be to find your nearest bike trail and bike for 30-45 minutes a day. Biking helps to strengthen and loosen your hamstrings, which lift the pedal up with each cycle and stabilize your joints. You'll work your calves with each cycle, which helps to protect and strengthen your ankles and feet.
4) Take a City Stroll:
Whether it be visiting downtown Chicago, or going to your local downtown area, taking a nice stroll to window shop or perform some retail therapy is a good, fun way to get your daily steps in!
5) Visit your local forest preserve:
Go out for a nature walk and spend some time with the trees! Being out in nature offers health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, increasing brain activity, improving mental and physical well-being, and even improving sleep quality.
Discomfort and soreness are a part of life. What is not normal is living with pain. If you are still experiencing that pain, it's time to talk to your physical therapist or primary care physician.
Try to stay away from narcotics, injections and knife happy surgeons as a primary option for your treatment. There are no magic bullets, but majority of pain symptoms can be resolved with conservative measures like exercises, manual therapy and pain management.
Zuhair Haque, Exercise Specialist at Rehabon Physical Therapy. Zuhair enjoys basketball and he cannot wait to start the DPT program at North Central College in 2023. Zuhair has an extensive experience for working for multiple physical therapy/rehab organizations.
Irfan Ibrahim is an Owner/Physical Therapist at Rehabon Physical Therapy, Downers Grove IL 60515. He enjoys sunshine and rainbows with his three children. Loves hiking, biking and golfing but he has accepted to live with his mediocre skills. Questions??!! Email him: Irfan@rehabon.com follow him on Facebook