Day 114

Feeling neglected? Forgotten? Like you’ve been pounding the pavement all alone out there, with nobody telling you funny stories or rubbing your back, putting the arch supports in your sneakers or washing your socks?

I know I’ve been away for a week, but I have a really good excuse, and it is not that I’ve been harnessing donations for Haiti, crying over the Massachusetts election, or feeling the after-shock of Thursday’s Supreme Court decision to UN-LIMIT corporate and individual political campaign contributions.

The truth is, I spent the week nursing a work-related injury.

Not a walking-related injury. But a typing-related injury.

While I have been walking every day, either outside or in the gym, my sit-on-my-butt work has been maximus interruptus due to a terrible pain in my neck (and no, I do not mean one of my kids!)

Fortunately, my good friend Emily gave me the name of a certified massage therapist specializing in pain relief management. His name is Ray Miller, and besides being someone who donates his time to help the local food pantry, Ray is my new BFF.  This guy had no candles or incense in his little office, just a sturdy table and hands full of knowledge. He made me feel almost as good as new.

That’s why today’s Monday Morning Motivator is about INJURY PREVENTION…at your desk, and on your feet.

1. Stretch. Seriously. Gently warm up your muscles before you start walking, and stand up to stretch every 10-15 minutes while you’re sitting at your computer. Simple and steady is the best way to stretch.

2. Buy the right equipment. For walking, that means a sturdy walking shoe with an arch support. If you’re as old as I am a lot older than me, you might even need to buy yourself a really good orthotic insole.

For typing, the right equipment means setting up your work station so that you’re straight in your chair, feet on the ground, eye-level with your screen, while your keyboard is waist-high and allows you to bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle when typing.

3. Ice and heat an injury. Always end with ice, and rest for a day if you can.

4. Go see Ray. Or somebody like Ray, at the first sign of an injury, even if it’s a  repetitive injury. In fact, go especially if it’s a repetitive injury.  Be sure you see a certified massage therapist who can explain your neuromuscular imbalances, rub the kinks out of your muscles, and show you a series of exercises designed to help avoid future injury.

5. Keep moving. You know that old saying, if you don’t use it you lose it? It’s true for everything. Especially sex. Even exercise.