Back To School Tips

 

It’s back to school time! With the warm summer days winding down, it is time to get back into the classroom and hit the books again. While this comes with the excitement of seeing friends again, making new friends with your new classmates, and getting to know your teachers, it also leads to less time for enjoying the outdoors and exercising. One of the best ways to manage the stressors of a new school years is to take care of your body and keeping it active! Whether it be strolls in the school courtyard during lunch, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or trips the school gym, there are plenty of ways you can keep active despite being in school all day long. It is important that we keep our bodies healthy in order to supply our minds with happy/healthy energy it needs to absorb all of the knowledge possible. While it’s easy to want to just get by and go through the motion’s day in and day out with school, going above and beyond for your school activity routine can make the year much more successful. I know it sounds like it might be tricky to find a routine feels realistic, but don’t worry! Here at JPT, we’ve got your back. Before hitting the books, remember these five tips!

 

  1. Walking is your friend: Walking to your car, bus stop, even just between classes is time to be up out of a chair and stretch your legs. Take the path less traveled on, take the longer route and take as much time as you can on your feet. 
  2. Take your full break between classes: If there is a break during class or between classes, spend it up out of your chair! Sitting for periods greater than 1 hour without standing can be detrimental. If the teacher gives the class a stretch/brain rest break, take it!
  3. Take Physical Education class: This is an amazing opportunity built directly into the school day to be active! You don’t have to be running as fast and hard as you can, just participate and enjoy the freedom of movement!
  4. Proper footwear: Wearing supporting sneakers can decrease discomfort while you’re doing all this walking we talked about above!
  5. Safe backpack weight: This is always a tricky one for many students because they feel the need to have all books at once. Don’t! Communicate with your teachers about what books are needed each class and keep unneeded supplies in your locker/at home. Overloading your backpack and lead to deficits in your posture and increase pressure on your back.
  6. Bonus tip! POSTURE: Sitting up straight in your chair with good lumbar support can help decrease pressure on your back during long class. It is important to keep your head up as well (as opposed to looking down at your phone on your lap) to maintain good spinal curves in the neck/back. Being consistent with good posture is one of the most important things you can do throughout the school day to stay healthy. 

Unsure what these 5 tips mean or want further information? Come in for an evaluation with any questions about prevention, lingering issues, or potential new injuries and we can help you learn how to rehab and protect your body. We will work with you to find out areas and muscles where you may be most vulnerable, create a plan for prevention by teaching you exercises that can help strengthen the correct muscles in the most appropriate way, educate you on proper ergonomics and body mechanics best fit your needs, and guidance on choosing the most appropriate footwear. 

While these are great tips to help make sure you’re staying active and healthy during school, things can still happen. In the unfortunate case this happens to you, we at JPT are here and ready to help. We provide different treatments and modalities that can help you recover from pain or injury caused by overuse or traumatic incidents. Our Physical Therapists are trained to provide manual therapy techniques that can decrease pain, improve body aches and stiffness, and enhance muscle function/control. They are also experts in body mechanics, ergonomics and the proper ways the human body should move. From there we prescribe a personalized fitness program that you can complete in our gym with the guidance of our therapists and qualified aides. We also provide modalities for pain relief such as hot packs, cold packs, and E-stim, as well as taping techniques that may be suited for you. Our goal is not only to improve your symptoms of pain/discomfort, but to provide you with the proper education and confidence you may need in the long term. Not only will we work with you to decrease any discomfort, but we will also provide you with the proper education you may want to know in order to provide you with the confidence you need to make sure you are doing the right things. No matter what your school year bring, we are here to help/support you in any way we can!

 Dr. Kevin Ewers, PT, DPT, Kendall Park office

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