What is your daily routine to keep yourself well? Do you have a daily, weekly, monthly or annual routine?

We all know that preventative check-ups are important for our health. We also know that if we have a pain, we shouldn't ignore it. We should get it checked out.

Did you know that there are various ways to relieve pain? Basic exercises like range of motion movements, strengthening and stretching help to relieve the pain that we feel when we sit too long in our day. Remember, we're supposed to do endurance exercises daily for 30 to 60 minutes. That could be walking, biking or swimming. We're also supposed to do muscle strengthening exercises two to three times per week for every major muscle group. This is very important to help protect the bones and the joints from injury.

Muscle strengthening is very important, yet often neglected. Another often neglected exercise is stretching the muscles. Stretching should also be done two to three times per week.

There are other things you can do to stay well. I go to the chiropractor every 10 weeks for a backbone adjustment to keep the vertebrae in their proper positioning. I talk about good posture a lot. For my body, chiropractic care along with exercising has helped to maintain that good posture.

Now let me tell you my favorite thing to do to stay well. I get a massage every two to three months. I call it muscle therapy instead of massage therapy because that is exactly what it is. A lot of people consider massage therapy a frivolous pampering that only the wealthy can afford, but new studies are showing that it has a wide variety of health benefits. It's worth the money.

According to the American Bodywork & Massage Professionals, massage therapy can:

  • Alleviate low-back pain
  • Improve the immune system by stimulating lymph flow and circulation
  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied (decreased in size) muscles
  • Increase joint flexibility
  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Relax overused muscles
  • Relieve migraine pain

All of this helps to improve your energy levels and concentration, along with reducing your fatigue and helping you sleep better. There are many good licensed massage therapists in Sussex County.

Now that you know the health benefits beyond just a good pampering, I know you're going to pick up the phone and make an appointment. If you need more persuasion, then think about this. How much do you pamper yourself by going out to eat at restaurants every month? Need I say more? Try that massage.

Here's to your good health.

About the author: Jonathan Souder is the fitness director at Manor House, an ACTS Retirement-Life Community in Seaford.. Email your thoughts to jsouder@actslife.org.