ReQuest: A Stronger Core, Means Better Health

5WAYS TO RELIEVE BACK&NECK PAIN

When suffering with back or neck pain, it can be confusing to determine the right way to relieve pain and get back to normal activities. For some, permanent injury or changes in their body mean arthritis and the tendency for more aches and pains. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it and live a pain-free life. Here are some tips to relieve your back and neck pain. 1. GET EXPERT HELP. The best solution for your back or neck pain is to restore proper movement, strength and coordination for maximum results. Our physical therapists are the medical experts that can help you improve your function and relieve your pain. See your physical therapist at least yearly to maintain your health. 2. IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE. Make sure to stand up frequently, at least every 30 minutes and vary your positions of work throughout the day. Aim to correct your posture when sitting and standing and make adjustments as needed. 3. AVOID INJURY. Make sure you know the proper way to lift, bend, and pick up objects, even if they are not heavy. Our experts can show you proper body mechanics with every day tasks. 4. ADEQUATE REST & EXERCISE. Your body needs to heal after every day, so a good night’s sleep is critical, especially those hours before 12 am. Record your favorite late night shows so you don’t have to stay up late! Sleep deprivation actually worsens your pain tolerance and saps your strength. In turn, make sure you exercise – at least walk 30 minutes a day to improve your strength, heart health and flexibility.

5. NUTRITION. It is often found with people in pain, that their diet aggravates their pain and their lack of water “dries” out their tissues. It is very important to avoid processed foods and fried foods, which increase inflammation in the body. Of course, eat more vegetables, fruits, and lean protein. Don’t forget to keep a glass of water by your desk and refill it during the day so you stay hydrated!

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HEALTHY RECIPE: OATS WITH APPLES & CRANBERRIES

INGREDIENTS • 1 cup oats • 1 large Granny Smith apple, diced • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries • 3 tbsp maple syrup • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/2 tspn ground cardamom

• 2 pinches of kosher salt • 4 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk Toppings: • chopped apple • almond slices/chopped almonds

• dried cranberries • ground cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS Spray a 2-quart or 4-quart slow cooker insert lightly with cooking spray. Combine the steel cut oats, diced apple, cranberries, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, and almond milk. Stir to mix thoroughly. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours (for firmer oats) to 8 hours (softer oats with the slightest chew), stirring once or twice if possible. As the oats are cooking a thin, dark colored skin may form on top of the oats and they will look slightly dry at first glance. Don’t worry. Go ahead and stir the oats well until they are creamy and smooth. If you prefer looser oats, stir in an additional half cup or so of almond milk. Serve hot and garnish with toppings as desired.

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