It might sound silly but motivational health messages via text could be the answer to helping you feel better and accomplish more in the course of your day.
Some days you just need a boost to get moving. Complacency happens to all of us at one point or another. Maybe work is kicking your proverbial butt, you have issues with the people in your house, or you just aren’t feeling 100% up to snuff.
Whatever the reason, sometimes we get tired and fall out of good habits.
For me, my work schedule can get a little insane. Then I’ll glance up from my computer or get off a call and realize I haven’t eaten, consumed any water, or moved for hours. There are periods where I maintain this horrible regimen for weeks when I’m on deadlines.
As opposed to several years ago, I’m in reasonably good health. I’m still fighting the last of the weight I want to lose, I don’t always sleep enough, and I probably drink way too much coffee but overall, I work hard to eat right and do the things my body needs to function well.
If I get too busy to take care of myself, I feel it. I’ll suddenly notice that I’m stiff, sore, and sluggish. All because I get so busy that I don’t make myself a priority.
What Can a Text Accomplish?
Researchers with the Copenhagen Centre for Arthritis Research in Denmark presented the findings of their study at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress.
Their 75 participants were patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who suffer with chronic pain and also led a primarily sedentary lifestyle.
The researchers wanted to encourage their participants to engage in more activity to control their pain. Study authors sent texts focused on motivational health messages combined with counseling sessions to treat their volunteers.
They were surprised at the significant improvement overall. After 16 weeks, the RA patients moved around more, decreasing their sitting time by an average of two hours per day. This new method also resulted in lower cholesterol, better pain management, and greater mobility.
Many people who deal with various types of chronic pain tend to move less and sit more than those without pain. This is especially true of those who suffer with RA. Such conditions and diseases make it difficult to engage in normal physical activity and also inspire fear of additional injury to a body that already hurts.
However, past studies have shown that inactivity worsens pain over time and ultimately causes damage elsewhere in the body. Men and women who lead a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of heart disease and premature death than those who exercise.Inactivity worsens chronic pain over time and ultimately causes damage elsewhere in the body. Click To Tweet
Even mild or low-impact exercise techniques improve risk factors for major diseases. It doesn’t actually have to be “exercise” at all…as long as you’re getting some movement.
Tanja Thomsen, spokesperson for the Copenhagen Centre for Arthritis Research, explained, “Our findings support the introduction of behavioral approaches as an effective way to improve the health of rheumatoid arthritis patients, which may also be applicable in other populations with chronic disease and limited mobility.”
Study participants received motivational health messages every day and personalized counseling sessions that concentrated on being uplifting and encouraging.
More Than “Happy Thoughts”
Pain can be a result of illness, injury, or lifestyle habits. Sometimes, doctors are unable to diagnose the source of pain but patients can attest to its presence.
In the United States, chronic pain is the number one reason for long-term disability as well as visits to doctors and hospitals. Ongoing pain affects more Americans than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined according to pain management data released by the National Institutes of Health.
The statistics are getting worse every year and as people struggle to find a way to make the pain stop, an opiate addiction epidemic is creeping ever higher. The drugs don’t work forever, it takes more to provide relief over time, and eventually, doctors run out of prescriptions they can (or will) write you.
There’s more to controlling chronic pain than thinking positive thoughts (of course). The most common bio-marker for pain is inflammation of bodily tissue.
Lowering overall inflammation has been shown to dramatically improve the lives of those who suffer with pain that never seems to ease.Lowering inflammation has proven to dramatically improve the lives of those who suffer with pain.Click To Tweet
Top 5 Ways to Lower Inflammation Naturally
1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Avoid fast food, boxed food, bagged food, and sodas. Try to increase your intake of healthy fats, complete proteins, and produce. Eat your food as close to natural as you can so your body gets the pure anti-inflammatory fuel it needs.
2. Get eight hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep deprivation has been linked to chronic inflammation, obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and pain. Your body works to repair tissue when you sleep so if you don’t get enough, you’re shorting the repair session!
3. Lower emotional and mental stress in your daily life. Toxic people and situations raise inflammation through chronic stress. You deserve to live a life that allows you to focus on feeling better. Let go of those people and things which act as obstacles to your peace of mind.
You deserve to live a life that allows you to focus on feeling better. #FightChronicPainClick To Tweet
4. Add (at least) very mild exercise to your daily routine. Stand up as you go through your mail or fold laundry. Organize your space to give you more options to stand during periods you usually sit. Try to minimize your “sitting” time.
5. Quit smoking and drink alcohol in strict moderation. Both of these habits are pro-inflammatory and if you’re already dealing with pain, you simply cannot afford them.
Research options in natural pain relief because you might be surprised at the holistic methods – such as acupuncture – that have been shown to help ease pain in patients all over the world.
Living with the daily reality of pain can make it hard to think about anything else. That sensation becomes the center of your world and it’s easy to let the rest of your health and wellbeing suffer as well.
Receiving daily motivational health messages might be the answer for helping patients actively take part in their pain management process. You don’t have to lift heavy weights or run a marathon…you just need to move more than you do right now if you live a sedentary lifestyle.