As we prepare to move from summer into autumn, which is my favorite time of year, our schedules are getting busier. We’re helping the kids settle into a new school year and we’re starting to plan ahead for the holidays in just a couple of months. I think I even saw a “number of days until Christmas” countdown at a local store.
During this transitional season, it’s almost too easy to forget about our commitment to wellness and balance in the hectic pace of life, but these elements can’t be overlooked. This month we’re focusing on joint health and some of the natural ways to care for them. It seems that every time we turn on the television, there are more prescription drugs that offer new hope for arthritis, which is the universal term for any joint related problem. As noted so often, chemical responses may help to relieve the symptoms of joint pain but they don’t help to identify or alleviate the source of the problem.
More and more medical practitioners have been looking to a more expansive understanding of these joint pain and are counseling their patients to lose weight and to help fight the inflammation in their bodies with wholesome food and supplements. Likewise, with regular exercise and science-backed integrative therapies, patients get to the cause of their problems and find ultimate relief. In addition to our feature article this month on joint pain, nutritionist Elizabeth McMillan provides an additional focus on the foods that support good joint health—and even provides a few recipes to provide natural relief for pain.
A growing trend in our area, and across the country, is the interest in yoga, which is another great support for those dealing with joint pain. While the typical image that one has of a seasoned yoga student or teacher is the person with long, lean muscles, the beauty of yoga is that it is accessible to every person and there are many different styles to experience. Even a beginner will get the benefits of flexibility from a yoga practice, and one can begin right where they are—even if it is sitting on a chair. We feature an article this month in our Fit Body section to discuss the ways in which the practice of yoga enables our bodies to remain flexible as we age. Our region has many amazing places to develop a practice of yoga. We encourage you to find one that fits your skill level and lifestyle—because we know with a bit of looking, you will find a perfect community in which to practice.
And it wouldn’t be September if we didn’t help in the transition that many parents face as their children go back to school—in making school lunches. For many parents, it is almost too easy to purchase processed foods and snacks, not realizing that the lunch meal is an important one. With a little bit of preparation you can offer your children some great tasting, kid-approved foods that are not too time-consuming to make, which are included in our Healthy Kids section this month.
As you are taking care of your children as you send them off to school, don’t neglect your own health and self-care. And enjoy the impending season of color as the leaves begin to change!