Meet Max – retired restaurateur
Max is a retired restaurateur who spent most of his adult life working in the restaurant kitchen. He worked long hours on his feet, lifting hot, heavy pots and pans. He’s developed osteoarthritis in his hands and back. His feet are very bothersome. He struggles to sleep well as his body grew accustomed to the late nights at the restaurant. His eating habits are poor because he mostly snacked while working and never developed structured times for eating. Now that he isn’t in the restaurant kitchen, he doesn’t enjoy cooking just for himself.
So many things Max didn’t see coming . . .
A lot of people who work manual labour jobs – lifting, bending, etc. – think it’s sufficient activity for their health. However, they use the same muscles every day and develop muscle imbalances. These imbalances can cause dysfunction.
Max’s job was very repetitive. This made him susceptible for repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) which commonly affect wrists, elbows and shoulders, then cascade throughout the body. Biomechanics, which looks at the physics of the body, suggests Max’s osteoarthritis in his hands and back probably didn’t happen at the same time.
People who’ve spent a great deal of time working night shifts should have their sleep assessed and levels of the neurotransmitter melatonin measured. Sleep therapy and morning exercise can help Max sleep better. Exercise helps balance out a lot of the body’s cycles and has an effect on the level of melatonin. Exercising in the morning forces the body to change its internal clock assisting with better sleep and overall health.
As with so many people, Max would benefit from an individualized, integrated plan utilizing a variety of disciplines. Along with an Exersmart program created taking into consideration Max’s age and capabilities, he would benefit from innovative therapies to support his osteoarthritis, some mindfulness counselling and a dietitian consultation to learn about nutrient timing.
Max is a master of food but he’s not a master of breaking habits.