Professional Practice

Taking Care of Your Physical Health (Ep. 333)

Following her popular presentation at the NOW Conference, Dr. Eva Norman visits the podcast to answer some common questions and share some advice on taking care of yourself physically this year. Listen as she and Tim discuss ideas for healthy eating, getting the right amount of sleep, finding time to exercise, choosing the right shoes as a teacher, and so much more.  Full Episode Transcript Below.

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Tim: Welcome to Art Ed Radio, the podcast for art teachers. This show is produced by the Art of Education University. And I’m your host, Tim Bogatz.

We are going to dip outside the bounds of what we normally do on the podcast today. And we are going to talk to a physical therapist.

And I know that’s not specifically about art teaching, but I think the information that you’ll hear today can be incredibly helpful. So, my guest today will be Dr. Eva Norman. She presented at the NOW Conference at the end of July, talking about different exercises that you can undertake during the school day to try and help you be a little bit healthier.

And this was a very popular presentation. And we went to follow up on a couple of things. Now, Dr. Norman, I’ll let her introduce herself, but just quick little bit about her. She’s been practicing physical therapy for almost 20 years, has a lot of experience.

And through the years, she has practiced in different settings with patients of all ages, various diagnosis, and she’s worked with a lot of teachers before. So, she has a lot of experience, a lot of great things to say. And as we found out during the NOW Conference I just mentioned, teachers have a lot of questions for her.

There’s a lot going on during her presentation, we weren’t able to cover everything that we wanted to cover. And this podcast will serve as the follow-up to answer some of those questions that she received during and after the conference and it should work as a standalone.

Even if you didn’t come to the conference, I think there’s a lot of great stuff here that can be helpful for you as you get through this school year. So, let me bring her on to answer some of those questions now. All right. Dr. Eva Norman is joining me now. Dr. Norman, how are you?

Dr. Eva Norman: Great. Thanks for having me today, Tim. Really excited to talk to your audience.

Tim: Awesome. Well, I know they’re going to be excited to hear from you. You had an awesome presentation at the Now Conference, and people really want to hear more. So, I’m glad we can do this. So, I guess, to begin with, and I gave a brief introduction to what you do, who you are, but we would love to have you tell us a little bit more. Can you just share a little bit about who you are, what you do, what you’re passionate about?

Dr. Eva Norman: Absolutely. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity. And so, let’s see, so I’m a physical therapist by background. I have my clinical doctorate in physical therapy and I’ve been practicing for over 20 years. Primarily, living in the Midwest. And now, actually, I’m excited to say I’m headed to Florida.

And so, physical therapy came to me due to a life-altering event in my life. When I was 13 years old, I was involved in a hit-and-run accident where I was told I would never walk again. And thanks to this extraordinary physical therapist, Jean, I honestly was so inspired by her and I wanted to be her.

And thanks to her though, I am walking with no deficits. I literally have no deficits. And I’ve done things that perhaps most textbooks physicians, specialists are shocked that I’m able to do, and that was all thanks to physical therapy. So, I’m truly passionate about it, the profession for that reason.

Actually, I volunteer quite a bit of my time giving back to the profession because I just think it’s probably one of the greatest professions because it gave me my life back. And one of the ways that I give back is by advocating for patients. In my other life, I always say because I don’t know when I find time to do this, but I’m the Federal Government Affairs Chair for the Minnesota Chapter for the Physical Therapy Association.

And I have this wonderful privilege to lobby Congress throughout the year, and have been able to pass meaningful legislation for our patients. And all because I, really, my hope and dream is to have health and wellness covered for patients across the country.

Unfortunately, today, that is not a covered service. Rehabilitation is. But unfortunately, the preventative piece that I am so passionate about is not. And so, I started my company almost 10 years ago because I was so frustrated about the millions of dollars that were being spent on treating preventable diseases.

And so, my hope is like I said, that we can hopefully get the funding so that we can be more proactive and then instead of retroactive, yeah. So, that’s a little bit about me.

Tim: That’s an awesome goal. No, I love that. And I had no idea that you were doing all that work with the government, so that’s pretty cool. So, I guess, we have a lot of questions coming for you from people who were at the NOW Conference. And just wanted to know a little bit more, discuss things a little bit more with you.

But before that I have a question for you, because it’s just something that I’ve been thinking about a situation I found myself in. I think a lot of people, teachers especially, have really neglected their physical health over the past few years. But a lot of people are looking at the new school year here as a chance to make a new start.

And so, I guess, what would your best advice be for people who are in that situation? And how can people get back on track when it comes to their physical health?

Dr. Eva Norman: That’s such a great question. And I always say it starts with finding what’s most important to you. I mean, I’m going to go over some disease risk factors that I think everybody should consider and pick one. I mean, I think it’s hard to transform your life in one day, have these lifestyle changes that we all as healthcare providers want to see our patients have.

But if you can pick one of the following, perhaps to consider, I think you’re definitely headed in the right direction. And set yourself a goal. Write that goal down, share it with a loved one. Because research has shown you’re more bound to have it happen, but let’s start with physical activities.

So, what’s recommended and I just give the recommendations first. And then, of course, think about what you could do throughout the day to incorporate this. But you’re recommended to have about 150 minutes of moderate intense aerobic activity every week.

And about twice a week, having some type of muscle strengthening activity. So, just twice a week and working some of the major muscle groups. So, I mean, there are simple things like a fast walk, taking maybe perhaps during lunch hour. At school perhaps, going on that intense walk with one of your friends from school. Or, if you’re working from home, same thing.

When you’re taking your breaks, perhaps allotting maybe 30 minutes, 30 minutes of your day to go, to starting with perhaps an intense walk. And then, slowly building in other things, maybe you have a bike that’s been collecting dust over a period of time that you might want to consider maybe going for a bike ride and increase that intensity.

Because remember you want to see that modern intensity aerobic activity. And then, consider also the strengthening piece. So, especially if you’re going say for a bike road or perhaps an intense walk, I always say try to fit it into your day somehow. So, maybe doing some repeated sit to stand.

So, you’re stopping at a bench perhaps, you cross your arms and stand up and sit down, maybe just supporting yourself with one leg. Maybe you start with two legs and then one leg. But I mean, that’s an incredible strengthening exercise that you can easily incorporate any time throughout your day.

I know during the conference too, I shared a whole list of exercises and I hope anyone that’s listening perhaps can refer to that handout because it had pictures with instructions. But there are things that you could do perhaps just climbing steps, going up and down the steps sideways.

I mean, even the body weight is working on strengthening, going up and down those steps. And I know, especially at least I remember at my school, there was a lot of steps and I always say, take the stairs, don’t take the elevator. I mean, those are just two examples of things that perhaps you could do.

But there’s, like I said, I would refer you back to the handout. But other things that you consider, sleep is another disease… part of the disease risk profile that you really do need to consider. It’s recommended to have about seven to eight hours per day, per night, and that obviously sometimes is not so easy.

Maybe right now you’re getting five hours because life has become so challenging. So, maybe just try adding maybe half an hour more. Maybe sleeping in just an extra half hour or going to bed a half an hour earlier, and then slowly getting that longer, at least to get to that seven hours, which is probably the minimum amount that you want to get.

The other thing is to consider is your nutrition. We want to hopefully see our patients or our individuals not, I shouldn’t say just patients, but just individuals to stay healthy, eating about every two to four hours a day. I personally eat every two and a half to three hours.

How do I remember that? I actually set a timer on my phone. So, every two and a half hours right now, as of today, it’s set up every two and a half. So, I get alerted. Because let me tell you, it’s out of sight, out of mind. And sometimes, my day just get so crazy that it’s the only way I can remember.

Now, there’s obviously a lot of different things that you could have during that time, but just even the mere fact that you’re eating that frequently is such a help, great healthy habit to get into here as a school season comes up. A couple other things I would think about is really working on that stress relief.

We all have it. It’s something. It’s the inevitable. It’s something that we can’t prevent really from being there. We all undergo some level of stress. But how we cope with it is really what’s most important. And couple just easy things to consider is possibly downloading like the calmer iBreathe app.

There free apps that you can download on android or an iPhone. And they’re amazing. Oh, my gosh. I mean, I will use them during treatment sessions just to help patients relax. I mean, oftentimes so much of their pain and discomfort and just stresses in life are just coming because the mere fact that they’re just not taking time for their health.

And so, we’ll start sometimes in end sessions using apps like that, and it just can make a world of difference. And if you can get yourself into habit perhaps on the drive to work or before you start work and then maybe at the end of the day can make a world of difference.

And then, couple last things perhaps, is if you are smoking that something we hope that you’ll consider maybe a smoking cessation program of some sort, reaching out for some help in that area, of course, that’s a longer conversation. But again, it could be something that you consider perhaps cutting back initially.

But looking into a program that might be able to help you. And then, drinking lots and lots of water. I don’t think we get enough of that. I would say buy a water bottle and fill it up the night before, grab it and take it to work or have it throughout your day.

Or, if you’re at or right next on your desk there, if you’re working from home and make sure you’re drinking. And how much, oh, my gosh, there’s actually apps. There’s another great app that you can download. You can literally program it to so that it knows what your height and weight is and the percentage that you should be drinking a day.

And it will tell you how many glasses. And what’s so great is it’ll give you little chimes to remind you. And there’s tons of them. I’ve probably downloaded maybe five in the past year for clients. So, there’s a lot of free apps there as well to give you that friendly reminder just to keep drinking.

But I always say having that visual there in front of you as I do right now in front of me, it’s so much easier to remember. So, there’s some great things perhaps that you could consider to get you on that healthy start for the new year.

Tim: Yeah. That’s a lot of good options, a lot of good advice there. So, we have a bunch of questions, like I said, that came in from people. And the first question actually has to do with the whole sleep thing that you were just discussing. And question came in and says, I always hear that sleep is important, but never why sleep is so important.

So, they’re curious why. And also, how can I make sure I’m getting quality sleep? Do you have any good advice as far as routines for the evening or what works best to get quality sleep?

Dr. Eva Norman: Absolutely. So, let’s start with the why, right? Why is it so important? And this is an area that I have done quite a bit of research on and gone to a lot of continuing education at this point. Because I was amazed when I started, when I became a physical therapist.

How many of my clients regardless of age from the kids that I work with to even my elderly clients, people really struggled with sleep, especially when they were in enduring perhaps an injury or stresses in their life or perhaps challenges in their life.

And so, I really started looking into this because I saw, I remember reading an article saying how that can really affect your mobility, your function, your quality of life. So, I’m like, okay, well, let’s explore this a little bit more. And I mean, I’m just going to share with you why it’s so important.

And also, what it could possibly, some of the issues it could lead to by depriving your sleep and this is why I think it’s so important. So, let’s talk about what it helps with. First of all, a good adequate sleep, so that’s seven to eight hours, can help improve immune function.

So, if you think about the fact that we’ve been through this pandemic. And we found it was most challenging for people to get through, say perhaps, getting COVID perhaps, when they weren’t sleeping enough. And it was incredible. My patients that never got to this day still don’t have COVID, or still doing extraordinarily well.

What’s the common denominator? Adequate sleep. So, that’s why I mentioned that because it’s huge for immune function. The other thing is, and I think of this from a rehab perspective, because of course we work on a lot of healing, but it actually helps promote tissue healing, which is pretty incredible.

And you can actually heal faster having adequate sleep. The other thing is pain modulation. Of course, when we sleep more, research has shown you have less pain because your body actually can rest for a period of time and relax, which if you’re only getting, say five, six hours, that might not be possible.

The other thing that we’re seeing research supporting is that it improves your cardiovascular health. So, again, anyone out there who is on high blood pressure medications, cholesterol. Imagine if just getting adequate sleep could get rid of those medications, wouldn’t that be amazing?

The other thing that I, and I know Tim, you probably agree with this one, cognitive function. Do we not sleep better, right? Remember things better when we sleep better, right?

Tim: Absolutely.

Dr. Eva Norman: I don’t think I need to convince any of you above. I’m sure you’ve all undergone that, right, so for sure. But the other piece that we, especially one of my specialties is in neurology and it was fascinating to see that we were seeing actually nerve regeneration. It’s called neuroplasticity happen more rapidly with adequate sleep.

Tim: Interesting.

Dr. Eva Norman: Imagine you, God forbid, you undergo a mini-stroke or even a stroke, God forbid. But the fact that just adequate sleep could lead to your healing of the nerves that have been damaged a lot quicker. Of course, you would get that adequate sleep, that’s why they always say too, even following surgeries, get more sleep than you normally get to.

The other thing too, is it also helps with metabolic and endocrine functions. So, interesting one. So, for example, with diabetes, there’s also research to show that can help improve someone, anyone with diabetes and so forth. It can actually improve their kidney function, just sleeping more adequately and perhaps lead to less medication.

Or, even becoming, going from a diabetic to a prediabetic stage just from adequate sleep, which is again really remarkable. So, those are a lot of the whys because it can do so much good for your body, especially with the healing process.

Now, let’s talk about what happens when you have chronic sleep loss and what it’s associated with. And I think this is another good reason a why, right? It can actually lead to depression and anxiety. It can lead to diabetes, imagine that. So, on the flip side, if you get enough, it’s actually supporting, improving the function.

Unfortunately, it can lead to diabetes if you have a chronic sleep issue. It can also lead to obesity, can lead to that cardiovascular disease. So, as you’re hearing here, all the things that it’s positive for now, you see what happens when you don’t get enough.

This next one I’m about to share is probably one of the main reasons, I would say, a lot of my aging population love, make sure that they get their sleep or work really hard is it can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, having a chronic [inaudible 00:17:50]. And there’s even some very minimal, but there is a little bit of research to say could potentially lead to some cancers.

And lastly, there’s even increased risk of mortality over time. So, if that hasn’t convinced you to the why, potentially, hopefully that will. So, think about, again, just trying to increase maybe 30 minutes and perhaps making a goal over time to get back to that seven to eight hours if you’re only say getting five, six.

Now, how can I make sure I’m getting that quality sleep was the question. Great question. So, there’s some areas that I’m going to narrow it down to maybe four areas. So, one of the things that we want to improve upon is enhancing what’s called your circadian rhythm.

It’s the rhythm that we fall throughout the night. And one of the best ways, and I’m just going to give you one example, because honestly, the answer to this question could last a long time. I’ll give you one tip on each of these because there’s a lot we could share.

And I also just as know, I did put a nice little handout with regards to a lot of this, but I’m going to share perhaps a few things that may not have been on the handout. But enhancing that circadian rhythm is helpful. And one of the ways you can do that is wake up at the same time every day.

Get into that ritual of going to bed and waking up at the same time can be huge. Another important thing is to look at is increasing that sleep drive. And how do we do that exactly? So, if you’re not able to fall asleep within what feels like maybe 15, 20 minutes.

And don’t look at your clock, of course, because of course a lot of times we’re like, oh, you can’t sleep and all you do is look at your clock. Or, if you start feeling really worried or anxious about not sleeping. What we recommend is actually getting out of bed and going to another room and doing a relaxing activity.

I think a lot of times people just stay there in bed and just start looking at the clocks and so forth, get all worried and they just, my gosh, can’t get back to bed. But relaxing activity could be maybe listening to an audio book, maybe some soothing music.

Maybe one of those calm and iBreathe app, remember I mentioned earlier. And then, once you’re getting really drowsy, then return back to bed. When you’re feeling really sleepy again, then return back to bed. That’s a great way to get your body to just want to really sleep and get a good relaxing night of rest.

The next thing we want to look at too is reducing what’s called the pre-sleep arousal. How do we do that? Another great way is to improve your sleep quality is to develop a relaxing routine before bed. So, one of the ways you could do that is maybe take a warm bath.

We’ve always heard that, right? We’ve heard that for years. Wow, just a warm bath could certainly help relax the body. Also, maybe reading a book. That actually works for me. It feels like every time I open a book I just fall right asleep. Journaling could be something that you do.

Meditation, again, using those apps to help you meditate. Another great thing with the iBreathe app you can also do is deep breathing, which can be, oh, my gosh, just so relaxing and get your body ready for sleep. So, those are just some easy perhaps ways that you could possibly relax and get into that good routine and improve that quality of sleep.

And lastly, you want to make the environment conducive to sleep. So, one of the great ways is to make your sleep environment as dark as possible. And I know that sometimes that can be hard, especially if you have kids and depending on where you live in this state.

Sometimes, even at 8:00 it’s still bright. And depending on what time you’re getting up there next morning, it could still be light obviously out. And so, sometimes it’s hard to get the bedroom as dark as possible. But certainly, you could put masks over our eyes and so forth.

Another, I had a client recently that was just having a hard time just also cooling her body at night and just getting room ready for sleep as far as making it dark. And what we were able to find, I was going to share this because this was… I couldn’t believe how many people have benefited from this.

But getting one of those masks, that’s actually a nice little cold pack over your eyes. It’s almost like just a nice little mask compress thing. I can’t tell you how many people have loved that. And you’re able to find, I mean, something like that for almost less than $10 on Amazon, just a nice little mask. It’s like a cold pack, put it in the freezer and put it all over your eyes.

And for those that even suffer from migraines, we have found that to be a benefit. And I don’t know if there’s any research behind that, but I have had clients that have been able to seep so soundly that way, cools their body, helps them relax. And then, of course makes the room really dark too. So, there’s some examples of how to improve your quality sleep.

Tim: All right. I definitely struggle with not getting enough sleep. I appreciate some of those tips, and I know I appreciate hearing why it is so important. So, I think that’s something that I will definitely try. Next question. Okay. This comes in saying, I’m super busy during the day.

I only have 20 minutes for my entire lunch break. And it’s sometimes easier to just skip lunch. What are some easy, healthy habits I can get into with snacks or with a quick lunch?

Dr. Eva Norman: I’m going to refer you guys back to the handout that we put together for the conference. However, as I mentioned earlier, you want to eat every two to four hours. And snack should include some good source of protein. Think of protein like gas for a car.

So, you want to have it throughout the day, right? We need that gas to run our car. Well, we need protein to run our bodies. So, some of my favorite snacks are unsalted nuts of some sort. And so, perhaps almonds or peanuts. Also, you could do dried food fruit rather, beef jerky. There’s also protein bars like KIND bars, and That’s It bars that are really helpful.

Also, just one easy thing that you can find anywhere around the house is small can of tuna fish, maybe. You could also perhaps put a hardboiled egg. I always tell patients that, maybe, buy a dozen of them at the beginning of the week or two dozen, and then make them over the week. And that way, you have them for snacks throughout the week. And also, a protein shake can certainly be helpful.

Tim: Okay. That might be a few too many hard boiled eggs for me, but that that’s neither here nor there. I’m not going to begrudge anyone who wants to eat. Hardboiled eggs, that’s a good protein snack. Okay. Next question is, what advice do you have for people who rarely exercise or people who exercise inconsistently? Are there things that can be done during the school day that can ease us into the habit when it comes to exercise?

Dr. Eva Norman: Some of the things that I would recommend because it is difficult. And I have to tell you during the pandemic, I struggled the most. And I was having to listen to my own advice. So, I’ll share with it you, some of the things that have really helped, not only myself, but now many patients, especially during this most challenging period of our lives, right?

A walking treadmill. As a matter of fact, I’m walking on my treadmill right now and it certainly, it helps me just knowing that I’ve been sitting most of the day today. It’s nice that I’m actually up and moving now. Another thing too is perhaps a stationary bike.

They actually have bikes where you can set up your desk space around, which is really nice. And so, that would be another thing. Or even just a regular stationary bike, because I mean, I have both, I also have a stationary bike where I can literally mount my iPad there and be on Zoom meetings and so forth.

So, whatever. But if you have a little shelf or something or attachment that you can add, can make a world of difference. And then, just walking 10 minutes, taking 10 minute walks perhaps building up to 30 minutes. In my presentation, I actually shared with you a walking program from Mayo clinic.

So, I take a look at that because it actually shows you a really safe way to progress yourself over a period of time to increase the amount of walking that you’re doing. So, I would definitely recommend that looking at that.

Tim: Okay. The next question I think is a perfect art teacher question. Something that is pretty specific to us and it says I’m working with my hands all day, mostly clay, but also drawing, typing, just about anything else I do. How can I get rid of the soreness in my hands? And can I do anything to make my hands stronger?

Dr. Eva Norman: Absolutely. And I think strengthening your hands is important. An easy way to do that is, and it’s hard to explain this, of course, through auditory hearing, but through audio rather. But you could put perhaps a rubber band around your fingers and then just work on opening and closing your hands to strengthen those extensive muscles in your fingers.

And then, it’s good to stretch as well. And I’m going to try to see and explain this through audio. But getting into a prayer position where your hands are aligned to one another and then bringing it up to your chest as you’ve probably seen in yoga, and pulling down on that hand and lifting those elbows up so you’re getting a nice stretch there and those wrists.

And holding that for 30 seconds if you’re under 50 years of age, and then 60 seconds if you’re 50 years of age or older is a good one. The other thing you could do is when using your phone or tablet or whatever you’re utilizing perhaps for work.

Or, think about also having it well supported so that you’re not necessarily bending your neck as much as you need to. Like right now, for example, I’ve got the monitors in front me that you want to have them about 18 inches away, and you want to have your eyes on the top third of the screen.

And so, anywhere from half that top third. Again, that avoids having to look down as much and you’re looking more straight ahead so you’re not putting a lot of stress, also, not on your neck, but even still too. I mean, those are things that you obviously want to consider besides your hands.

And then, of course having the keyboard in a place so that your elbows can flex at 90 degrees so they’re not flexed up too high or too low. And that way, they’re kept in a nice neutral position. And then, of course, the phone. There’s little gadgets and so forth that you can actually purchase that you can mount your phone on that can certainly help keep your phone in a good place and so forth.

So, you’re not having to look down and can look straight ahead and keep yourself ergonomically correct. But the other thing is, you want to rest your hands. Give your hands and fingers a break. Every hour perhaps, again, with the timers as I mentioned earlier, those timers can be great during that… when your buzzer goes off, perhaps take time for your… stretch those hands. Move them in circles, in different directions, open and close, doing some fist just to get circulation.

You can do your prayer stretch. And definitely, your hands and fingers will break every 60 minutes. And then, think about switching it up. We strongly recommend you to be ambidextrous as much as possible. And I know you’re probably thinking, oh, my gosh, I’ve never been ambidextrous. How is that possible to do that?

And think about utilizing that hand somehow. I mean, I started this years ago. But I started with feeding myself with my left hand and then writing a little bit with my left hand. And then, I translated it to other sports and so forth like playing tennis.

So, now, I’m actually ambidextrous on both sides. But I mean it’s taken time. I mean, I’ve done this over a period of time. But I’m obviously less likely to be injured by utilizing both sides equally versus just one side, because we all tend to human nature to use our dominant side.

So, think about that, like switching it up. But another thing that I think is really important too is depending on if you’re using a tablet or a mobile device of some sort, you want to have a good gripper on it. And you’ve probably seen those pop sockets that you can attach to the back.

Use those, because that’ll help, again, holding it, being able to hold it in neutral position to protect those risks and so forth. And try to use the microphone as much as you can. So, you’re not texting as much. I have an iPhone so I tend to use my Siri quite a bit.

I tell Siri to text someone, to email someone. And wow, what a world of difference that makes too, just allowing my hands to rest a little bit. And then, of course, you do want to spend time away from the screen and so forth too, to help reduce some of the eye strain and fatigue that we can get from perhaps any devices or anything.

Or even, I mean, you mentioned clay and so forth. I mean you do want to just try to relax. I mean, just like I said, every hour, trying to perhaps walk away from it, stretching, doing some range of motion and relaxing that body, maybe going for a little stroll or something around, but definitely try to move so you’re not sitting in one space.

Tim: All right. Our final question here, which I’m excited about because when I get into running a few years back, I came to appreciate the value of a really good pair of shoes and that’s what this question is asking about. It is, what shoes are best for teachers who are on their feet all day? Do you have a brand you recommend or a type that we should look for?

Dr. Eva Norman: One of the things, what we recommend our patients to do oftentimes because shoes are so important. And I really appreciate this question. Because I have to tell you, a lot of people don’t really take into consideration their shoes. And so, one of the things that you want to check right away, with any of the shoes that you wear on a day-to-day basis is can you fold it in half?

So, if you’re able to fold in half, that’s not a good shoe. It’s not supporting you in any way, shape or form unfortunately. So, I would say put those shoes aside, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking or moving around that day, I would say put those shoes aside.

They’re probably really pretty, but they’re not very supportive for your ankles and so forth. You also want to… you need a wide enough toe box too. A lot of times, especially a lot of ladies, I know there’s a lot, well, I should say gentlemen too. Because I mean, I know some of these nice shoes can be really narrow, right?

But they’re pretty, they’ve got that nice pointed toe. And let me tell you, I’ve got cute heels too. But again, long term use of that can be really hard on the joints, on the tendons and so forth that can lead to issues. So, we want shoes that obviously have a wide enough toe box that can relax your feet, especially as the day goes on, your foot tends to expand.

And that’s another tip that I want to give you guys is you want to purchase shoes. So, when you go to purchase that next pair of shoes, you want to go at the end of the day. Why? Because your foot is most expanded. If you’ve ever bought a shoot where you’re like, wait a minute, it felt so great in the store.

Why is it so tight? That’s probably why. And if you’re doing a whole lot of walking throughout the day, especially doing steps, walking hallways. I can only imagine teachers all the movement that you’re hopefully doing throughout the day or can be doing recommend a good supportive shoe.

But one shoe I would recommend is a running shoe. They’re great. There’s so many name brands, to be honest. I want you just to think about the fact that it fits you well. You have that wide enough toe box and that you can’t fold it in half and so forth.

So, think about one of the great ways that you could find, because I don’t know that name brands are necessarily important to share, it’s more how you feel in the shoe because all of our feed are different shapes and sizes. But one thing that I’ll recommend is that going to a shoe store that has a podiatrist, I know that’s a fancy term, but they’re specialists in measuring.

They’ll do the measurements. And I’m sure you’re probably like, gosh, I’ve never walked into a store that does measurements in such a long time. They are out there. There are shoe stores that do have these individuals. Or, maybe they don’t have a podiatrist but they are measuring feet.

Those are great shoe stores to go to. And I would recommend one of those, getting your foot measured. You definitely need to measure your feet. You’d be amazed that over time your foot can grow too. Depending on the time of year too, your foot can expand. So, making an appointment with them and getting your foot measured can go a long way.

Because in those places, you also will have a wide variety of shoes that you can select from. But I would say a good running shoe or any supportive shoe perhaps that requires because there are good walking shoes as well. But I have to say we’ve had most success with running shoes for clients, really feeling comfortable.

Tim: All right. Thank you, Dr. Norman. It looks like Dr. Norman got cut off so she’s not going to be able to say goodbye unfortunately. But I will say I really appreciate having her on. I really appreciate all of the advice that she has for us. A lot of great stuff when it comes to physical health and sleep, and good ideas for snacks and exercise and all that.

And I know that as a teacher, it’s really tough to think about finding multiple times to snack throughout the day or finding time to exercise throughout the day. And I would just say, do what works for you when it works for you? Okay? A lot of times, the realities of our schedule get in the way of what we should ideally be doing.

But you can find ways to make it work, it’s just a matter of prioritizing things. And like I said, it’s not always going to work with all of the things you want to do. But if you can find the time to decide what’s most important to you, whether that is eating healthier or finding time to exercise, or whatever the case may be, I think it’s worth making the time to do.

And I think it’s worth just taking care of yourself, investing in yourself in that way. So, like I said, I appreciate Dr. Norman with all of her advice. She referenced the handout that she created for the NOW Conference multiple times. I will link that in the show notes.

So, even if you weren’t at the NOW Conference, you still have access to that because there is just so much good information in there. And so, anyway, I hope all of this is helpful for you. I hope I can help you develop some healthy habits, and maybe find some ways to keep yourself a little bit healthier this school year.

Art Ed Radio is produced by the Art of Education University with audio engineer from Michael Crocker. Thank you as always for listening and we will talk to you again next week.

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.