What can you do to Maintain a Healthy Body

If you walk a lot, it is important that you maintain a healthy body. Of course you do this by taking in the right nutrients, eating healthy food and drinking enough fluids, but it’s also good to maintain the muscles. But also maintain a healthy body by having your muscles massaged every now and then! My preference then really goes out to the sports masseur who really takes care of the muscles!

What can you do to Maintain a Healthy Body

Prevent Injuries

When I started hiking, early 2016, I had planned to do the Camino Frances that year. That would give me about 800 km in a month. Of course, you have to get your body used to that kind of hiking… and work towards it. At the beginning of that year I started to walk 5 km and in the course of that year that became 15 to 20 km. The first day on the camino I walked 25 and the following days 27, 20, 17 and 29.5 etc.

Onderhoud je Lichaam - Sportmassage - Chiropractor
Zo’n 300 km op weg… Dus nog 500 km te gaan!!

So what I’d been practicing seemed like a piece of cake… but I can tell you it was just right for me. I walked on clouds and had so many conversations and so many distractions that the fact that my legs were walking by themself.

In the whole month that I walked there I only had one massage and the rest actually went well. The right mindset and just being active is actually all you need!

The reason for my maint of a healthy body

I’ve talked about it before… I once had an accident where I was hit head-on as a pedestrian. Then I was lifted out of my shoes and went tumbling over the car. I was very lucky that I didn’t break anything. I was 15 years old at the time and all I had left was a wound in my knee, stretched knee ligaments on the other knee, 2 heavily bruised legs and a severe concussion.

More than 20 years later the muscles in my neck turned out to be completely stuck. I had a severe migraine attack and I never forget that at that time my brother once told me if I couldn’t just look back in a normal way. I turned my whole upper body while looking backwards. My neck muscles were completely stuck…

Maintain a Healthy Body – Yoga

From that moment on, I started working on loosening those muscles. I’ve been to several physio and manual therapists and the doctor of course. They told me that I probably had a whiplash back then but it was never diagnosed.The manual therapist has cracked my neck several times and placed other devices on my upper back, and slowly things got better.

At that time I also started doing yoga exercises.
Everything to keep that neck free and so I started to stand on my head.

It seems so contradictory, but when you consider that you have to train a muscle both ways… Tightening includes relaxation…

If you know how to do one thing right, it’s easier to recognize the other. The tension knew my body but not the relaxation. Through other tension I learned to recognize the relaxation better. This was certainly accompanied by a lot of pain and suffering from stiff neck/shoulder and upper back.

Onderhoud je Lichaam - Sportmassage - Chiropractor
Mabul Island – Januari 2017

In that time I also bought a waterbed. Because of the warmth of the bed, the muscles in my neck and upper back remained more relaxed. Even if you’ve been working out, it’s ideal for less muscle pain the next day! I’ve had that bed for 10 years and only now a normal bed again.

I’m starting to realize more and more that I’ve learned my muscles again in those 10 years what the relaxed mode is and that they now apply it sooner than the tense mode that I’ve applied for over 20 years.

Just as it works in your brain, it works in your muscles too, of course. The beaten path is easier to choose than the new path that you have no experience on yet. So my muscles got back in tensed mode for years when I was in relaxed mode… And now they seem to go into the relaxed mode. Can you figure out how much time it takes to change that…

How to Maintain a Healthy Body?

I was lying on the massage table again last night and then I realized this. Lately I have been suffering less often or almost no longer from a tensed neck for no reason. In my opinion this is really due to the fact that they now know the relaxed mode better than the tightened mode that I have used from the age of 15 until the age of 35… I am now 46….

Sportmassage – Maintain a Healthy Body

In that period I had colleague Elena who asked me to be her test subject. She learned to be a sports masseur and had to have a test subject. Of course I wanted that. I learned a lot from her and she fortunately from my body. So it was a win-win situation. Because she talked out loud while she massaged me to learn what she was doing I learned too. Super interesting!

I still get massages every 1 to 2 months to get my muscles squeezed – so to speak. To have the knots removed and thus solve the blockages that can form problems. To let the blood circulation be optimal again and to do the disposal of waste products properly.

It’s painful but oh so healthy. I have bruises sometimes but in the end it makes you walk so much better. In the long run I really think this is a MUST to do. Even though you don’t suffer from anything (yet), maintaining your muscles this way is good for you.

Maintain your body and keep massaging!

Onderhoud je Lichaam - Sportmassage - Chiropractor
Sometimes dark clouds hang over your Camino

Chiropractor – Maintain a Healthy Body

I often crack my neck myself. Everybody can, but not everybody does it because it’s not always necessary… But if I push my jaw aside I crack my neck vertebrae and if they are stuck for a while I can crack them open again. I did that myself for a period of time, I didn’t go to the manual therapist because it wasn’t necessary anymore.

When I got pain in my hip/lower back after the Nijmegen Four Days Marches I kept on going on for a long time without really deciding for a therapy. I hoped somehow that it would go away. I also suffered from an ankle… On the four days it started with an overburdened muscle just below my knee. I was with the physiotherapist and he massaged it and told me to rest. I did that for almost a year until I was fed up because it didn’t get any better.

Onderhoud je Lichaam - Sportmassage - Chiropractor
A young fan in tow during the Nijmegen Four Days Marches

Something else had to happen, so I made an appointment with the chiropractor!

I made an appointment with the chiropractor for the first time, if that didn’t work out I would go on to the osteopath. Something else had to happen. I couldn’t even get out of the car properly sideways… I first had to turn something around so I could get out of the car almost without twisting my hips…

Can you see it yet?
When a policewoman gets out of a car like that and then inspires public confidence??

So I went to the chiropractor and before that I had filled in a whole questionnaire about my physical background. First I had a conversation there to explain what was going on and what I came for. After I was laid on the table and he turned my lower back in such a way that something cracked far in the lower back there was immediate relief.

He explained to me that there was something stuck between the pelvis and one of the lower vertebrae. And he was sure that this was probably the culprit.

I also really felt right that it was good but stayed, because you’ve been doing that for months, still careful with getting in and out of the car until I accidentally didn’t do it that same evening and realized that it didn’t hurt either!

Maintain a Healthy Body – Visit the chiropractor

So what I had been walking with for almost a year, where the physiotherapist kept massaging me and told me to keep calm, was now with one crack loose and immediately over! I was so happy! Immediately I could do everything again that hurt so much before!

I could even sit in half Lotus Position!!

I spend a lot of time in half lotus position… It was not able for a while, but immediately after treatment I was able to do that without pain! That no aftereffects like that still surprised me. It was over and I no longer suffer from it.

Onderhoud je Lichaam - Sportmassage - Chiropractor
A short break while hiking the Hanzestedenpad. I love getting my feet underneath me and sitting straight up!

If I had listened to the physiotherapist it would only have gotten worse and I think I would never have gotten rid of it. These things don’t dissolve by themselves, these things don’t come loose or crack by themselves!

My advice is, therefore, don’t leave it at that if something doesn’t get better. I wasn’t referred, I was only asked if we would plan more appointments for the useless massage work that was done at the physiotherapist. This sounds very negative but it felt like it. There was no progress and no alternatives were offered to make progress.

So always keep thinking for yourself and look for better treatments that can make progress!

Now I visit the chiropractor about twice a year and I can recommend everyone to go to the chiropractor as well. Even if it’s just to check if everything is still straight. I never forget what he said to me and what they run into with health education for citizens.

Maintain a Healthy Body in Time!

We, in The Netherlands, are obliged to go twice a year to the dentist for maintenance, is now once a year, but still … So that’s where we have to keep our finger on the pulse.


If you then realise that your whole body hangs on your spine and that it is never checked to see if it’s still straight, that’s weird, isn’t it?

Many pains and complaints can be traced back to a lopsided vertebra. Because if the vertebra is a little bit crooked the muscle needs so straighten that, where the muscle needs to straighten something it will pull on the other side of a limb etc… In this way all kinds of parts of your body can get stuck by a slanting vertebra in that column. Have it straightened out in time by, for example, going to the chiropractor every year. In this way you can prevent a lot of complaints.

Onderhoud je Lichaam - Hoofdstand, Kaarsrecht
Standing as straight as possible in the Sahara of Morocco

There’s a lot of info on this website and see if it might be something for you. Even if there is nothing wrong then it is still good to do a check up if everything is really good and maintain it.


Make sure you also maintain your body and raise the alarm with the various experts in time if you experience complaints. If the first option does not work in your opinion, do not be shy in asking another expert for her/his opinion. I have really learned from this! Many options do not even require a referral from your doctor.

And you can always visit that sports masseur for an hour!


Are you paying attention to your posture?

I’ve had trouble with my shoulder for a while. There was thought of bursitis but whatever was done about solutions…everything was of temporary relief. In the car, hands on the wheel, hanging painfully in my shoulder…  When I sat on the couch my shoulder hurt and my arm pulled on it. Eventually I realized that it had to be my posture.

Pay daily attention to your posture

I didn’t do anything to sustain the pain of workouts… I didn’t stand on my head for a while…the handstand I left out for a while and the crane pose I also left out…. All these poses I love because they need balance and strength. And give you a real workout.


What have I done to fix it?

Keeping my back straight.

We arraised with the advice of sitting upright, adopt a good posture etc. But in the meantime we don’t keep our back that straight and slowly sneak in these kinds of pains. And this kind of pain will eventually cause long lasting complaints.

Kraanvogel pose in Nepal

So I have become more aware of my posture and keep in mind that I am sitting upright. I try to do this as often as possible … and the more often I do this, the more I unconsciously begin to adopt the correct posture.

I’m paving the path in my body the right way again!
That’s how it works in your brain but also in your body.

Besides, when I go to sleep, I didn’t leave my arm hanging in front of my body but put it on my side. I always lay on my side and the arm would hang down in front of me on the mattress. So shoulder not straight… Luckily I lie quite still in my sleep and for the most part it stays like this during the night.

After a few months I’m now just complaint-free. I have done nothing but take into account the posture of my body. Everything falls and stands with the right posture and use of our body.

How simple can it be, huh?

But how stupid are we to think all the time… Well, it’s nice like that too…


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What can you do to Maintain a Healthy Body

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I hope you enjoy this world as much as I do!