Your Back is a Great Support System
By Donna Stark
It's hard to focus on a healthy diet if everyone around you is eating burgers, fries, and dessert while you are eating fish and rice cakes. It's also hard to commit to daily exercise if your back screams in pain every time you move. Committing to, and sticking with, healthy habits is certainly a lot easier when you have a strong support system around you, isn't it? And obviously, your friends and family are one way to find that type of support, but I bet you have never considered that your spine could be another way ... only in a more literal sense. Think about it. From sitting, to standing, to dancing the night away, your spine is the one thing that supports and moves you, it has your back, so it's vital that you take care of it.
Healthy Habits for Your Back
When it comes to support systems, there isn't anything more important than a healthy back and spine. Want to make lasting and positive changes to your health and fitness? Take care of your team! Here are some suggestions.
- Posture - Be intentional with your posture! Poor posture can wreak havoc on your spine and cause significant pain in your back so be mindful of how you sit, stand, walk, and sleep.
- Core exercises - Weak core muscles can be a contributing factor to back pain and the best way to combat that is to add specific exercises to your lifestyle that will help to strengthen them. Swimming is a great option to start with if you are already experiencing pain.
- Lifting - Have you ever found yourself bending over at your hips to lift something up? Or twisting your body in such a way that Harry Houdini would be proud? We've all been careless with proper lifting techniques and unfortunately, some of us have even gotten hurt doing so. It's important to use the proper form, lift with your legs, and move with intention.
- Proper athletic form - No matter how strong or fit you are, if you aren't using the proper form while being athletically active, you may end up with a serious injury. So, just as you should when lifting, be sure to use the proper form and if you aren't convinced that you are, ask a coach or trainer for guidance.
- Hamstring stretches - Believe it or not, tight hamstrings can significantly impact the health of your lower back by affecting the way your back moves, lifts, twists, and bends, so keep them flexible by safely stretching them.
Your Support Systems
Show your appreciation to the loved ones who are skipping dessert with you and be careful with the health of your back. It can be hard to do things alone, but when you have strong support systems backing you up, it's amazing how far you can go!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bellevue, Wash.