Taking care of your back is a crucial element of staying healthy throughout your life. Just like eating vegetables and getting exercise, it is something everyone needs to do. Taking care of your back helps you prevent or eliminate troublesome back pain so you can live your life to the fullest.
Here are 7 things you should be doing to help your spine and back stay at it’s healthiest!
Choose A Good Mattress
You spend a large portion of your day sleeping so choosing a good mattress should be high on your priority list. Your mattress can affect how you sleep and the quality of the sleep you do get. A lumpy and unsupportive mattress will result in lost sleep and and stress on your back.
Make sure your mattress is supportive and promotes the proper alignment of your back and neck. Mattresses or mattress toppers made out of memory foam can conform to your body’s unique curves and protect your spine while giving you a good night’s sleep.
Sit & Stand While Working
Just like sleeping, you probably spend a large amount of time sitting if you have an office job. Many of us spend our 9 to 5 hours sitting in an uncomfortable position hunched over a computer. This can be bad for your back since the discs are three times as loaded when you are sitting versus standing.
Make sure you are protecting your back while sitting by choosing a ergonomic office chair. If you are able to use a standing desk at your office then you should incorporate more standing into your day. You can find standing desk converter kits or standing desks under $100 to make it an affordable switch. If you are forced to sit then make sure you take time to get up and take a walk around throughout your shift as sitting in the same position for long periods of time can be very stressful for your body. Getting up and giving yourself breaks standing and walking can help relieve a lot of the pressure.
Stretch Your Body
Stretching in an under rated method of exercise and wellness. Stretching can help you decrease your chances of back pain since it allows you to maintain normal joint function and range of motion. These things help reduce the risk of injury and keep you healthy.
Tight hamstrings are a common cause of back pain so keeping them stretched out can help keep your back healthy and feeling good. Take a few minutes out of your day every day to stretch your hamstrings, back muscles, and any other body part that may be tight. It will make a huge difference in your life.
Work Your Core
Developing a strong core including your abs and back muscles is a great way to take care of your back. While having a six pack might seem cool it is very important not to neglect the rest of your core muscles including the back muscles. Exercising your ab and back muscles regularly promotes a healthy spine in addition to an overall healthy body. Building a strong core will help you do everything throughout your day in an easier way. Incorporate ab and lower back exercises into your existing workout routine to make sure you are taking care of your back.
Wear The Right Shoes
Did you know that your shoes have a huge impact on your back? Well they do!
Your shoes provide a base of support that keeps your whole body and spine in proper alignment. Wearing shoes like high stilettos can affect this alignment and put stress on your back. If you want to make sure you are providing your back with the proper footwear then you should choose shoes that are balanced, flexible, and comfortable. If you don’t want to purchase new shoes to fit this need then you can buy comfortable shoe inserts to help achieve the same goal. Wearing the right shoes will prevent you from strain and injuries to your back and muscles.
Many back injuries happen from improper lifting techniques. It is very easy to hurt your back when you are lifting a heavy object which is why you need to be careful whenever you are lifting something so you do not twist the wrong way or damage your spine.
Lift carefully by standing close to the object being listed and using the muscles in your legs to lift rather than your back and upper body. Bend your knees so you can be closer to the object and keep the object close while you carry it. Doing these small things and being careful when lifting can prevent back injuries and a world of hurt.
You probably already know that drinking water is a big part of living a healthy lifestyle. It also plays a major role in keeping your back healthy too!
Drinking water keeps your body hydrated which maintains soft tissue elasticity and joint fluid. Staying hydrated means your spinal discs won’t shrink from dehydration, a problem that can leave you vulnerable to painful conditions like ruptured discs and bulges. Keeping your body well hydrated means you’ll avoid all of this and have a very healthy back for many years to come!