5 Tips for a Healthy Back
Until you don’t have a healthy back, it can be easy to forget how important it is to have one. A strong, healthy back and spine can highly enhance your quality of life. But when your back hurts, it can create quite an impact, causing constant pain, making even the simplest tasks difficult, uncomfortable or even impossible. A healthy back and spine allows you to get through your day without pain, frees you to do the physical activities you want to do, and it helps protect you from significant back injury.
Sit properly (and sit less)
Sitting puts more pressure on the discs in your lower spine which can cause or worsen pain in the back. Ensure you have the right office chair that supports the natural curves of your back and helps you sit upright properly. Try to limit the amount of time you sit, or consider getting a standing desk so that you can move back and forth between standing and sitting. And when you are sitting, don’t slouch or lean forward. Sit upright and practice good posture, with your neck and back in alignment.
Exercise your core
When the core muscles in your lower back and abdomen are strong, they can better support your spine. A strong core takes pressure off your lower back. Exercise also helps get the blood circulating in the back area. Do yoga, swimming, cycling, low-impact aerobics, stretching and other targeted exercises to tone and build your core.
Wear proper shoes
Proper shoes provide support and give you a base that helps your body and back stay aligned. Shoes should have a snug heel and arch support. It’s also important that they fit well. The right fitting shoes prevent your feet from rolling too much to the outside or inside when you walk, which keeps your spine in balance.
Sleep on a firm mattress
A mattress that is too soft will allow your spine to sag while you are sleeping instead of supporting it. Select a mattress that is firm enough to support your spine. Support your back when you sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs to keep the hips balanced. When you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees to reduce stress on your lower back.
Don’t lift heavy objects
Your back simply wasn’t designed to lift heavy things. Protect it from stress and pressure, and use hand trucks or other ways of moving objects. When you do carry things, hold them centered in front of you and close to the body. Don’t carry anything heavy over one shoulder, such as a loaded bag or backpack.