There has never really been anything more crucial to me compared to health, fitness and weight loss. I want everyone on the planet to be healthy and balanced. That’s why I discuss information and books like right stuff below. If you have not read anything concerning this I most definitely recommend you do some extra study. A fast search of Google will give you a range of posts on the topic so absolutely do that after you are done reading this.
If youve ever had back pain, you know one thing for sure its awful to deal with!
If not, consider yourself very, very fortunate. In fact, according to the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, an average of 31% of Americans reported having a neck or back condition within the last 12 months! Back pain is definitely no fun. It hurts. It keeps you from doing your favorite activities. And its SLOWWWW to heal. So do yourself a huge favor make back health a carefully planned part of your fitness routine.
Still not convinced?
OK, thats understandable. If your back feels good now, theres no reason to think something bad will happen tomorrow. But it can. I know. Because I learned the hard way. One day I felt fine. Then next dayBOOM!
It can happen to anyone, young or oldIt can happen at any timeIt can happen when you least expect it
Sorry to make back pain sound so depressing. Its just that PREVENTING back pain is a much more desirable option than treating it!
How do you prevent back pain?
Many experts will tell you just do these 5 core exercises and youll live happily ever after without ever hurting your back.
Maybe. But maybe not.
Core exercises are definitely an important ingredient for keeping your back healthy. But its not the only ingredient. If youve ever cooked, you know that with any good recipe you need to have a combination of the following:
The right ingredients In the right amounts And in the right combination
Its the same with keeping your back strong & healthy. If all you do are core exercises, you might be missing out on one or two (or three) of the right pieces that will keep you from having to crawl in to see your chiropractor!
So, lets take a look at some specific tips that can help you avoid one of the biggest health problems that people face today back pain!
Here are the DOs and DONTs for a healthy backThe 8 DOs of Maintaining a Healthy Back:1: Take A Walk
Walking is one of the most effective, most natural exercises you can do to keep your back healthy. No, its not as vigorous as running. Not as challenging as the elliptical. Not as satisfying as an intense workout. But for your back, its perfect! Still not sold? Then think of walking as a form of active meditation for your overall health. Your back will be happier & healthier for it!
2: Wear Good Shoes & Sneakers
If you spend any significant amount of time on your feet either at work, while running or walking, or just socializing get yourself a good pair of shoes or sneakers that are well cushioned. you can also get a pair of gel inserts for extra comfort! The cushioning will definitely help take pressure off your back. For work, there are several good brands of walking shoes, such as Rockport. Or even better get a pair of brown or black sneakers which look like shoes. Most people will never know the difference. And your feet will also thank you!
3: Listen To Relaxing Music (Or Meditate)
Getting rid of stress will help your mind as well as your body! Relaxation is so important for both your physical and emotional health. You can listen to relaxing music in your car or at your desk. Or you can take a few minutes to meditate and simply focus on the moment. Meditation does not have to be some mystical experience all you need is a quiet spot with no distractions, and focus on nothing but your breathing for just 5-10 minutes. If thoughts come into your mind, just focus on your breathing. It wont take long before this is one of your favorite activities, and will relax your entire body!
4: Make Sure Your Desk Is At The Correct Height
If you spend a this lot of time sitting in front of a computer, youll put a lot of pressure on your back. Ugh. Prop up your computer screen so it is at eye-level (old books are great for this purpose!) keep your feet flat on the ground and out in front of you, and dont slouch. Put a small pillow or rolled-up towel between your back & chair to keep the natural arch in your back. And you can even take deep breaths and draw in your ab muscles for a little extra support! (and if you havent considered a standing desk, its definitely an option to research)
5: Exercise RegularlyOne of the worst things you can do is NOT schedule time to work out. Even if youre a super-busy person, all you need is 20-30 minutes a day of activity to reap the benefits morning, lunch time, evening whatever time of day works best for you. Dont have time to work out? Then put it in your schedule just like all your important events!6: Be Careful How You Lift Things
Sounds obvious, right? The next time youre at the gym, take a look around I bet youll see at least 2 or 3 people doing some type of strange contortion just so they can lift more weight. BAD MOVE! Youre just asking for back trouble. But this tip applies not just to working out you should be careful all throughout the day. Any time you lift a heavy box or bag or piece of furniture, take your time, bend your knees and NOT your back, then lift with your legs!!!
7: Warm Up Before Exercising
Before you do any type of exercise, start with a short warm-up 5 minutes of running in place, 10-20 push ups, jumping jacks, burpees anything to get the blood flowing before you start putting serious stress on your body. Dont push yourself too hard just have fun for a few minutes to get your body loose. Now your body will be ready for a good workout!
Heres a quick living room warm-up you can do to get the blood flowing:
8: Build A Really Strong Core
Were not talking just a few old-school situps once or twice a week. And theres more to a strong core than just crunches, too. Keeping your core strong & healthy so it can properly support your spine means adding a series of 3-4 core exercises to your daily workout schedule. With so many exercises to choose from, core work doesnt have to be boring or monotonous but it is EXTREMELY important to keep your back healthy.
What are some fun core exercises? Here are just a few:
The 7 DONTs of Maintaining a Healthy Back1: Dont Sit Too Long
Sitting is the new smoking! So if you have a desk job, get up and take a short walk every hour. Walk around your office. Go outside for some fresh air. Visit a co-worker. Mix it up so your boss doesnt get worried about your work habits (or better yet, get your boss in on the action!). And if you are driving for a long time, try to take pit stops as often as possible. Keep moving and your back will thank you!
2: Dont Stand Up Too Long, Either
Standing is better for your back than sitting. But standing for too long also puts pressure on your back. So take a short break once in a while to either walk around, sit down, or even lie flat on the ground if you can. This will help your back decompress. And you can even use the time to meditate!
A great book for strengthening your back and core3: Dont Push Through Back Pain
A little twinge may be nothing more than a little twinge. But take it from someone whose little twinge turned into numbness, which turned into a bulging disk, which turned into a herniated disk, which turned into a big old mess! That one little twinge may be your bodys way of telling you that something wrong is brewing and needs to be checked right away. For me, it was all caused by muscle imbalances, which put awkward stress on my spine. If I had only paid attention and worked on fixing the imbalances, I might have avoided years of back pain!
4: Dont Bend Or Twist Quickly Or Awkwardly
Especially as you get older, be careful when you turn & bend. Enough said.
5: Dont Gain Too Much Weight
Did you know that for every extra pound of weight you carry it puts up to three-pound of pressure on your body? So, if youre just 10 pounds overweight, it puts nearly an extra 30 pounds of pressure on your back (and knees and hips and ankles). Not to mention that it can pull your spine & body out of proper alignment. There are lots of benefits to maintaining a healthy weight but for the health of you back it is super important!
6: Dont Sit On Your Wallet Or Carry Your Bag On The Same Side All The Time
Yes, its true, sitting on your wallet can easily push your spine out of alignment. Even if youre money-challenged like me and your wallet is pretty thin, its still enough to cause a problem. At first it feels a little weird putting your wallet in your front pocket, but youll get used to it pretty quickly. Same with carrying a purse or backpack or laptop bag if you always carry it on the same shoulder, eventually youll start looking like the leaning Tower of Pisa!
7: Dont Slouch
Slouching is one of the worst habits you can have if youre trying to keep your back healthy. When you slouch your back curls and you exert a lot of additional pressure on your lower back. Your upper back & neck will also curve forward unnaturally. And eventually youll pay the price! So sit http://ift.tt/MO9BjC up straight, keep your lower back slightly arched, gently hold in your stomach muscles, and pull your chin in a bit. And dont slouch while you walk either let your legs & arms & hips move freely, through a full range of motion.
Sound like a lot of work?
Well, it is.
But take it from someone whos dealt with a whole range of back issues its well worth it! If your back feels fine, lucky you. But dont wait until theres a problem. Keep your back healthy starting now so you dont have to go through the uncomfortable pain those of us who arent so lucky have to deal with.
And if you already have back pain, its not too late! Follow these tips to get your back feeling better again.
Do you have any tips for keeping your back healthy? Let us know in the comments below
Author Bio: Kris Bickell
Kris Bickell created WeekendWarriorZone.com to share his love for fitness. Youll find fun workout tips for weekend warriors of all ages. All you need to join in the fun is a desire to work hard & play hard! For a complete body-weight workout sign up for Kris free report: 21 Fun Bodyweight Exercises That Will Get You Into Awesome Shape (That You Can Do Anytime & Anywhere)
The Whole Life Fitness Manifesto
30 minutes a Day for a Healthier Body, Mind & Spirit
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