We all do our best to stay fit and healthy because we know that it’s the best way to live a long and healthy life (and look great while we’re at it). We hit the gym regularly and when we can’t do that, we take ourselves out for a jog or even just a brisk walk. Although the lure of processed foods is compelling, we’re able to resist 90% of the time…
Okay, maybe 75% of the time, because we know just how detrimental fast food can be to our health. We do our best to cook, plan and prepare healthy and nutritious yet savory meals that ensure that we get the macro and micro nutrients that we need. We load up on fresh vegetables and fruits, and we do our best to ensure that we eat enough of them to guarantee good health and a long life.Overall, most of us lead as pretty healthy lifestyle… but are we really putting our back into it?
The importance of spine health
I know, I know, you put so much effort into your health and fitness, and the notion of having one more aspect of your health to worry about probably doesn’t make you want to turn cartwheels. Nonetheless, our spine health is an important health issue that needs to be taken seriously. Most motions that the human body does involve the use of our back in some way or another and good spinal health is crucial for good mobility. Unfortunately, even most active lifestyles are not conducive to good spine health. Here we’ll look at some ways in which most of us aren’t doing our backs any favors and the simple things that we can do to mitigate the ill effects…
Get out from behind your desk
Modern living involves a LOT of sitting. Sitting is (anthropologically speaking) a relatively new configuration for the human body and one in which we haven’t evolved to be able to do for 8-10 hours a day at work, in the car to and from work and on the sofa when we get home. Sitting can erode the straightness of our spines and put undue pressure on our vital organs leading to digestive issues and increasing our risk of heart disease by over 60%. Moreover, craning our heads forward to look at a monitor all day can also cause curvature of the spine. This is easily remedied, just get up and go for a little walk around your office at least once an hour.
Change your bed
Yeah, like you needed an excuse to treat yourself to a new panel bed. Nonetheless, few of us understand the extent to which our bed and mattress can affect our spinal health. There are many areas in life where it doesn’t pay to cut costs and where you sleep is not one of them. A bed that fails to support your back and a mattress that isn’t changed every 10 years is an open invitation to back pain.
Lift smart at the gym
Surprisingly, those of us with active lifestyles are amongst the most vulnerable to back trouble. If your time at the gym is mostly spent lifting, don’t fall into the bad habit of sacrificing technique for more weight. By piling on more weight than you can handle with the correct lifting technique, not only do you compromise your goals, you run the risk of a range of back problems from muscle injury to a slipped disc.
*This article was contributed.