As we age, acclimate to new sports, or simply change jobs from something physical to something stationery, our bodies may need a chance to catch up to our activities. Eating right and getting exercise are the cornerstones of personal care, but your back needs a little something extra, and taking care of it should be a priority. The back is the center of much of your motion, and controls much of your dexterity and coordination.
Lift from Your Knees
You’ve probably heard it all of your life, but if you haven’t, you are now: make absolutely sure that you use your lower-body strength to lift. The only exceptions are certain exercises that require the arms and shoulders to take the brunt of the weight. Lifting from your waist puts you at an outrageously high probability of injuring your back, and back injuries can be very delicate and difficult to treat.
Keep Your Weight in Check
Having an excess of weight puts a strain on all of your bodily systems, but your immune system and skeleton are especially vulnerable if you are a person that lives with a high body mass index (BMI). Losing weight is a high priority for those looking to protect their backs, and healthy weight is good to maintain overall. At a healthy weight, you are less likely to develop certain diseases and more likely to live a longer life.
Get Your Exercise
Keeping a strong core and doing gentle sets of back muscle exercises is an excellent way of protecting your back. With plenty of strong muscles surrounding it, your spine can rest comfortably with you good posture, and rely on support from your core.
Make Sure Your Bed is the Right Combination of Soft and Firm
Sleep is extremely important when it comes to staying healthy. Mattresses are extremely important when it comes to making sure that you get your hours of supportive, quality rest. If you are waking up with stiffness or fatigued muscles, you may want to consider replacing your mattress. Without proper support, your mattress could be the source of injury, but without proper comfort, your mattress will not be able to lull you into your much-needed sleep.
Manage Stress Effectively
Much of our bodily aches and pains are a result of not being able to properly and thoroughly manage stress. Stress can be deadly, causing heart attacks, stroke, lowering immunity, and putting the production of cortisol into overdrive. Managing stress is a favor that you do for your back that has positive results for your entire body, including your brain.
Alternate Between Sitting and StandingIf, like most people, your job doesn’t require you to get up from your desk, make sure that you take the initiative to get out of your seat to walk for a few minutes, get some fresh air, and stretch your legs. If your job requires you to stand, make sure to take the time to rest, and try to do so with good posture. Doing both of these in either situation is good light exercise for your back, and prevents stiffness.