We often ignore our backs (probably because they are at the back and we can’t see them!) until they make their presence known with aches, cramps and pains.
Good posture and back health are essential for living a healthy and comfortable life. Keeping your back strong and healthy is crucial in order to avoid pain, discomfort, and potential injury. In this article, we’ll discuss how to keep your back healthy and strengthen your spine. We’ll look at different exercises, stretches, and tips that can help you maintain good posture and prevent injuries.
The better approach is to take notice of your back before it starts aching and take action to keep them healthy and strong. Here are some tips to try:
Choose a supportive mattress & pillow.
While you are sleeping, your back should be resting and relaxing too. To enable your back to relax fully, the mattress you sleep on must do its part and keep your back fully supported and properly aligned. Check your mattress; if it is sagging in places or can no longer give you the support you need to keep your body in line and not twisted, it may be time to look for a new one.
As well as your mattress choosing the right pillow can also play a part in keeping your back healthy. A pillow that does not give you the support you need can also lead to your back being out of alignment, creating aches and problems over time.
Exercise your back.
Due to modern, more sedentary lifestyles, we often use our muscles less than we have in the past. This means many of the muscles in our body that surround and support our backs, known as core muscles, can become weak. Strengthening these muscles will help to support and lessen the strain on your back to keep it in good condition.
Activities like yoga and Pilates are well known for toning and strengthening the back and core. You can check with your doctor or therapist if these activities will help you or for specific exercises to help tone these particular muscles.
Many of us are sitting more than ever before as our jobs require us to be in front of a computer screen, which can often lead to slouching and poor posture. This can put a strain on your back and cause back pain. Having a chair which gives you full support and supports the curve of your back should help, as should sitting correctly to allow the chair to support you.
Sitting for only a short period is also essential to keep your back healthy. Our backs are designed to move and not stay stationary for long periods. Try to get up at least every hour to move and stretch or have a standing desk which you can use for some periods of the day. Going for a walk at lunchtime or when you have calls and good reception is an excellent way to keep moving during the day.
It can be easy to forget how to lift objects properly until you feel pain in your back, by which time the damage can already be done. When lifting heavy objects, keep your back straight, bend your knees and use the power of your legs to help you and if you are in any doubt, always ask for assistance.
Keep a healthy weight.
Excessive weight puts additional stress and strain on the spine and can cause problems due to the physical pressure it puts your back under. Maintaining a healthy weight may help to avoid these problems and keep your back in good shape.
Our backs are often taken for granted and only get our attention when they begin to ache, even though they are such a vital part of our bodies. Taking a little time to look after your back now and keep it healthy and strong by exercising and giving it breaks can help you stop the little aches and pains and any long-term damage caused by something as simple as sitting at your desk too long.