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5 Tips To Prevent Back Pain

5 Tips To Prevent Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common health issues. In fact, 4 out of 5 people experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. It is one of the leading reasons behind people missing work. Back pain may be due to accident or injury but in most cases, it occurs due to people’s failure to do everyday activities correctly.

If you are concerned by the statistics about back pain in adults, here are five simple tips to help you prevent it.

1. Maintain proper posture.

Most people these days spend a large portion of their day sitting in front of a desk. Unfortunately, most have poor posture and tend to slouch. Slouching is unhealthy as it puts unnecessary strain on your lower back. This leads to fatigue, back, neck and shoulder pain and even abnormal alignment of spine.

Sitting up straight while working is therefore very important. To do this, make sure that your chair and workstation are at appropriate distance and height. Ensure that you are sitting in a comfortable chair with proper support for your back, arms and neck. Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips and keep your knees even or slightly higher than your hips with the help of foot rest if necessary. Also, do not sit for prolonged periods; stand up and go for a walk from time to time.

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2. Exercise.

Lack of time and sheer laziness may have reduced people into mere sedentary creatures, but the human body was naturally built to be active. To keep your body in top shape you’ll have to exercise regularly.

Exercise strengthens muscles and help keep you flexible. Strong muscles are necessary to support spinal discs. Weak muscles cause spinal discs to absorb a lot of load, which can cause back pain.

In addition, exercises keep your body in shape and at a healthy weight. Back problems are more common in people who are out of shape and obese because the back has to constantly support the extra pounds.

While exercising is important, what’s more important is doing it properly. Rather than working out heavily on just the weekdays, it will be better to spread out exercising over the course of a week. Furthermore, avoid lifting very heavy items as they put a strain on your back. Instead, stick with exercises that improve core body strength and muscles like strength training, swimming, abdominal crunches and Pilates.

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3. Eat the right food.

The saying “You are what you eat” is very true. Your body needs a healthy, nutritious supply of food to keep functioning at its best. Eating a balanced diet with variety of vitamins, minerals, protein and other nutrition will nourish your bones, discs and muscles and make your back stronger.

Besides, healthy food, with sufficient fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meat, dairy product and food rich in fiber, keeps your digestive system clean and well-functioning. It is well established that irritated bowels and constipation can put pressure on your lower back and cause significant pain. Furthermore, balanced diet keeps your weight in check and thus can help to avoid weight related back pains.

On the other hand, inflammatory foods like processed cheese, enriched white flour and alcoholic drinks can increase back pain. Also avoid spicy food, junk food and sugary foods, which are bad for your back.

4. Get a regular massage.

Just like your body needs activity, it also needs refreshment. People live a very stressful life – the physical and mental demands of today’s workplace is more than enough to make anyone exhausted. In the absence of proper rest and relaxation, your back might suffer heavily as stress-induced muscle tension can lead to back problems.

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A proper massage is probably the best way to release all the stress in your mind and relax your muscles. Whether you go to a professional masseuse or opt for the massage chair, incorporating massages in your fitness regimen will work wonders for your health and fitness. You can have a full body massage to rejuvenate your body, or opt for targeted massages that concentrate on removing pain from sore muscles.

Massage also helps you to improve your spine alignment by reducing pressure on the nerves and improving your posture, both which are essential to prevent back problems.

5. Quit smoking.

Here is one more reason to quit smoking: it causes back pain. The numerous health hazards of smoking cigarettes are well-publicized. Smoking considerably raises your chances of getting cancer such as lung, gum and colon cancer. It increases risks of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases like angina and serious pulmonary diseases like bronchitis. Even psychological problems like depression and anxiety can be attributed to smoking.

To add to all these, smoking also causes back problems. Consumption of nicotine results in the hardening of arteries. As a result blood flow is reduced in the spinal region accelerating disc degeneration. Furthermore, smoking reduces the absorption of calcium, a vital element necessary to keep bones healthy and strong.

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Of course, giving up smoking is easier said than done, but it you are dedicated enough you can do it. Nicotine gums and patches may be able to help you quit smoking for good.

Featured photo credit: Vimeo via i.vimeocdn.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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