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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 November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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