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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 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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