When considering our quality of life, we often take our backs for granted. But a healthy spine is essential to our overall health. Want to keep your spine healthy? Here's how.
The ultimate solution to good health whatever you age is a regular physical activity to stay healthy. Try to include these 3 types of exercise into your exercise routine:
- Range of motion exercise such as stretching and bending. Do these every day to keep your joints flexible and to relieve stiffness.
- Strengthening exercise such as weights or machines. Get proper instructions about the use of equipment to avoid injury.
- Aerobic exercise such as walking, tennis, and swimming. Do these 2 to 3 times a week.
Lose the extras!
The more you weigh, the greater the stress on your spine. If you are overweight, losing even 10% to 15% of your body weight can help keep your spine healthy.
It's important to get adequate rest. A good mattress allows you to rest in a neutral position; muscles are relaxed and sleep is more refreshing.
Everyone has been telling us for years not to slouch, but now it's time to listen. Good posture keeps your body in balance and helps avoid excessive stress on your spine:
- Feet slightly apart
- Knees straight
- Chin slightly tucked in
- Shoulders back and down
Smokers have more spine pain than nonsmokers, and they also heal more slowly when they have an episode of back pain because the chemicals in tobacco smoke restrict the flow of blood to the tissues in and around your spine.
FOOD FOR GOOD SPINE
Strong back and neck bones result from diets rich in minerals that repair and strengthen your bones and bone tissues. The following vital nutrients can help you keep your spine strong.
Found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese; dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli; tofu, peanuts, peas, black beans and baked beans; some types of fish (salmon and sardines); and variety of other foods such as almonds.
Found in egg yolks, fatty fish-like salmon and anchovies-fish oils, and most brands of fortified food products. One of the best sources of Vitamin D is simply 20 minutes a day of sunlight
Found in whole grains and breads; nuts like almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds; green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli and spinach; and a variety of other foods like avocados, kiwi, bananas, shrimp and beans.
Found in cheese and nuts and seeds such as brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Found in liver, pork, vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, and dairy products.
DO YOUR CHECKUPS
See your doctor regularly for check-ups. If you have neck pain or back pain, be sure to get it checked out. Left untreated, some spine conditions can continue to get worse and may have serious health consequences.