Five Habits of a Happy Spine
Your spine is a channel for communication between your brain and the rest of your body, so it’s vitally important you keep it as healthy as possible. The following is a set of FIVE quick tips that will help your spine stay healthy.
It is vital to practice these points even when you feel fine, as creating healthy habits helps prevent future problems.
1. It’s carried well.
For a healthy spine, good posture is crucial. Are you sitting or standing up straight as you read this? If you were to look at yourself from the side, is your ear, middle shoulder, hip, mid knee, and ankle in a line? They should be! Commonly the head and shoulders creep forward – this is poor posture and can cause problems.
2. There’s always time for exercise.
Stretch your legs and back after each hour of sitting: Whether in a car or at a desk, stretching regularly will help keep you from tightening up or injuring yourself. Movement is the key! If you sit for a prolonged time, your muscles and joints become stiffer.
Regular breaks and stretches help to maintain healthy joint and muscular function.
A happy, healthy spine needs regular exercise to function well. So, what’s the best way to exercise your spine? You’ve heard it before, but getting your recommended 30 minutes minimum of moderate intensity exercise on all or most days of the week will give you general health benefits as well as keeping your spine strong and healthy.
3. It gets proper nutrients.
When we eat healthily, chances are we’re more conscious of how it may help our clothes fit well than what it does for our nervous system. A healthy diet high in leafy greens and vegetables can help our body better accommodate stress and allow our nervous system to function optimally. Eating organic, unrefined food and drinking at least eight glasses – two litres – of pure water every day. Our cells are our body’s building blocks and they need fuel to stay healthy.
Aim for five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit per day.
4. Your spine is well rested.
Not getting enough sleep each night can wreak havoc on our entire body—including our spine. Your spine helps you stay upright all day, and it needs its time to relax and rejuvenate just like the rest of you. Make sure your spine is supported during sleep and avoid stomach slumber when possible.
Sleep on your back or side, never your stomach: Avoid sleeping on your stomach; it twists your neck. Also, avoid the fetal position; it reverses your spinal curves.
5. Don’t overload your backpack, purse or wallet.
- Remember to carry your backpack over both shoulders to balance the load (if possible).
- Children are advised to carry less than 10 per cent of their body weight in a school backpack and this is also sound advice for adults.
- Keep your wallet out of your back pocket when sitting, especially when driving.
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