Suggestions and tips to help protect your back and general health, particularly over the upcoming holidays.
- How and what we eat is always important, traditional practices of overeating and eating too much unhealthy food are of special concern. A bulging stomach can put pressure on your body’s support systems, including your spine and spinal nerves.
- Every extra pound in the abdominal region could put 10 pounds more stress on the lower back putting an added strain on the supporting structures of the spine and nervous system.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less red meat, bread, pasta, chips and fats/oils.
- Instead of flopping on the couch or taking a nap after eating that holiday dinner, take a walk or participate in physical activities that can include the entire family. A 15-30 minute walk will ease stomach discomfort and burn some of the extra calories, as well as help relieve stress.
- If you’re doing the cooking and standing for extended periods of time, use a foot rest, to elevate one foot about six inches above the floor. This will relieve tired leg and back muscles. When you use a foot rest and alternate each foot, it also helps to improve your posture.
- Traveling and being out of your routine adds stress of its own. Plenty of rest, packing light and allowing extra time will go a long way in minimizing the stress on both body and mind. If you must carry bags, be aware of carrying too much in bags with shoulder straps that pull your body out of alignment or put a heavy load on your shoulders.