July 1, 2014 In Wellness
7 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Spine
With the New Year just around the corner, now’s the time to start thinking about how you can make meaningful changes to your life for better health. Here are seven steps you can take to improve the health of your spine and your overall wellness.
- Get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Many of the benefits of regular exercise can be experienced with as little as 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Not only will you decrease your risk of obesity and diabetes, you’ll also experience a reduction in back pain, migraine, and other neuro-musculoskeletal symptoms.
- Deep breathing. Meditation, going on walks, and taking breaks throughout the day can all aide in stress reduction. Lowering your stress can make your immune system more resilient and decrease chronic pain flare-ups.
- Laugh more often. Laughter doesn’t just relieve mental stress; it also fires off a cascade of physical reactions that benefit your health. Studies show that laughing can stimulate the heart, muscles, and lungs— not to mention the flurry of endorphins that are released after a good giggling session.
- Eat your greens. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale, which are rich in calcium, can help to decrease your risk of osteoarthritis. Spinach, lentils, and beans are high in magnesium, a vitamin shown to benefit patients with back pain.
- Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking increases your risk of spinal conditions and arthritis. Smoking cessation has been tied to an improvement in spinal pain. As a bonus, new research shows that smokers who attempt to quit in January are more successful because of the extra motivation the New Year provides.
- Lose weight. Carrying extra weight increase the load on your spine and joints, making you more susceptible to sciatica, disc herniation, and osteoarthritis.
- See a chiropractor. The spine plays an important role in your overall health by ensuring that your nervous system is functioning smoothly. As spinal specialists, chiropractors do not only relieve pain from spinal conditions, they can also assist in improving your overall health. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments reduce the stress hormone cortisol and boost the presence of infection-fighting antibodies in the body.
By: Marissa Luck