8 Lifestyle Hacks to Follow to Avoid Back Pain at 40’s
Back pain can be excruciating at any age but as people move into their 40’s, poor posture or bad habits when sitting, standing or lifting can play a role in the onset of back pain. If exercise is reduced, core muscles start to weaken and even the slightest movement can lead to muscular spasms or worse. Recurring pain that occurs through faulty body mechanics is often preventable and by making some lifestyle alterations, it is possible to sustain flexibility, keeping the back strong and healthy irrespective of age. Here are 8 lifestyle hacks that are easy to follow and will help you avoid back pain:
Eat healthy now
Inflammation is crucial to healing, but at times, it can become chronic leading to swelling and pain. This happens in the spine where there is a herniated disc or arthritis. Some foods will trigger an inflammatory response while other foods reduce inflammation. Opt for plant-based foods and fewer animal products. In addition, reduce processed foods and avoid any containing trans fats or those labeled partially hydrogenated. Choose additional vegetables, beans, peas, and fruits and limit white bread and sugar.
Control your body fat
Body fat (adipose tissue) stores energy gained through the diet and it is distributed beneath the skin known as subcutaneous fat. This tends to be deeper around the stomach where it protects vital organs and helps keep the body warm. Too much fat can impact hormones and lead to the risk of diseases such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
To control body fat, increase exercise to burn calories taken in and this increases metabolic rate. Where there is body fat, there will be a greater risk of back problems as excess weight adds strain and pressure to the spine. The lumbar region is often affected and the center of gravity changes pulling the body forward. Strength training can contract the muscles against resistance, but it pays to follow a high protein diet and to reduce fizzy drinks and alcohol.
Perform stretching exercises at home
It can be difficult to find time to exercise especially if working long hours but there are many stretches that can be done at home including:
Yoga cat/cow sequence – this is two exercises in one and it provides a lovely gentle stretch on the spine, it is also simple to do. Start on all fours, inhale and on the exhalation, begin to round the back, pushing through the hands, dropping the head and while lifting the rounded spine towards the ceiling. Inhale, and then, bring the head and tail bone upwards, arching the spine, keep the abdomen drawn in. Repeat as required.
Supine twist – this provides a wonderful release to the whole back and neck. Start by lying on the back with arms in a T-shape. Bring the knees up towards the chest and then, lower the knees to the left of the body. Keep the neck neutral or, turn to look in the other direction to increase the stretch. Keep both shoulders on the floor. Repeat on both sides.
Sleep early and wake early
A sleep routine is all-important. Sleep aids the mind and body in so many ways, it affords greater mental clarity, more energy and helps the body to heal properly. The immune system is also boosted. Sleep is so beneficial for all aspects of life but it also eases pain.
Start jogging in the morning
Taking an early morning run can be a beneficial way to start the day. It is easier to make a commitment to exercise at the start of the day while energy is fresh. An early run helps reduce stress but releases endorphins in the body, it also burns calories and so, is beneficial for overall health.
Go for a night walk
Walking at night is beneficial for weight-loss. A steady walk can boost fitness levels, reduce cholesterol and improve blood pressure. It helps with weight-loss too because the body stores more fat at night and walking can reduce this. This is important to reduce pressure on the back.
Start practicing yoga and meditation
Stress tightens muscles in the body and this can lead to other niggling health conditions. According to research on The Statistics Portal into leading causes of back pain in 2017, stress played an integral role. This is understandable when you consider that tight muscles are easier to injure. Meditation helps to offset stress while yoga eases tension out from the muscles, stretching them and improving health and wellbeing.
Never forget that age is just a number
People often expect there to be a decline in health as mid-life approaches however, it does not need to be this way. Even when there are many demands on time; it is possible to heal or prevent back problems and improve health generally just by making subtle lifestyle adjustments.