Healthy living for a healthy back, body, mind, and soul includes exercise, eating a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, avoiding as many toxins as possible, living a balanced life and staying committed to your goal.
According to a study conducted on behalf of Bodybuilding.com, almost two-thirds of Americans who set New Year’s resolutions include fitness goals in their plans. Nearly 75 percent fail to accomplish those goals due to a lack of time and the level of difficulty the workout requires, but it’s likely that at least some of them fall off track due to injury. We need to practice preventive measures to avoid back injury and to eat properly to nourish our bodies with the proper nutrition. Eating a healthy organic diet that enables your body to fight off disease, injury, gain strength and heal is vitally important.
Men’s Fitness reports that lower back injury is one of the top five most common injuries that can occur at the gym. A study that was conducted over two decades by the University of Arkansas revealed there was a significant increase in injuries related to weight training activity during this time period. Due to self-guided fitness, many are unnecessarily injuring themselves. If you hope to accomplish your fitness goals through weight training and other exercise, protecting your back from injury is obviously essential.
If you aren’t suffering from back injury or pain, consider these tips for protecting your back so that an injury doesn’t get in the way of your fitness, weight training goals, or just living a healthy lifestyle.
- According to the National Institutes of Health, weightlifting puts a lot of stress on the spine. Therefore, warming up by stretching prior to working out is a must to help prevent muscle and ligament injuries.
- If you have an office job or any type of sedentary job in which your back tends to be hunched for much of the day, Men’s Fitness advises stretching and strengthening the upper back to compensate.
- Personal trainer Justin Price says that performing straight-armed wall squats before your regimen can help. To perform the exercise, your lower back should be flat against a wall, with your pelvis tilted. Hold your arms out straight in front of you, raising them to the ears. Try not to let your back curve, it should remain flat throughout the exercise. Exercising while standing is also beneficial, Price says.
Strengthen Your Core
- Spine specialist Jason Highsmith, M.D. told BodyBuilding.com that working antagonistic muscle groups is especially important for protecting the back. It’s essential to equalize forces placed on the spine by working the opposite muscles. Working these muscles helps to strengthen the core, and as a result stabilizes and braces the spine to decrease the risk of injury.
- Pilates is an excellent cross-training exercise for building a stronger core. It can also help mobilize the spine and build flexibility. Proponents have said these exercises have helped them decrease their back pain in addition to improving range of motion, ab strength and even posture.
Include Regular Exercise
- In addition to weight lifting, regular aerobic exercise is important for supporting good heart health as well as preventing back injury and pain. It will also help you to maintain or achieve a healthy weight, which reduces the stress on your back. Any type of activity that gets your heart rate up will work, such as running, hill walking, swimming or cycling.
- Practicing Tai Chi, and Yoga are great ways of keeping the body and mind strong and healthy. Check out “Surprising Ways Tai Chi Benefits The Spine And Your Health!”
Below is a great recipe for a tasty smoothie that will help energize you after exercise or just when you need an energy booster! This smoothie is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, has a great balance of protein, omega-3s, and electrolytes. It is Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw and So HEALTHY!
Healthy Workout Smoothie:
- 1 cup organic coconut water
- 1 banana, sliced and frozen
- 1 cup frozen or fresh organic pineapple
- 1 large handful organic baby spinach
- 1 tbsp organic goji berries, soaked
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp spirulina
- a couple ice cubes
- Add organic stevia or raw honey to taste (optional)
Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender or small food processor until smooth and creamy. ENJOY!
Exercise is so important for a healthy body and mind. We are not all weight lifters or professional athletes but we should all include exercise into our daily routines and follow a healthy diet. A healthy balanced diet that includes eating non-processed, GMO-free foods, plenty of organic or local harvest fruits and vegetables that will help your body fight off disease, stay strong, and live life to the fullest.