According to statistics, about 76% of us engage in New Year resolutions and 41% are given up in the first few weeks of the New Year. The vast majority of these resolutions are centered around fat or weight loss, and improving on exercise habits. So why is it most New Year resolutions fail?
I believe it’s because we don’t know how to effectively implement them.
If you’ve been living with chronic back pain, New Year's is the perfect time to make a few simple changes to try and get 2017 off to a good start. So below is our list of ways to help turn your resolution from a failure into a success:
1. Appropriate exercise
Regular low impact aerobic exercise can reduce inflammation, strengthen your muscles and provide accelerated healing by sending oxygen-rich blood to the painful area.
I suggest investing in the right pair of walking shoes. Finding a shoe that matches your stride may help distribute weight across your body evenly, therefore reducing stress on the back. Build walking into your daily schedule so you can’t easily skip it, for example, try walking to the train everyday or walk during your lunch break.
If walking is difficult due to leg weakness and/or balance, try getting hiking poles or walker and walk indoors where there are fewer tripping
hazards. And if walking is too jarring on your spine, consider walking on a treadmill that affords a more padded, forgiving surface.
2. Reduce your stress
Believe it or not, a big source of back problems and other body aches and pains is stress.
Studies have shown as many as 66% of individuals with chronic back pain are also living with sleep problems. If you’re struggling with getting to sleep or staying asleep, try a routine or series of habits before bed each night in order to train your body into readiness for sleep. This may include such steps as regulating the time you go to bed and wake up, taking a hot bath before bed every night, blocking out noise, or avoiding any and all technology.
3. Lose weight
One of the best ways to prevent back pain and maintain a healthy back are by maintaining a healthy bodyweight, and exercise is one of the most effective methods of weight management.
If you are trying to lose weight, cardiovascular exercise (anything that gets your heart rate up such as running, swimming, cycling or dancing) is the way to go. It’s also important not to train every day, as the body needs time to respond to the strain of the training, and you don’t want to overexert a typically sedentary body.
These may seem massive goals, but actually, doing the right kinds of exercise and improving your sleep patterns will reduce your stress and hopefully help you to lose weight.
Having a package of care for your pain – especially if it's chronic – will help you to reduce the severity of the problem, but ideally you need a professionally trained manual therapist to see you through.
At Not Just Backs, we’ll not only help you to sort out your physical restrictions and tense muscles, but also help with the emotional situations that make you tense and unhappy. Once you make a proactive start in sorting out the little things, the exercise will take over and help to maintain your health and prevent a relapse in your pain.
If you want to know more, give us a call on 01722 512043 and we’ll talk you through what treatment is best for you.
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
With best wishes
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