Healthy Habits for a Healthy Spine
Now that the New Year is here, many people are hoping to achieve goals
they’ve set for a better 2019. A common theme that comes up as a resolution
is towards improved health and wellness. Regardless if this is in the works
for 2019, we’d like to share some healthy habits that would be important to
make sure that 2019 is your healthiest year yet!
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Water is utilized by our body every single day for a lot of major
functions. When we deprive our body of necessary water intake, we are
depriving it from the resources it needs to complete these functions at
their fullest potential. Specifically in the spine, our spinal discs are
made up of mostly water, and lots of it is lost due to everyday stresses on
the spine. Your spine relies on water intake in order for the discs to
regain normal heights for the stresses to come the next day. Prolonged lack
of water in the discs can lead to degenerative changes over time, which not
only affects the structure of the disc, but also the alignment of the spine
and its direct impact on the function of the nervous system. Anywhere from
8-10 cups is recommended intake of water per day and is needed much more
when more water is lost from activity (exercise) and diet (drinking coffee,
tea, beer, wine, etc.).
Your body was meant to move! A lot of everyday tasks, especially certain
jobs, require us to maintain certain posture for prolonged periods. This
has a negative impact on the body, especially your spine and your joints,
when held for a long period of time. The body has an amazing ability to
adapt and can negatively adapt to harmful posture that we maintain
throughout the day. The way to avoid this is to KEEP MOVING! Take necessary
breaks from prolonged postures (ideally every 30 minutes) so that your body
can avoid adapting to these positions. Keeping active also stimulates the
brain, so regular exercise not only helps keep your body in top shape but
keeps your brain in shape too!
PURSES AND WALLETS
Purses and wallets have become culprits for bad posture. When used in the
wrong way, it can cause compensation in your posture and spine, especially
with repetition. So important tips to remember is to alternate sides when
carrying your purses, and don’t have your wallet in your back pocket,
especially when you’re sitting down. Be mindful of balance and not
overworking one side more than the other, especially by carrying too much
in your purse.
Sleep is a very important everyday function that can often be taken for
granted. Lack of sleep has shown in many ways to be detrimental to the
body, but it’s best to understand that this is your body’s chance to rest,
recover and deal with the damage that everyday stresses have done.
Especially for your spine, this is its chance to restore discs and allow
proper nutrition and flow in the right areas, especially after a busy day.
Your sleeping posture is very important as well: AVOID SLEEPING ON YOUR
STOMACH. This has shown to be detrimental to your overall posture and can
be especially harmful if done every single night.
The newest and the greatest technology is now in our fingertips and many
people are probably spending more time with them after the holidays. Be
mindful of your posture when using your phones, game consoles, laptops and
other electronics. Many of these devices are not handled with the spine in
mind and can be detrimental to your posture if used for prolonged periods.
It’s important to make sure that everything is kept at eye-level so that
you’re not looking down with your head. Make sure to take breaks from
electronic use as well!
THINK OF YOUR SPINE
Some stressors are hard to avoid and can still have an impact on your
spine, so it’s important to make sure you get checked by your Chiropractor
in order to avoid any permanent changes. Your Mississauga Chiropractor is
here to help keep your spine in its best shape so that you can function at
your best and make this year your healthiest year! If you’d like to come
and see us, contact us at (905)821-4951.