Your spine gets quite the workout every single day of your life, because it is one of the things that is supporting all your weight. You may not think about your spine often, but we can assure you that this part of your body never stops working, even when you are sleeping at night. While there is nothing that you can do to stop using your spine, you have plenty of options when it comes to what you do and how you do everything each day of your life. Here are 10 ways to protect your spine in your daily life:
1. Brushing Your Teeth and Standing in One Place for a Few Minutes
Every time you stand in front of the sink to brush your teeth, you are placing a ton of pressure on your back. In fact, in that scenario, you are putting more pressure on your back then you would if you were taking a four- or five-mile walk! If you need to stand for long periods of time during your days, or nights, then you will want to make a few adjustments. One of those adjustments is leaning on a wall or in the case of brushing your teeth, leaning forward towards the sink and placing your free hand on it.
2. Standing Still for a Long Time Washing Dishes While Bending Over Slightly
Standing to do the dishes can take a long time, as can standing up at work performing certain tasks. If you find that your back is hurting quite a bit afterwards, then you should place a stool or chair under one of your knees. This will prevent the discs within your thoracic section of your spine from wearing out and you will find that the pain between your shoulder blades will be a lot less.
3. Reconsider How You Carry All Those Shopping Bags
In our hurry to get into the house after a major shopping trip, everyone normally finds themselves lugging numerous bags in one arm, as they use the other arm to open and close doors. Instead of doing that and wreaking havoc on your spine, you should choose to protect your spine by dividing the bags between both your hands and distributing them evenly weight-wise. Your spine health will depend on you doing this, and while it may take you some extra time, you won’t find yourself collapsing in a chair in pain for hours afterwards.
4. Changing a Car’s Tire
Any time you need to perform an activity like changing a car’s tire, you may be tempted to simply bend over to take the tire off and put the new one on. However, this is one of the worst things that you can do for your back! Instead, you should sit next to your vehicle and change the tire in a sitting position. Not only will you find it easier, because your eyes are level with what you are doing, you will be putting less stress on your back. That will instantly improve your spine health.
5. Perform Free Weight Exercises and Do a Little Yoga
Your spine health can easily be protected when you take the time to do a few free weight exercises every day. Every time you use free weights, you will find that your muscles need to work harder to become stable, which means that you are getting more from this workout than you would if you utilized machines. While you can do these weights at the gym, you can also purchase some light dumbbells, some resistance bands, and a kettlebell to use at home.
You may think that all those yoga poses that you see other people doing are impossible to do or look funny, but this type of exercise is also perfect if you want to protect your spine. This relaxing activity will keep your muscles and the rest of your body stretched out, while helping maintain the natural curves of your spine.
Since you can easily keep the equipment that you need at home for these activities, you can sneak these healthy spine exercises in even on your busiest days.
6. Always Lift Carefully
Every time you lift you are putting pressure on your spine. And since you probably spend a good portion of your day lifting items to move them from one place to another or at least lift the laundry basket of clean clothes, you should learn how to do this task the correct way. It is very important to bend at the knees, instead of bending forward with your legs straight. Bent knees will allow you to lift the item that you need to, using your leg muscles instead of your spine and its surrounding muscles. Lifting in this way may seem strange at first, but your back will be eternally grateful when you develop this habit.
7. Reconsider How You Tie Your Shoes
Most people find themselves bending over towards the floor to tie their shoes, but there is a better way. When you take the time to bring your foot up to you, you will not harm the intervertebral discs within your spine. When you harm those discs, you will find that all the nutritional substances will leave your spine and it flattens and becomes painful.
Related: How High Heels Can Damage Your Body
8. Reconsider How You Sit Down
We all deserve to sit down and relax throughout the day or, at the very least, at the end of a long hard day! While you may be ready to plop down into a chair or, onto the couch, you should reconsider how you sit. Lounging with your back curved and twisted may feel good at first, but after a while, your back and spine is going to hurt quite a bit. It is better if you choose to sit up straight, with your spine slightly curved, to avoid pain later. It might not feel as good to you at first but avoiding pain in the long-term is going to be for the best.
9. Reconsider How You Wear Your Backpack
Backpacks are constantly swung over one shoulder, because no one wants to take the time to put it on the right way or they think that since they will only be carrying it for a minute or two, it is okay. However, swinging a backpack over one shoulder for just one minute can do quite a bit of damage to your spine. If you are looking to protect your spine, you need to place both your arms through the straps and wear it properly. The straps should distribute the weight of the backpack evenly, so that you can easily walk without leaning more to one side. You should also make sure that the weight is higher up on your back instead of letting the straps get loose and having the backpack hang down over your lower back. That can cause major pain after the fact, which is what you should be trying to avoid.
10. Mopping Your Floors and Bending Over
It is so common to see people bent over trying to mop their floors and get them clean. However, there are many other ways to clean your floors and a few of them are better for your spine health. While bending over to do this chore may seem harmless, it is torture for your spine. Please avoid it at all costs. Instead of bending over, you should purchase a mop with a long handle and wash your floors using that. It is a much better option than straining your back, legs, and even arms.
When you take the time to protect your spine, whether by changing how you perform certain daily activities or, by doing some simple healthy spine exercises, you will find that your back and spine is stronger than ever. Of course, that will not be an excuse to get lazy and go back to all your bad habits again! Instead, you should use your new good habits to inspire you make even more changes, so that your spine can stay healthy and strong for many more years in the future!