Tips for a Healthy SpineAugust 06, 2015

Spinal Health Week (May 19-25) highlights the importance of a healthy spine. Children have been reminded about its importance one too many. Always sit straight. Drink lots of milk. Lead an active lifestyle. All of these have to do with the spinal cord.

A backbone distinguishes a vertebrate from an invertebrate. In the case of humans, studies have shown that numerous illnesses can be traced to back problems. It can be the (back) muscles, it can also be the spine. Some will be grateful for living in the modern era, where a massage can relieve the pain. It can be costly at times, though.

Instead of enumerating the different ailments relating to back problems, let's focus on the possible causes. Let's have a look:

Sitting (and why it's not good for your health). Doctors won't discourage sitting. It's a convenient thing to do (if you don't like lying down). There will be instances when we sit for long periods of time. It can't be helped, especially if there's a good book to read. It also happens when there are many things to do in the office. However, there can be harmful effects when this is done often. There's a tendency to slouch, and such a posture must be discouraged. A hunchback look is not only unappealing, but it also affects the other parts of the body. Think about your heart, but this is another case. Try to stand up every hour or two. Keep in mind that prolonged standing has the same effect, putting a strain on the legs. This is another matter, though.

Always be straight. A poor posture will make you stand out from the rest, but for different reasons. It will send the wrong signal, which is not good in a professional setting. Children are unaware of it, which is why we must keep on reminding them about the benefits of a straight back. It can affect their physical growth. If you're old (and reading this), then you know how poor posture can lead to other illnesses. We don't want a heavy maintenance on our health. Exercising is the best way, being conscious about it is another one.

Do a push-up. This is one form of exercise that is difficult to do at the beginning. The weight of your entire body rests on your shoulders, while your upper back exerts a lot of effort (while performing the exercise). But practice makes it manageable in the long run. Try to do a few push-ups, and then increase the repetition after a few months. If you don't like it, then invite your mates to a game of rugby.

If you have other ideas, then don't keep it to yourself. Who knows, it may save a life.

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