My ultimate goal is to live a life that is full of adventure and excitement. As a person with a strong urge to travel and see the world through my very own eyes, my experiences taught me that having that outgoing mentality alone is not always enough to ensure my own happiness.
In the moments where I struggled to hike the trail leading to the place I wanted to see, or strained to balance on nature-made ridges, I realized that all was not well. I felt that I should have done more for my body. The simple fact that I have realized is that my body should be healthy, capable and fit to enable me to fully enjoy the active lifestyle I so crave.
When I was just starting my lifestyle outdoors, I was subject to many physical challenges along the way. I was subject to a variety of muscle and joint pains, fatigue and irritability. The most excruciating pain I had was the sharp sting from my back. Though it may be normal since my body was just getting used to the activities involved, I soon found out that my back pains were chronic. The multitude of research I’ve done and professionals I have talked with pointed out that I should make the necessary adjustments to keep my back healthy.
As we all know, the back supports our body to enable us to move around and to be upright. Without the sturdy bones composing our backs, we can never do what we can normally do right now. That equally means no walking, no running, no sitting and definitely no hiking. We would be just lying down the floor and slithering our ways to work.
Who would want that?
This is why it is important for us to take into account all the methods and approaches in making our backs as healthy as it can get.
Here are the 3 mantras I have consolidated to stand as a guide for you, my avid reader.
Sit Right, Stay upright
The number one factor in keeping a healthy back is an obvious one – posture. Posture dictates how our bodies positions itself upright while standing, sitting or even lying down. Good posture is one of the most important game changers in lessening the chances of the struggle of back pain.
The thing is, most of us talk about the aforementioned so often, but we don’t really know what it is all about exactly.
So what really is good posture?
Technically speaking, good posture involves the training of our bodies to sit, stand, walk and lie down in the best upright position. What wonders it can bring is totally dependent on how we “train” our body to keep the healthy posture as to prevent any back-related repercussions. This is actually a very common thing that happens to a lot of people.
Personally, I saw that the main problem I had was that I had bad posture, and it took a while before I totally changed the way I sit, stand and walk.
One thing I did to try not to revert to bad posture is to train myself to be more mindful of my posture. When I look at myself at the mirror, I remind myself the elements of a good posture.
One thing I always keep in mind is to avoid lifting over-heavy loads. For students, I suggest not to bring all books in one bag. Balance a weight that is comfortable for the arms and back, or better yet, try a stroller bag. This is because it actually puts more strain on our backs when we lift uncomfortably heavy things. Sometimes, it can also lead to serious back injuries and impairments.
The same is true for people who, like me, love to travel and go back-packing. In addition, an environment which is managed and organized trains our minds to be mindful of what things to bring and not to bring which may add weight. Following a good posture also made me feel less stressed over time since my back is more relaxed.
Therapy equals Better Me
One common but incorrect notion is that therapy is only done to people with back pain. I have talked to people who regularly visit their physical therapists for their scheduled checkups. Right now, they reaped the benefits of being more active and lively. I tried my visits to a local therapist and found the relief that they were talking about.
Physical therapy enabled my body to be stretched out in ways that other intense exercises cannot. In fact, I already had multiple sessions with my local therapist and am planning to get in touch with a chiropractor soon!
We don’t realize that some of the techniques professionals in back health use are what we do at home. Techniques such as thermotherapy and cryothrapy are in fact our commonly known heat packs and ice packs. According to doctors, for acute pain or a new inflamed injury, use cryotheraphy or cold therapy.
Ice is the most common anaesthesia. The cold narrows blood vessels and slows down blood flow in the body, thus, it can reduce fluid build-up in the affected area. Ice generally helps control of inflammation and swelling. On the other hand, heat is a much more widespread treatment.
Thermotherapy or use of heat is more inclined for chronic pain because heat relaxes the overworked muscles by soothing sore muscles, stimulating blood flow, and relaxing spasms. Muscles actually develop soreness due to a naturally-occurring chemical called lactic acid.
Lactic acid accrues at the time once the muscle is deprived of oxygen, which happens when we do daily activities or work. When there is reduced blood flow to an impaired area, the lactic acid gets trapped, producing a build-up which generates muscle ache. Heat therapy stimulates the blood flow and hastens the taking away of lactic acid from muscles.
Healthy Eats and Faster Beats
Keeping ourselves in an active lifestyle is an arduous task that needs time, effort and money. Often reiterated by medical professionals and health consultants, the fundamental factors to maintain a truly healthy body is proper diet and exercise.
These two give way to a fit and healthier body that we all so desire. Imagine if we can live the life we always wanted – wear our favorite Stylewe dresses without any worry, engage in physical activities that we always wanted (like mountain climbing or hiking), or basically feel really well with our own body.
Definitely, these two facets go hand in hand.
The same is true with back health.
A proper eating regimen to have a healthy back includes calcium-rich food, paired with a lot of vegetables to avoid inflammation. Also, avoiding processed food, fast food and saturated fat can help in preventing inflammation which these foods fuel.
Simply put, a proper diet is imperative for us who want to maintain a healthy back. However, a healthy diet can be readily accessible in the kitchen. The more evident work comes when we drive to the gym, burn those carbs and protein, and have that back stretched.
Furthermore, hiring a gym instructor prove to make it personally easier for me to exercise my back. There are various benefits I got when I hired my personal trainer in going about my workout. Not only did my trainer guide me in becoming fit and more confident with my body, they have so much more in store. They offered me some really good tips to keep my back stronger, and my whole body ready for anything that would come my way.