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5 Easy Ways to Relieve Back Pain at Work

Hey you! Yes, you… we see you over there slouching. Even as you’re reading this, you’re hunched over your phone, tablet, or computer taking in this scolding and denying that we can actually see you. 

While all of that is true, the ironic part is that while you clicked on an article about how to relieve back pain, you are probably currently sitting or standing in a position that directly causes your back pain. So we’re going to challenge you to sit the way you’re supposed to sit for the next 3 minutes. Put your shoulders back, keep your head up, plant your feet firmly on the ground, and read on my friends.

Time starts… NOW!

Back pain is more common than you think

A large majority of our customers come to us because they are experiencing back pain in one form or another. The reality is, at least eight out of ten people in America will experience back pain at some point in their life. Astoundingly, a large majority of this back pain will become chronic back pain after a patient experiences regular discomfort over a period of at least three months. Perhaps you wouldn’t guess this, but our friends that work in offices and sit at desks all day are more likely to suffer from chronic back pain than are people who work in physically demanding jobs. 

This fact might surprise you, but when you ponder over it, it makes sense. When you are sitting for a long period of time in the same spot, your spine begins to feel added pressure to it because it’s stuck in an unnaturally curved state. In fact, 100% Chiropractic says, “Sitting in this position puts around 200 pounds of pressure on your lumbar spine, or your lower back.” No wonder you experience so much back pain. 

Luckily, we have some simple solutions to reduce or alleviate some of your back pain. These tips are easy to implement and can result in a huge difference in the amount of back pain you feel daily. 

Still sitting with good posture? Let’s jump in. 

5 Tips for Minimizing Back Pain at the Office

1. Check your chair

In a perfect world, all office chairs would have lower lumbar support to comfortably accommodate the natural curvature of your spine, allowing you to sit back comfortably. However, the reality is that most office chairs don’t. Does this mean that you should continue to have posture like the Hunchback of Notre Dame? NO. Bring in a pillow, blanket, or a towel to position behind your lower back to make sitting more comfortable.

Also, be sure to adjust the height of your chair so that your feet can rest flat on the floor. This will help keep your legs, knees, hips, and spine in better alignment. 

Side note: If you can switch your chair for an exercise ball, that will always be better than any office chair. 

2. Mind your monitor

When possible, keep your monitor high enough that you don’t have to look down at it. This will prevent your neck from being out of alignment. Lots of us work on laptops which makes it harder not to look down. We recommend propping your laptop up on books, boxes, anything that elevates it enough to where you’re not hunched over it. It’s also a good idea to have your screen about an arm’s length away from you.

3. Rock your body

Get up and move your body during the day! Don’t be stuck in the same position in the same place for eight hours a day. Stretch, dance (to NSYNC), wiggle, take a jog to the door you can’t wait to go through at the end of the day. Whatever and however you move is better than being a statue. Take short breaks, even five minutes will do, and walk around to restore your spine to its correct position and get your blood flowing. 

Side note: if you work on strengthening your core muscles, this will also help improve your posture and reduce back pain. 

4. If you're going to be a statue, be a standing statue

If you are unable to move from your desk, better than sitting all day is to stand at your desk. Standing not only helps take the pressure off of your back, but it also will help you improve your productivity due to easier blood flow and limited opportunity for lethargicness.

5. Make an appointment with your chiropractor

If nothing else, we encourage you to an appointment with a reputable chiropractor. They will be able to restore your spine to its correct alignment, reducing your back pain and helping you to live a better life. 

Your appointment doesn’t have to be with the amazing Dr. Silvio Cozzetto if our Birmingham, MI location is too far away for you (although we’d love to welcome you to our family). Your health and wellness is more important to us than your business, and we know you deserve more than to simply accept your back pain.

However, if you are looking for one of the best chiropractors in the SE Michigan area, we highly recommend you contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cozzetto today. Our treatments are specially designed to fit your needs. Call us at (248) 792-6570 or schedule your appointment online today!

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5 Tips to Thinking Differently About the Food You Put Into Your Body

STOP THINKING OF WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY AS FOOD, AND START THINKING OF IT AS FUEL.

This may sound like a redundant concept, but trust us when we say most people haven’t heard it enough. Too often, people react to their body’s sensation of hunger by searching for comfort instead of giving it what it really needs. Let’s be honest here, a hamburger and french fries sound way better than a salad and some veggies. 

We know that it is easier and makes your body happier to settle for the comfort food that we all love. And we get it, BUT, the thing you should be asking yourself is if that food is benefiting or blessing your body. 

HOW DOES THE FOOD YOU EAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Does whatever you want in those moments make you feel good about what you’re putting into your body and will it make you feel good afterward? Will it fuel you for the rest of the day or will your tank be on E? If you want to take a nap after you eat, chances are, you are not filling your body with the food it deserves.

For those of you who are on a regimen of eating healthy food, we salute you. It takes discipline, commitment and lots of self-love to consistently eat foods that are good for you. Maybe you are pretty good at eating healthy but sometimes can give in to your cravings. We say, “Good Job.” Balance is an important part of life and even the most disciplined eaters will crave unhealthy foods from time to time. If you’re at the beginning of your healthy eating journey, we’re proud of you. You’re looking for the first step to take, and since we are all about inspiring wellness and live by our “healthy inside and out” philosophy, we’re going to share with you some steps to make it easier for you. Here are 5 tips to thinking differently about the food that you put into your body! 

THE 5 TIPS TO HEALTHIER EATING

In this article, we aren’t going to waste time talking about what foods are or are not healthy for you. You know that veggies are good; chips are not; water is good, pop is not. We won’t get into it any further, but if you do have any questions about what foods are best for you, or if you want to know if there are particular ways to maximize what you’re eating to give you the healthiest outcome overall, stop into our Birmingham, MI location. We’d love to help you and answer any questions you may have. So, without further ado: 

1. START SLOW

The biggest challenge to eating healthy occurs when you immediately remove all unhealthy foods from your diet. If you do this, you will set yourself up for failure. Your body needs time to adjust to the changes you make, so start by intentionally cutting out one food or food group at a time. Do this for a designated period of time such as 2-3 weeks and then continue to take out another and another. 

Tip: when you are feeling like you’re starting to crave something unhealthy, look at the clock and wait for five minutes. If after five minutes, you’re still craving the snack or treat, then eat it. Simply delaying the response to your body’s craving will often show you that you didn’t really need it in the first place and you’ll pass it up. 

2. MAKE CONSCIOUS DECISIONS

Going out to eat is NOT an excuse to not eat something unhealthy. No matter where you are, you are in control of what you put into your body. You’ll find that it’s easier to grocery shop for healthy foods than it is to pick something healthy from a menu. This is because you will feel more motivated to select healthy choices when preparing for the next week or two. Stay conscious of what you are eating; again, think of it as fuel. 

Forewarning: you will have unhealthy cravings when you get home from the grocery store, but try to satisfy these cravings with something healthy, rather than going out and buying snacks. Eventually, once your body adjusts to the healthy choices, it will begin to crave those instead. 

Additional note: When you are grocery shopping, stick to the outer ring of the store. This is where most healthy foods are kept and it will help you avoid looking at foods that don’t serve your body. 

3. IDENTIFY YOUR TRIGGERS

Another one of the 5 tips to thinking differently about the food that you put into your body, is to identify your specific triggers. Everyone has things in their lives that makes them crave something. Maybe you come home from work and habitually have a drink to unwind. Maybe you get stressed at work and binge on chocolate or chips. It’s important to understand what triggers you to have those unhealthy cravings. Once you understand why you want those chips or that soda, you’ll be able to make healthier choices. 

4. EAT SMALLER PORTIONS AND ONLY WHEN YOU’RE ACTUALLY HUNGRY

This is the most common one and probably something you’ve heard over and over again, but the message still rings true. Eating smaller portions more frequently will keep your metabolism active and help your body burn calories throughout the day. 

Beyond that though, it’s important to note that you should only eat food when you’re actually hungry. We’re so accustomed to eating because its a certain time of day or because we’re with a friend or in a group out to dinner so we think we have to eat something. These, my friend, are LIES! 

If you aren’t hungry, don’t eat! If you are really worried about sticking to a schedule or what your friends may think, order something small and only eat what you’re hungry for. Carryout boxes were invented for a reason. Take your leftovers home and eat it the next day. 

5. GIVE YOURSELF GRACE

Recognize that it’s okay to give in to your cravings every once in a while. The important thing is to not use that as an excuse to tumble back down a hill you’ve worked so hard to climb up. Are fruits and veggies always going to be better for you than other snacks? Yes. Should you keep your meat consumption to a minimum? Yes. but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some ice cream or a nice steak every once in a while. Balance is key to living a good life, and we support a good life. 

Eating healthy isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Everyone is different so what works for your best friend or your husband may not work well for you. It’s important for you to identify what your body needs most and how to achieve what healthy eating looks like for you. By following these 5 tips to thinking differently about the food that you put into your body, you will be sure to make the right choices. 

For those looking for a place to get delicious, healthy food, Be Well Lifestyle Centers has an incredible vegan cafe with ample choices to choose from. With options from energizing smoothies to acai bowls and fresh meals to go, you’ll be sure to find something you enjoy! Order online or stop into our Birmingham, MI location today to get some great food and ask us about all of the other services we offer!