5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Spine Health

The spine is the foundational support of your entire body. It balances your neck, back, chest and pelvis to keep your body in total alignment. Maintaining optimal spine and joint health is paramount to overall health. 

Here are five ways you can improve your spine health.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can improve multiple aspects of your life, including the health of your spine. We recommend engaging in activities that strengthen your core muscles, such as Pilates or yoga, to support your spine as well as swimming and walking for joint flexibility. Having an exercise routine will also help you maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can put stress on your spine, leading to impairments or exacerbation of ongoing back, neck and joint problems. 

Maintain Proper Posture

Be mindful of your posture, especially if you sit for long periods. Constant sitting can put pressure on the spine, which can lead to poor posture. We often recommend that our patients with desk jobs use stand-up desks or spend a few hours each day sitting on a workout ball vs. a chair to help them engage their core and keep their spine straight. You should also consider purchasing an ergonomic chair when you do need to sit and taking frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch and move around.

Stay Active

While regular exercise is a key factor in improving your spine health, it’s also important to stay active throughout the day, not just at the gym or in a workout class. Fortunately, this can be easily integrated into your life. Incorporating low-impact activities like walking will help keep your joints flexible. Don’t have time for a 30-minute walk everyday? Fear not! Making small changes like going to the store to get groceries rather than getting them delivered, taking the stairs vs. the elevator, and pacing around your office or house while talking on the phone are just a few ways you can bring more activity into your daily life.

Lift Correctly

Whether you have a job that requires lifting or if you enjoy throwing around weights in the gym, how you pick those items up is very important, especially when it comes to your spine. Always pick up heavy objects by using your legs, not your back, to prevent injury. 

Healthy Diet

Like exercise, eating a healthy diet will benefit multiple aspects of your life. Eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D will support bone health, leading to a stronger spine and joints. Milk, cheese, tuna, salmon, lentils and almonds are all good sources of vitamin D while yogurt, sardines, and leafy greens are loaded with calcium.