Our health is one of the most important aspects of our lives, and to keep our bodies working optimally, we need regular exercise, including a focus on spine health. People who work at home, or seniors who are including exercise for overall health, can benefit from various strategies to get the most out of fitness practices while ensuring attention and care for the spine and specific health needs.
A healthy spine is the backbone of a healthy life. According to Harvard Men’s Health Watch, a fully functioning spine impacts flexibility and stability. When one part of the spine isn’t working properly, it impacts other aspects of physical health, sometimes causing headaches, fatigue, frequent illness and neck pain. The spine is the ultimate highway within the body; it communicates messages with transmission and reflex information to keep all the systems operating properly. When our spines are not working well, our body systems suffer the consequences.
It may be surprising to discover that issues with the spine can sometimes go undetected. Inflammation is a symptom that can be misleading and may mimic other conditions. Spinal issues from chronic health problems (such as fibromyalgia) may mask spinal symptoms, preventing assessment and treatment.
Long periods of sitting can cause significant health issues for people who work at home. Sitting for long periods causes muscular stress and irritation to disks of the back and neck; it also puts additional stress on hip flexors and impacts blood circulation. A chiropractic visit can help assess spine health and determine if an adjustment is necessary. Chiropractic care can help improve sleep, pulmonary function, boost your immune system and increase energy levels.
Posture and core strength are key factors in spine health and maintenance. Exercise routines should be geared toward overall body wellness and take existing health issues into consideration. Seniors with osteoporosis or arthritis should strive for low-impact workouts that build overall health, including flexibility and balance. For seniors or people who need to exercise indoors, walking in a mall or museum is a good option. For greater flexibility, core strength and treatment of back pain, a stretching routine and low impact workout such as Pilates may be helpful to improve range of motion and circulation. Activities such as swimming promote full-body movement and cardiovascular health while being gentle on the joints.
Fitness videos can also be a fun way to get the body moving at home, and there are endless types of activities from dance instruction to cardio kickboxing. YouTube offers a wide range of free instructional videos. A home gym setup can also be a convenient way to get a good workout without needing to leave the house.
Choose an activity that aligns with your health needs; a consultation from a health and wellness expert and guidance from a medical professional can help you decide what might be right for you. If you want individualized workout suggestions, there are a plethora of apps for fitness, some even offer nutritional guidance and methods of tracking your activity levels.
Exploring your fitness goals and creating short-term objectives to help you meet those goals can help frame your daily exercise routine. Start with a simple goal such as increasing energy levels, for example, and set up a daily expectation to exercise for 15-20 minutes. When that goal becomes easy to accomplish on a consistent basis, set longer time frames for your workout. Setting manageable fitness goals and creating a fun atmosphere in which to work toward those goals makes it more likely that you will continue to work out. Consistency is crucial, so keep the big picture in mind as you start your exercise routine.
Regardless of what type of activity you decide to pursue, exercise is a valuable way to maintain your health while working at home. Attending to your spinal health while addressing your fitness needs is also crucial and will help promote ongoing wellness.
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