Preventative Care

Nutrition

Achieving a healthy lifestyle takes time and practice. But you can do it. Forming new healthy habits helps you look and feel good now and keeps you going strong for many years. Start with small steps that are workable for life. Avoid diets that severely limit food choices.

No one food or food group alone causes obesity. Calories, nutrition, and a healthy relationship with food all matter. Long-term results come from long-term, sustained changes.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

  1. Eat Breakfast. You will be less likely to overeat later in the day.
  2. Make small changes over time. It will be easier to adjust to small changes slowly than big changes all at once.
  3. Strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity, most days of the week. This keeps your metabolism revved up.
  4. Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. Water helps you digest food better and will keep you felling full.
  5. Fill up on plant foods. The fiber in these foods helps keep you full.
  6. Put your food onto a plate. Eating from the packages can add up to a lot of calories
  7. Plan your meals. You’ll be less likely to grab whatever is available.
  8. Get support. To help you get through the difficult and stressful times.
  9. Be flexible in your plan. If you are too rigid in your plan, you’re likely to get frustrated and give up easily.
  10. Eat Slowly. Your brain needs 20 minutes to get the message that your stomach is full.
  11. Keep tempting food out of sight. Out of sight out of mind.
  12. Grocery shop from a list. You’ll be less likely to make choices based on your mood or an impulse.
  13. Do not shop when hungry. You’re likely to make poor choices and buy more than you need.

Exercise

Weak muscles, being overweight and poor posture contribute to back pain. The natural curves of the back may go out of alignment due to:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Weight gain especially in the abdomen
  • Incorrect posture.
  • A misaligned back can cause physical stress and increase the risk of back problems.

Tips to maximize your workout:

Exercise Cool Down: Ease your body and heart rate back down to a near resting rate by walking or taking it slow. Be sure to reduce the intensity of your routine in the minutes following your workout.

Immediately After Your Workout: It takes time to replace the fluid and electrolytes lost during a workout, so drinking 50 percent more fluid than you lost in sweat will enhance rapid recovery. If you hydrate throughout the day though, you will maximize fluid retention after your workout. Water is usually enough to replace fluids after an average workout. But beware – avoid caffeine, carbonation and high sugar drinks to prevent dehydration.

Ten Minutes After: Stretch out tense muscles. Stretching increases flexibility which might be able to improve performance on even the simplest of tasks such as tying shoes or lifting packages. To get the most from your static stretching, hold each position for at least 20 – 30 seconds.

Thirty Minutes After: Help your body rebuild its muscle tissue by enjoying a protein-rich snack shortly after your workout. Yogurt, cottage cheese, protein bars and nuts are good options that help give you a post-workout boost.

Beyond: Eat well-balanced meals and drink fluids regularly throughout the day. After an intense workout, reward yourself. This doesn’t mean hitting the all-you-can-eat buffet, but enjoying healthy activities that satisfy you.

Body Mass Index

Body Fat: Body Mass Index, or BMI is used to tell if you are at a healthy weight or overweight and therefore at greater risk for developing weight-related health problems.

back pain prevention infographic

BMI Scale

BMI Range Category
<16.5 Severely Underweight
16.5-18.5 Underweight
18.5-25 Normal
25-30 Overweight
30-35 Obese Class I
35-40 Obese Class II
40-45 Severely Obese
45-50 Morbidly Obese
50-60 Super Obese
>60 Hyper Obese