Many of us don’t realize the importance of taking care of our spine. We often think that it can take care of itself, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! The spine is one important system in the human body and provides protection for some vital organs. Let’s explore what you can do to take proper care of your spine!
Decompressing your spine
This is one of the most important things you can do to give your spine some much-needed relief. The first step is to stand up straight with your feet shoulder length apart (keeping your toes pointing forward) and keep both arms relaxed at your side. Next, make sure you are inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, hold this position for 10 seconds, then inhale again and repeat 3 times before releasing this pose.
To properly decompress or stretch out your spine, start by sitting on the floor with legs crossed in front of you while making sure that they are no more than hip distance apart. Keep back straight as possible without tilting it upwards or backward, simply lean slightly forward on the balls of hips if necessary. Slowly walk your hands out in front of you and make sure not to curl or move them inward – keep them straight as possible. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds before releasing and repeating 3 times.
For any other daily spine decompression needs, try using a simple yoga twist. Simply sit up straight and hold onto opposite ends of a towel (laying flat on the floor), then twist towards one side while pulling your arms toward that end of the towel until you feel a good stretch, hold for 10 seconds, then release and repeat on the opposite side. It’s important to remember that you can do this without an inversion table or similar equipment since you can turn and use your own body weight as resistance. It’s as simple as that and it can be done almost anywhere!
Nourishing support disks in your spine
Our vertebrae disk is very important because it serves as our third type of shock absorber, sandwiched between our spinal cord and the outer shell of bones. These disks are responsible for allowing our spine to be flexible enough to twist and bend, but also strong enough to handle real physical stress.
Each disk has an inner center that is made up of ~75% water while the surrounding area is thick fibrocartilage which serves as a supportive layer for the vertebrae in your spine. To keep these disks in good shape (and working properly), make sure you get plenty of sleep each night (at least 7-8 hours). If you already suffer from back or neck problems, it may be necessary to see a chiropractor, in addition, just to be sure you have optimal support during the day when doing any strenuous activities.
The biggest thing to remember with these disks is proper hydration. For every pound, you weigh, make sure you drink at least one and a half quarts (or 12 cups) of water (72 ounces). If you want another option that is still tasty and refreshing, try adding fruit such as oranges or lemons into your pitcher of ice-cold water. This is also a great way for you to add in some extra vitamins and nutrients throughout the day.
Exercise for strengthening
Not only will muscle itself (especially abdominal muscles) help support our spine, but it can play a crucial role in preventing future injuries from occurring in the first place so we need to treat them right! When exercising our back muscles, be sure not to fully stretch these muscles too often as this can actually cause spinal instability.
Instead, make sure you are strengthening your pelvic floor muscles and gluteal muscles to help provide stability for your spine by holding it up against gravity. However, be sure that you do not overdo this either as the body is sending a signal to relax if anything feels too uncomfortable during any kind of exercise session.
If you want a good example of a great way to work out the back and abdominals together in harmony, try doing some planking exercises with your forearms flat on the ground (elbows under shoulders). Keep the stomach pulled in tight while keeping knees straight but unlocked. Hold for 10 seconds before resting without completely releasing tension from your body.
Taking care of the spine and the body is a delicate process that requires a lot of work and dedication on your part, but it can certainly pay off in the long run if done properly.
Remember: drinking plenty of water, staying hydrated, exercising muscles as well as your spine (but not to the point where you are overexerting yourself), and getting enough rest each night will go a long way towards keeping you feeling healthy and active for years to come!