Resolve To Improve Your Spine Health

Welcome to 2018! Now that we’re in the new year, it’s time to make a resolution. But before you decide on what your resolution will be, we want you to consider one thing – your spine health. Why not resolve to improve your spine health in 2018?

In order to accomplish a goal or resolution, you need a plan. One of our favorite ways to set a goal is with SMART goals.

Smart goals are

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Now, let’s walk through a few example goals to improve your spine health, specifically losing weight, quitting smoking, or eating a well-rounded diet.

Losing Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is imperative to keep your spine healthy. Carrying around extra weight can put unwanted pressure on other spinal structures, like your discs. Overweight and obese people are more likely to experience sciatica or low back pain due to a herniated disc or pinched nerve.

Below is an example of a SMART goal to lose weight:

  • Specific: I want to lose 20 pounds.
  • Measurable: I will weigh myself weekly.
  • Attainable: I want to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
  • Relevant: I want to lose weight to improve my spine health.
  • Time-bound: At the rate of weight loss specified above, I will lose 20 pounds by the end of May at the latest.

Quitting Smoking

Smoking contributes to the hardening of arteries which decreases your overall blood flow. When blood flow is restricted, the areas of your body fed by smaller vessels, like your bones and spinal discs, become severely undernourished. Eventually, your spinal structures will no longer repair themselves and will likely cause you pain.

Below is an example of a SMART goal to quit smoking:

  • Specific: I will quit smoking tomorrow.
  • Measurable: I will measure my success by the number of days I do not have a cigarette.
  • Attainable: I have a quit plan in place to help me succeed.
  • Relevant: I want to quit smoking to improve my spine health.
  • Time-bound: I will quit smoking for the rest of my life – there is no end date to this goal.

Eating Well

Consuming a balanced and varied diet is beneficial for your entire body, including your spine. Nourishing your spine with the proper nutrients can help prevent back pain and improve your body’s ability to heal itself. Did you know that only about half of US adults consume the daily recommended amount of calcium, a vitamin essential to bone health?

Below is an example of a SMART goal to eat healthier:

  • Specific: I want to eat at least 4 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Measurable: I will track what I eat and mark the days I succeed on the calendar.
  • Attainable: I will stock the fridge with fruits and vegetables weekly.
  • Relevant: I want to eat healthier to improve my spine health.
  • Time-bound: I will eat at least 4 servings of fruits and vegetables every day for a month and then up the number of servings by one each month until I reach 10 servings per day.

The examples of SMART goals we provided are just that, examples. To make a resolution that will really work for you, sit down and write out your own SMART goal. We wish you a happy and healthy 2018!

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