Achieving optimal musculoskeletal health throughout a lifetime is really hard. Hopefully this will make it a bit easier.
Have you ever heard the saying: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?
I’m sure you have, but what you may not know is it was Benjamin Franklin who said it.
What Ben probably meant when he said this was the idea that it’s much better to keep a problem from happening then fixing it after it happens.
Makes sense. Something better known as prevention.
“Prevention” literally means to keep something from happening.
When it comes to living healthy, preventative medicine implies the things we do from getting hurt.
But what if we are talking about musculoskeletal health, like avoiding headaches, neck pain, or back pain?
What are some preventative measures that you can do to optimize musculoskeletal health?
The following are my top 5 Preventative Measures for great musculoskeletal health.
5) Drink More Water: Aside from the fact that we are made up of (on average) 70% water, see how long it would take to die by going on thirst strike.
Researchers hypothesizes that 3 days is the longest we could go without H2O, before we die of dehydration.
That said, vital bodily relies on water, such as our GI system, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system.
Ideal hydration is suggested at 2 quarts/day, which is about 1.8 liters or 8 cups.
Inflammation in the body signals pain in the body, and by maintaining hydration, you can minimize inflammation, which in turn minimizes pain.
Drinking adequate amounts of water certainly will optimize musculoskeletal health.
4) Exercise Regularly: By now, everybody should be aware of the health benefits of regular exercise.
Cardiovascular function, respiratory function and stress reduction are all enhanced with physical activity to name but a few.
As well, it helps you achieve ideal body weight thereby minimizing stress on the spine
Minimally, 3 days/week for 30 minutes of brisk continual activity like walking, swimming, or cycling, along with a weight training routine. Do this and watch your musculoskeletal sore to new heights.
Please consult with a physician before beginning.
3) Postural Awareness: The repetitive stressors we are under daily, such as time spent sitting in front of a computer, or while relaxing and sleeping, wreck havoc on our bodies.
Learning how to correct your posture, can be a really ease fix. Yoga classes are wonderful resources, provided that the instructor is first rate.
In the very least, be aware of your posture with the activities you do the longest, and try to correct your posture as if you were being graded on it. Once you are conscious about your posture, musculoskeletal health will be maximized.
2) Flexibility: An elastic that looses its ability to stretch, not only looses its strength, but it also is more likely to crack or break.
Our muscles and joints are very similar.
If you loose the ability to lengthen your muscles when performing basic life requirements, like picking up groceries, bending over to do up a lace, walk down/up a flight of stairs, or getting in and out of your car, the more likely you will injure your own internal elastics…that is your muscles.
Stretches should be held for a steady 30sec count, with no bouncing. A position of comfort should be felt, with the slightest of manageable tension held throughout the stretch.
Flexibility and musculoskeletal health go hand in hand.
1) Core-Strength: Once a buzzword in the world of exercise, core-strenght or core training is an integral part of the exercise routine for those in the know.
The abdominal musculature, complete with the transverse muscles, obliques, and lower abdominal stabilizers such as the pelvic floor muscles, all comprise of the core.
If we can stimulate these muscles “functionally” with compound, advanced movements, we will carve out a solid foundation to which the spinal column is built from.
All in all, these 5 Preventative Measures can be incorporated into your daily routine, helping you achieve great musculoskeletal health.
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