Losing Weight For The Good of Your Back

Blaine MitchelAll, Back Pain, PreventionLeave a Comment

Why Lose Weight?

Being overweight not just puts excess strain on your back; it overworks your hips, knees, and feet. The majority of body’s weight rests on the lower back and hip area. That excess weight provides more pressure on these bones. Losing weight has a huge range of health benefits, but we understand it’s easier said than done. If it were simple, we wouldn’t have such an obesity problem in this nation and, more and more, worldwide. We recommend adopting a one step at a time approach to weight loss. You know the cliché (it may be tired but it’s true): successful weight loss requires a lifestyle change. Slowly adopt a few new fitness and food habits and you’ll be well on your way. Here are several strategies to help you be more successful:

  1. Expect to fail

You’re more likely to succeed in changing your behaviour if you consider it to be learning something new. A normal aspect of the learning process is failure. When you first learned to ride a bike, you didn’t pedal perfectly on the first try. Odds are you kept trying until riding that bike became second nature. This is the same with a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Gain emotional perspective

If you do fail, don’t overreact. Instead ask yourself three key questions: What happened? Is there anything you can do about it now? And crucially, what can you do to stop it from happening again? It’s common for people to fall off the wagon—including high-performing athletes! Don’t focus on the negatives; instead, analyse yourself, fix the problem, and get back on the wagon as fast as you can.

  1. Set realistic goals

Lose 10 pounds in 10 days! Not going to happen. Not if you want to keep it off at least. Instead, go for slow and steady. And don’t panic if you gain a pound or two. Compare over a month’s time, not a few days’ time.

  1. Break goals into daily actions

Instead of just saying you want to exercise more, promise yourself that you will walk for 30 minutes four times a week. It’s so important to be specific and realistic. And if you can find a goal buddy, partners can motivate each other when the going gets tough.

  1. Think differently

Lots of people think that losing weight is about deprivation. We’ll eat well all day, then think, “Damn it, I deserve a bowl of ice cream!” Healthy eating is about feeling better and getting down to a good weight. Reward yourself in a non-sabotaging way: music downloads a movie night, or a new outfit.

  1. Create a supportive environment

It’s better to have self-control when the cookies and ice cream are still in the supermarket. It’s easier to preserve good portion control when you don’t overload your plate or have large bowls of pasta on the kitchen table. When eating out, particularly when ordering dishes such as pasta, ask for a half order or have the restaurant serve half and put the other portion in a container to take home.

  1. Consider the company you keep

Studies have shown that who we eat with changes our behaviours. If the people you’re eating with overeat and are out of shape, you’ll tend to be the same. In contrast, if your friends are physically active and eat well, you’ll tend to be that way, too. You can’t change family and friends overnight, and we’re not advising this. But you can make your health a priority. Again, the buddy system works. It provides mutual support, accountability, and inspiration.


Lunchtime Fitness

Creating a stronger, more flexible body doesn’t take that much time. Slotting in some fitness into a few of your lunch breaks can help. These simple strategies can help you get the most out of your limited lunch hour.


Multitasking has its benefits both in the office and in the gym. Get the maximum benefit from limited time by uniting cardiovascular exercise with strength training. For instance, use a cardio machine for 10 minutes, weight train your upper body for 10 minutes, then stretch. Rotate between upper and lower body weight training each time you work out to get a full-body benefit by the week’s end. Try and get a co-worker to join you. You can brainstorm new ideas and build better professional relationships as well.

No Gym? Bring It In

You don’t require a huge amount of space to exercise well. Grab a yoga mat and a resistance band and you’ve got your own in-office workout. Resistance bands provide an endless array of strength-training and stretching options. They can be done conducted standing, sitting, or lying down. These bands are cheap and the majority come with step-by-step workout routines. Or gather a group and hire a group fitness trainer to come to your worksite.

You can do lots of exercises without any equipment. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and jumping jacks. Correct form, precision, and control are vital. Just stepping away from the computer for a few minutes to stretch out your back can help with stiffness. A few side stretches, forward bends, and gentle spine twists work well.

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