You often don’t focus on your health when you’re healthy. When you’re dealing with illness, aches, and pains, on the other hand, it’s pretty much impossible to ignore.
Up to 40 percent of adults may be dealing with some form of chronic pain. Knee pain, joint pain, lower back pain, neck pain, and headaches are often difficult to manage and lead to a reduced quality of life.
5 Healthy Lifestyle Habits to Help Prevent Body Aches
Luckily, there are many healthy lifestyle habits that you can adopt to reduce body aches and chronic pain. Before running to the medicine cabinet to seek help, these adjustments may be able to help you live your life without being hindered by pain.
Here are five healthy lifestyle habits you should seriously consider adopting if you deal with body aches and back pain.
1. Exercise Regularly
Moving your body is often the last thing you want to do when experiencing aches and pains. However, one of the essential healthy lifestyle habits you can adopt to avoid pain is exercising regularly.
Though it seems counterintuitive, exercising can reduce the pain you experience. Avoiding exercise weakens your muscles, which can often make your pain levels significantly worse. Plus, exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, putting less stress on your muscles and joints.
In fact, one of a chiropractor’s tips for back pain is actually to exercise the muscles that support your back. Of course, this is only recommended if the pain is manageable. Exercising can help strengthen muscles that help maintain correct posture and support the alignment of your back.
Exercise doesn’t have to be intense to be effective. There are many low-impact exercises you can do to strengthen your muscles and reduce pain. You can walk your dog, do yoga, do aerobic exercises in the pool, or opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Whatever you do, try to make a habit of incorporating movement into your daily life. Even if it feels challenging to move with aches and pains, regular exercise can improve your life significantly over time.
2. Eat Well
Any list of healthy lifestyle habits wouldn’t be complete without telling you to eat well. But the reality is your diet can play a huge role in reducing body aches and back pain.
As with exercising, eating well can help you maintain a healthy weight, reducing stress to your body. But beyond that, the food you eat helps you maintain blood sugar levels, promotes healthy digestion, and can protect your heart health. Quality nutrition is an essential part of your overall well-being.
The word “diet” doesn’t need to scare you, though. Just focus on eating real, whole foods. Fruits, vegetables, and lean meats can provide essential nutrients that your body needs to function well and keep pain levels manageable.
Try to avoid overly processed foods and refined sugars as much as possible. Anti-inflammatory foods, such as berries, broccoli, and avocados, can help reduce your pain levels. A good rule of thumb is that if you recognize and can pronounce all the ingredients in a food item, your body will recognize it as well.
3. Sleep Well
An easy way to prevent aches and pains is to get quality sleep. Lack of sleep causes irritability and anger and lessens your ability to cope with stress. These may amplify the issues that body aches bring on by giving you less able to cope with the pain.
Not only that, but studies show that sleep deprivation can worsen the pain. Getting a good night’s sleep not only improves your mood and ability to deal with the pain but can also actually lessen the symptoms in the first place. The difference getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night can make may amaze you.
To develop this healthy lifestyle habit, focus first on setting and sticking to a sleep schedule. Having consistency will help your body enter into a deep sleep. Additionally, avoid screens and bright lights in the evening time as they can disrupt your circadian rhythm.
Keeping your bedroom tidy can prevent overstimulation at night and promote a restful environment. Cooler temperatures are also more conducive to a good night’s sleep, aiming to set the thermostat between 60-67 degrees. You may also want to consider investing in a unique pillow to prevent neck pain.
4. Take Time For Rest
It can be hard to rest in a go-go-go culture, but it is an essential healthy lifestyle habit because stress can make chronic pain worse. When not dealt with, body aches can move beyond just physical discomfort and affect your mental well-being by bringing on stress.
This is why it is essential to take time to rest. Whether you meditate, journal, or schedule a time for hobbies like reading a book or taking a relaxing bubble bath, prioritizing rest will help manage stress levels.
When not controlled, chronic pain and stress can become an unhealthy cycle. Chronic pain will bring on stress, and the stress makes chronic pain worse. Prioritize rest to break the cycle.
5. Drink Enough Water
Finally, be sure that you are keeping your body hydrated. Water is essential for your well-being. Dehydration can increase symptoms of chronic pain. This is because water helps your organs function smoothly and keeps your joints lubricated.
Even if you think you drink enough water, you may want to up your intake. A staggering 75 percent of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration. When in doubt, overhydrate.
Mayoclinic recommends drinking at least 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women, but this is just a general recommendation. The amount of water you should drink varies based on your environment, exercise habits, and overall health.
An excellent way to judge if you are well hydrated is by the color of your urine. If it is clear, you’re probably good; if it is yellow, you are dehydrated and need to drink more water. Additionally, if you are well-hydrated, you will rarely feel thirsty.
Develop a healthy lifestyle habit of drinking enough water, and your chronic pain may decrease significantly.
Healthy Lifestyle Habits Can Reduce Pain
Before reaching for the pill bottle to prevent knee pain or lower back pain, try implementing these healthy lifestyle habits. Focusing on your overall well-being will make you healthier in general and effectively reduce your overall pain levels.
Did you find this helpful? If so, be sure to check out our other health-inspired blog posts!