Next year, resolve to take better care of your back

Every January we start with the same optimism that this year will be the one we actually keep our resolutions. The problem with so many  New Year's resolutions, though, is people tend to bite off more than they can chew and end up getting quickly discouraged However, there are some more realistic resolutions you can try out in 2016 that can be achieved with some simple changes in your daily habits. In fact, resolving to take better care of your back can improve your health overall.

Improve your posture

Research from San Francisco State University found that people with poor posture tend to be depressed and have less energy. Having bad posture also affects how others view you, which can be detrimental to your career.

"You don't want to walk into somebody's office slouching and bent over, because people really do perceive you as not as vital," Janice Novak, author of "Posture, Get it Straight" and director of improveyourposture.com, told Prevention magazine.

To improve your posture, Novak said you need to start by strengthening the muscles in your back. Implementing a simple exercise like lifting your ribcage an inch off your hipbones and pulling your shoulder blades back and down can help you work on these muscles and see a positive change in your posture. 

Lift safely

Whether it's in exercise or daily activities, too many people don't know how to lift heavy objects safely and end up injuring their back. These types of lifting-related injuries typically affect back muscles, discs or joints. When lifting heavy objects, be sure to keep your chest pointed forward and bend at your hips and knees. This will make your back straight and prevent an injury due to twisting. Then, when moving with the object, you should lead with your hips and not your your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders in line with your hips also prevents twisting. It's important to keep the weight close to your body, too. When a heavy object is held farther away from your body, it requires more force to carry.

Visit a chiropractor

Chiropractic care can actually help with more than just backaches. Because your central nervous system is connected to other systems in your body, having a healthy, working spine can improve many aspects of your health and wellness. U.S. News and World Report wrote that chiropractic care can improve stress, anxiety, fibromyalgia, weak immune systems and flexibility. Prioritizing how you care for your back and spine in the new year can help you care better for the rest of your body, too.

If you're looking to begin regular chiropractic care, schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor today.