People with a higher body mass index (BMI) may be at risk for developing neck and back pain. Since more than 44 million American are considered obese by government standards, it is a concern that affects many. The research suggests that obese women and men have an approximately 20 percent increased risk of chronic pain in both the low back and the neck/shoulders than people considered average weight. It’s important to know that even if you are healthy, you still might suffer neck and back pain, though in those cases, simply changing your workplace ergonomics might be useful.
There are a few techniques to improve your health and quality of life; with these simple changes you will be able to lower your BMI as well as improve the overall quality of your health:
- Get moving: If you have a sedentary lifestyle, change it up. Simple changes like walking to work, taking the stairs, or doing yoga are all little things that can certainly add up. Aside from the weight loss you’ll experience, you will also get the added benefit of a better mood.
- Drink lots of water: Drop more pounds faster by drinking two cups of water before each meal. You’ve probably heard that drinking water before you eat can help you lose weight, the theory behind this recommendation is that the water helps fill you up so that you end up eating less at mealtime, which leads to fewer calories consumed in the day.
- Eat red peppers: This spicy addition to a meal can help rev up your metabolism; it’s also a good source of vitamins A, C, B6, folate, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin K and fiber.
- Relax: Stress makes us produce more ghrelin, a hormone that spreads in the stomach. In a recent study, stress was shown to cause mice to produce more ghrelin. While this increase in ghrelin helps to lower their stress, it simultaneously triggers a shift in appetite toward more calorie-rich foods. This hunger lead the mice to overeat and over time become obese.