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Saturday, May 18, 2013
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How Obesity and Poor Nutrition Can Lead to Severe Lower Back Pain

Friday, May 17, 2013
One of the most under-appreciated benefits of maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced, nutritious diet is avoiding debilitating lower back pain. It’s not just pain, either. The lower spine is the site where the largest and longest nerve in the body originates – the sciatic nerve. Compression of this nerve produces the set of symptoms commonly known as sciatica. These symptoms affect the lower back, the buttocks, the legs, the feet, and the toes. For example, a persistent sharp or shooting pain down the outside of one leg is often sciatica. So, too, is tingling or numbness in the toes of one foot, or a loss of weakness in one thigh muscle. All of this can shut down your ability to enjoy life, and all of it is far more likely to happen if you carry extra weight.

Anatomy of the Spine

Why does carrying extra weight – especially around the midsection – pose a significant threat to the stability of the lower back? Because the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine supports the bulk of the weight of the upper body, while also allowing for a wide range of motion such as bending and twisting. The spinal anatomy in that region is under particular stress, and is therefore more susceptible to the wear and tear associated with the aging process. Extra weight only serves to exacerbate the problem.

Follow These Steps to Greater Fitness

Some people are unsuccessful in reaching their weight loss goals because they lack motivation or the knowledge to succeed. Making exercise fun doesn't have to be a major challenge! Look at these different ways to begin your weight loss program.

While you are working out, it is helpful to crank up the sound on your mp3 player. Research has shown that music can distract you from feeling tired from the workout, thus enabling you to continue longer and stronger. Make a playlist of nothing but fast moving, upbeat songs just for your workout. Fast music will keep you moving. Your body will be naturally inclined to move to the sound of the music. In this way, you will have a better chance of maintaining your intensity level for the complete exercise routine. Singing along will help the time pass more quickly.

Find a member of your family or a good friend who also wants to lose weight, and consider joining with them to be workout buddies. This way you have a partner with whom you can track your progress with and someone who will be there with you to exercise. The time passes much faster when you work out with a friend and engage in casual conversation. You aren't focused on the workout but on the companionship, which means you are more likely to stick with it.