• Ken Belveal

Keep your spine healthy in the kitchen

It is no fun having back issues while you are cooking. Read on to limit your pain.

The older we get, the more we must think about how to do things to avoid painful situations. Hours spent standing in the kitchen preparing food can take its toll on the body. Back pain is one of the most common complaints of older adults but here are a few ideas that can relieve discomfort and prevent strain. Tips for Preventing Back Strain

  • Lift heavy items using your knees and hips. Getting a heavy pan out of a low cabinet should be done by using your thighs and buttocks instead of your low back. To do this, bend at the hips and knees and keep your back flat and core tight.

  • Equally distribute your weight on both legs. Standing on one leg for too long tilts the hips which puts strain on the spine.

  • Avoid locking the knees. This puts the support of the body on the leg bones and not the leg muscles. This is important as circulation is restricted if the muscles are not working.

  • Take a break every 30 minutes to stretch. Doing a couple of stretches relieves tension. Grab your hands behind your back and stick out your chest to stretch your chest. Put one arm across your body and grab the elbow and pull into body to stretch the shoulder, to name a couple.

  • Check your posture. Make sure your head is aligned over your shoulders and bring your shoulders back and down. Keep tools and ingredients closer to the edge so you do not constantly reach.

  • Sit at the table or bring a stool to the counter. Do this while preparing food such as chopping or peeling vegetables.

With just a few simple changes in the way you position your body, you can make a large difference in how your spine feels while cooking. Exercising and stretching on a regular basis can counteract the results of a sedentary lifestyle which can cause aches and pains in the spine.

Enjoy your cooking!

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