Self-Care

4 Ways Your House is Causing Your Back Pain

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

In the course of their lives, more than 80% of Americans will experience mild to severe back pain at some point or another, and you have a fifty-fifty chance of developing back pain within a year. It’s a startling statistic, but if you’re currently sat reading this with a hot water bottle resting against your sciatic nerve, then you probably know what I’m talking about.

For the most part, a lack of exercise and a lot of excess weight can contribute to back pain, but did you know that the furniture that you have in your home can make things worse for you? Back pain comes in many forms and for many reasons, but if you can eliminate some of the causes, then you absolutely should. If you don’t adjust your lifestyle, your backache can turn to chronic back pain. Here are some of the most common back pain contributors that your house has to offer you, and how to change things to suit your spine:

Toilets.

Did you know that the place you install your toilet roll holder can be damaging for your back? You likely don’t think about that when you’re on the ceramic throne, but if you are pulling off spectacular gymnastics just to reach for a wipe, then you need to have a rethink. The cheap way to fix this is to ensure you have enough toilet paper when you sit down to do your business. The expensive fix is buying a toilet roll holder that is freestanding and within reach!

Beds.

When was the last time that you replaced your mattress or your bed? I thought so. You should be changing your mattress every three years and your bed set every ten years with BestBedsBoutique.com. You need to be comfortable while being well-supported, and if you can achieve that with the perfect mattress then you should. Add on squashy pillows and fluffed duvets and you have a bed to be worshipped!

Housework.

No one likes to get down on their hands and knees to clean, but if you have cleaning equipment that has you hunched over while you use it, then you need to adjust what you are doing. Bending, reaching and carrying heavy equipment like vacuum cleaners can cause some real aches and pains when you are cleaning. Think of it as a sport, with stretching as your warm up and use your equipment wisely. Invest in fancy gadgets like this one if you don’t want to do it yourself – the money is worth it!

Hard Floors.

The way you walk can impact your back. Hard floors that have no give in the same way that carpeted floors do can make each step that you take quite stressful for your lower back. Use rugs and rubber mats where you can and if you have the cash, you should install softer surfaces like cork!

Your back is supporting you the best that it can, the least that you could do is look after it!

4 Ways Your House Is Causing Your Back Pain - The Southern Smiths: Figure it out, and then fix it!
Cooking, Self-Care

The Benefits of Healthy Food Alternatives

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

We aren’t always the best at putting healthy alternatives into our diet, are we? There’s so much temptation around is no matter where we go. Even with the best intentions, it is hard to stay focused on a healthy diet. Nearly all of the people who attempt it fall within the first week. But this is because getting into the routine of a healthy diet is like getting into a routine at the gym. You have to give it a few weeks before you can go the week without thinking anything of it. It will then become natural to you. So to try and show you why healthy alternatives are the way forward, we’ve listed some of the benefits for you, and a negative that binge eating and unhealthy foods can do to you.

(Related Post: 3 Health Tips For The New Year)

The Bad Foods

We might as well start with the bad foods first to try and highlight how good the good foods truly are for you. We are terrible at giving into bad foods. Frankly, it is because some of them are known to be addictive. Because of the way in which certain chemicals within chocolate, or crisps, or other such junk foods react in our brain, we get addicted to the feeling of happiness eating the junk food gives us. So actually breaking the cycle of eating them is harder than you might think. For a food to be addictive to us, you know it can’t be too good for you. There are times of the year where we eat a lot more than we should of, the holidays being the main one. We overindulge because we feel there is a reason to. But the short-term effects of this are weight gain, higher cholesterol, not enough energy, and crankiness. As good as junk food might make us feel, it does give you a little binge eat hangover which can make you a little more touchy than you realize. But there are plenty of holiday eating tips out there to help you try and reduce your calorie and fat intake at a time when it will usually be highest. If you carry on binge eating, the long-term effects are really bad. Weight gain and possible obesity is the main one. This can lead to health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and long-term high cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

The Good

If you switch your diet up and cut out all the foods full of additives, high sugar and salt content, and fat, the first thing you’re going to notice is your energy levels will be increased. That sluggish feeling we seem to get on a daily basis will soon fade away. You’ll also notice your weight will drop. The benefits of this being less chance of developing the issues we mentioned in the above paragraph, and it can actually help to improve other functions within your body. Your cardiovascular system will improve when it isn’t clogged up with all the cholesterol from all the fatty foods, and your digestive system will also improve. It is so much easier for our digestive system to process the organic foods you will be eating, the processed ones often clog the system up, and most likely are the reason you have a bad belly a few times a week.

The Benefits of Healthy Food Alternatives - The Southern Smiths: Beat your habits!
Family, Self-Care

Ready for a Baby? Here are Some Things you Need to Know

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

So, you and your partner are thinking of starting a family? That’s a big deal, and it’s something that couples both fear and look forward to at the same time. To put your mind at ease, you need to take the right steps now rather than later. It’s the only way to make sure that you don’t start creating problems for yourself. There are so many areas of your life that can be improved in order to set the ground for the family you’re about to start. Read on to learn more about those key changes.


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