Category: Blog

Mental Health Myths Busted

Mental Health Myths Busted

Even though a lot of research and studies have shown that many myths surrounding mental health are untrue, there is still a high proportion of the public who still believe these misconceptions. Because of this, they may hold stereotypical views of mental health sufferers which aren’t true, and they could end up judging sufferers unfairly. As a result, many people with mental health issues are still stigmatized and struggle trying to approach anyone for help and support.

As you can probably tell then, it is critical that we help to educate people and put an end to some of the most common myths regarding mental health. Here are a few of the usual suspects.

 

Children Don’t Suffer From Mental Health Problems

Many people still think that mental health problems do not affect children and teenagers. However, recent studies show that this isn’t the case at all. In fact, in today’s day and age where more children are online and comparing their lives to others on social media, they are a lot more likely to develop anxiety and depression. So, if you have a child who seems to be down a lot of the time, it could be worth talking to them and encouraging them to open up to you.

 

Mental Health Sufferers Are Unable To Work

Another myth is that people with mental health issues are too unstable to be in the workplace. Thankfully, this just isn’t true. In fact, quite a few studies show that continuing to go to work with a mental health issue can actually be beneficial as it gives the sufferer something to focus on and take their mind off their problems.

 

You Can Just Snap Out Of It

There are many people out there who have never experienced any mental health problems that think it is something that you can just snap out of. Anyone who has ever suffered will know this isn’t true. Sometimes, it can take months of treatment or talking to a specialist, such as the therapists at Meridian Psychiatric Partners, to start to feel better. If you do start to struggle with your mental health, you should always seek professional help before you start to feel any worse. Don’t just try to let the problems run their course.

 

You Can Never Fully Recover From Bad Mental Health

 

Another misconception that is widely believed by the general public is that it is impossible to fully recover from mental health problems. If you ask most people, they will say that once you develop them, they stay with you for life even if they do become manageable. It’s true that some mental health conditions are long-term, but, thankfully, it can be possible to stop feeling depressed and treatment can help with issues like OCD and other compulsive disorders. This is one other reason why it’s necessary to seek expert help.

 

These are just a handful of common myths. Unfortunately, there are still a lot more mental health misconceptions that still need to be busted!

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Is on-line counselling right for me?

Is on-line counselling right for me?

In today’s world everything is available on-line, from dating, to shopping, to learning. Every aspect of society, is having to remodel in order to satisfy the ever increasing demand for on-line options. There is no exception, not even in the world of mental and physical health. The world is changing at an unrecognisable speed and many who are not on board the e-train, are frightened of being left behind.

In today’s digital era, kids are almost arriving from the womb with a tablet in hand, ready to check out Duggie or watch a peer open a Kinder egg. It is quite acceptable therefore, to presume that the Millenarian generation and younger, are adept at working their way around the latest app or programme. However many adults feel that there on-line skills are inadequate, when it come to fulfilling their needs.

On-line Therapy is a fantastic addition, to the more traditional therapy options. It not only offers video counselling but also secure instant messaging and email, depending on the needs and preference of the client. It can make counselling accessible to those, who otherwise, may not be able to avail of it, due to disability, phobias, location or time constraints and can be offered as a stand alone platform for therapy or in conjunction with face to face.

Suitability of a client is determined by their sufficient ability to use internet technology, a secure internet connection, a reasonable internet speed and that they have privacy in their chosen location. Without these factors, it is possibility that communication will be hindered, which may interrupt the smooth running of the sessions or compromise the confidentiality of the therapy. This may leave clients feeling over or underwhelmed and possibly in a more negative place than when they started.

It is also, not necessarily the best model for very serious Mental Illness unless the chosen therapist has competence and experience in these areas from working face to face. An ethical counsellor, has a duty of care to their clients and will have protocols in place to ensure their clients safety. However this may prove difficult, if the client is not wanting to be located, as unlike face to face therapy, the client is not physically with their therapist hence the problem in safeguarding them. Therefore, a indepth assessment must carried out before work would begin. Assuming then, that the client is proficient on-line and the therapist is competent in working with serious mental illness, can on-line counselling be effective?

Numerous studies have been done, to suggest that on-line counselling is as effective as face to face, given the proficiency of the counsellor and the skills required by the client. But how can we determine whether or not a counsellor is skilled at working in this medium? Various on-line counselling courses are offered to someone wishing to incorporate this medium into their practice, ranging from £25 to thousands and varying from as little as two online hours of video watching, to many months of monitored work. This can make it difficult to know exactly, how much training your chosen counsellor may have.

Working on-line is a relatively new platform for therapy, there are presently no regulations requiring counsellors to have undergone a minimum standard of training. There is however an association for therapist and counsellors who work in this medium. ACTO requires all its members to have completed a recognised course and adhere to strict ethical guidelines. It is, at present, the only such organisation in the UK.

SO which form of therapy is best for you? On-line or face to face? Like any decision, it depends on your needs and your constraints. Do you prefer the strength and reliability of the traditional Stem train or are you wanting to climb on-board the new high speed bullet? Whatever the decision, sit back, have faith in the process and enjoy the journey to your chosen destination.

donnamakhsous@dr-julian.com

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What To Do When Insomnia Is Taking Over

What To Do When Insomnia Is Taking Over

Although the recommended average amount of sleep for adults is 8 hours per night, it’s probably fair to assume that most people aren’t hitting this consistently.

Whilst the odd sleepless night is generally not a big deal if you’re getting close to the recommended average and having a rested sleep when you do doze off. Yes, it can be annoying and inconvenient, but most people know how to deal with it and will just catch up.

However, when you’re not able to sleep at all and this is happening on a regular basis, then it’s most definitely a real cause for concern and you could be suffering from insomnia.

Aside from the frustration of not being able to sleep and the exhaustion that follows that, people who suffer from insomnia are at far higher risk of illnesses and accidents, so it’s something that should absolutely be taken seriously.

Insomnia, when left to go on can massively affect your life in all areas. As well as your physical and mental health being at risk, it can also have consequences in your work and even relationships.

In this post, we’re sharing some tips for you when it comes to dealing with insomnia and stopping it from taking over your life.

 

Don’t Self Diagnose:

 

Whilst insomnia is actually a huge problem that affects millions of people, it’s also important to recognize that even if you’re not able to sleep, you may not be suffering from insomnia, and your inability to drift off may actually be down to lifestyle and once these things are identified and eliminated then you could be able to sleep normally.

Although it’s easier than ever to just type your symptoms into Google and have what is believed to be a diagnosis appear on your screen, self-diagnosing is a risky thing to do and Google should only be used for gathering information.

If your lack of sleeping is affecting your life, then you should see a doctor who can look into the possible causes of this.

As mentioned above, there can be simple lifestyle factors at play that are easily changed, and there could also be an underlying issue with something like your back or neck causing you to lie a certain way, so your doctor will discuss things with you like choosing a correct mattress, or even the benefits of chiropractic adjustments that can really make a big difference.

 

Cut Out The Caffeine:

Like most things, caffeine is fine in moderation – whether it’s your morning cup of coffee or just some to give you a little boost during the day. Though, caffeine is a stimulant and it does take a while to leave your system, so although you should never drink a cup of coffee before bed if you’re expecting to sleep, you should also limit it throughout the day, and actually stop drinking overly caffeinated drinks around 6-8 hours before you normally go to bed.

It’s also important to note that, although black tea contains far less caffeine than coffee does, it is actually caffeinated, and this includes some green teas. Even hot chocolate contains caffeine, plus the sugar content in it doesn’t make it the best thing to be drinking a lot of.

So, if you’re looking for something to sip on before bed, then you can try various types of herbal and fruit teas – you can even get some that are specifically made for helping you wind down and relax. Other hot drinks include warm milk and turmeric tea.

 

Watch What You Eat:

What we eat affects our health and bodies in so many more ways than we’re aware, and it’s not just about what you drink before bed, but also what you eat.

For example, if you’ve ever tried to get to sleep after eating something really spicy or greasy, you’ll know that it’s not the easiest of tasks and what you’ll probably you’re dealing with is a long and painful night of heartburn.

Also eating a large meal too close to bedtime will really affect your sleep, so if you must have a late dinner, then try to opt for something light instead.

Certain foods, such as almonds, bananas, turkey, kiwis, and fatty fish do contain sleep-aiding properties, so try to include these in your diet when possible if you’re having trouble with your sleeping routine.

 

Set The Stage:

Just as our diet and lifestyle can have a huge impact on our ability to get a good night’s sleep, as does our immediate environment. Take a quick look around your house – specifically your bedroom and see if it’s really supporting your ability to sleep or if it’s actually hindering it.

Is there lots of clutter, bright lights and general stimuli everywhere? If so, then this can really affect your sleep. When you go to bed, you may like to have some white noise in the background, especially if you struggle with anxiety, however, having a blaring TV is probably not going to help you sleep or help your anxiety.

Instead, try a white noise machine, have all the lights off, or dimly lit soft lights or candles – though, remember to never fall asleep with candles on.

Using an oil burner with some lavender oil is a great way to promote a calm and relaxing atmosphere to help you drift off, as is relaxing music or even a guided meditation.

We hope that these tips have provided you with some useful and good ideas to help you get into a better sleeping pattern. Having trouble sleeping is very common, so it’s definitely something you can get help with.

Whether you choose to take medication to treat your insomnia or go for a more holistic approach it’s really a decision that only you can make, and if you do decide to try medication then always discuss this with your doctor first so that you can get the right treatment for you and that you don’t take anything that could cause you any problems in the short and long-term.

Sleeping pills can definitely be effective, but like all medication, they do carry risks, and your doctor is the best person to ensure you’re taking a safe dosage that will actually help you.

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Why You Should Be Wary Of the High Life

Why You Should Be Wary Of the High Life

Now, don’t get us wrong: life should be enjoyed. But it’s always worth remembering that humans were never supposed to have everything that they wanted. We can’t be trusted to stop when we’ve had our fill! While most of our indulgences are harmless, sometimes they can have a negative effect on our health. There’s a reason why many of the famous thinkers in history have promoted living a life of moderation! Below, we take a look at some of the things that all of us pursue, but which might end up causing us problems if we’re not careful.

Eating Too Well

How nice would it be to be a millionaire, and have your own chef? You’d be eating three delicious, hearty meals a day. Though, having said that, it’s not that we need to be a millionaire to eat well, not these days. It’s more likely that you’ll die from overeating than undereating. That’s something to be celebrated, but also comes with a warning. There’s a long list of health problems attached to eating too much food. So learn to regulate your portion sizes and the types of food you’re eating.

Soaking Up the Rays

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend long days reading on the beach? Or we don’t have to even go that far. Wouldn’t it be nice just to be in the sunshine, doing anything so long as we’re topping up our tan? Well yes, but like most things, only if we’re taking proper precautions. There are more people than ever who are requiring testing for melanoma because they’ve spent so much time in the sunshine. If you are going to relax and work on getting that bronzed look, then make sure you’re doing so safely.

Spend, Spend, Spend

The high life involves being able to buy whatever you want, whenever you want it. It’s a costly lifestyle. But here’s the thing: study after study has shown that material items don’t improve our levels of happiness. If anything, they have a detrimental impact. But that assumes that you already have the money to buy what you want. If you don’t, you might have to commit to many years of training and professional growth before you can acquire the lifestyle that you want. If you have an inherent interest in your work, then there’s no problem. If you’re doing it just for the money, then you might one day find that the things your work enabled you to buy wasn’t worth the time. Mental health issues are on the rise for a reason!

Too Comfortable

We all strive to have more comfort in our life, but comfort is not necessarily something to aspire to. It’s much more comfortable to lie on the couch than visit the gym, but we all know which one would be better for our health. So don’t just take the easiest option, because it’ll be a false friend. Sometimes you need to do things that don’t always feel great in order to be your healthiest self!

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Diabetes: The Long-Term Picture

Diabetes: The Long-Term Picture

Coming to terms with diabetes can be difficult for anyone. Not only do you need to accept that you have this condition but you need to manage your health in a manner you were not doing before. Diabetes, in simple terms, means you have too much glucose in your blood. Glucose is a form of sugar. This can cause damage to your organs over time, which is why diabetes management is critical. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at the long-term effects of diabetes, providing some useful tips for anyone suffering from this condition.

 

Regular diabetes screening checks – It is certainly advisable to make sure you go for regular screening checks. This involves checks on your gums, teeth, feet, eyes, kidney function, triglycerides, cholesterol, blood glucose levels, and blood pressure. This will ensure that any issues are picked up on at the earliest opportunity.

 

Regular eye checks – You also need to make sure you have regular eye checks if you have diabetes. This is because there are a number of different eye conditions that are associated with diabetes. This includes the likes of glaucoma, cataracts, macular oedema, and retinopathy. Some of these conditions do not have early symptoms, which is why regular checks are a must.

 

Reduce the risk of diabetes complications – There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of complications if you have diabetes. There is only one place to start in this regard, and that is with healthy eating. You should avoid snacking on sugary foods as a way of controlling your cholesterol and glucose levels. You should also make sure you reduce your salt intake and include foods in your diet that are low in fat and high in fibre. You also need to consider the relationship between alcohol and diabetes. It is recommended that you do not consume more than two standard drinks a day. You should also make an effort to quit smoking if you currently smoke. Smoking can undo all of the good work you have done by eating healthily and reducing your alcohol intake.

 

Diabetes and mental health – It is important to recognise that diabetes can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress. It is important to be aware of this because it can easily get out of control if you are not. Stress can then impact your blood glucose levels, as well as your management of your condition in general. It is like a domino effect. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a counsellor, or of course, you can seek one out yourself. You are going through a difficult time, so it is only natural you may be feeling the strain of this. At Dr Julian we have counsellors who specialise in help with diabetes. 

 

So there you have it: an insight into the long-term picture regarding diabetes. Hopefully, you now feel more prepared when it comes to managing your condition, or indeed, helping someone that is suffering from diabetes.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Battling a Chronic Illness

Step-by-Step Guide to Battling a Chronic Illness

Everyone has health problems over the course of their lives, and for some of us, it’s simply something as innocuous as a cold or virus. However, there are some people out there who suffer from chronic illnesses. Nobody asks for their life to change, but sometimes you get news you weren’t expecting, and it can change the way you look at everything. Chronic illnesses can sometimes be terminal, and sometimes not, but they are always serious.

It is very easy to become despondent and lose hope when you first get the diagnosis of a chronic condition. There is no right or wrong way to handle this sort of thing, but it is best to try to not panic too much in the moment. The journey toward fighting this condition is only just beginning, and you need to be in the right headspace to achieve this. Check out this step-by-step guide to helping come to terms with a chronic illness, and how you can go about fighting it.

 

Try to Remain Positive

Make sure you do as much as possible to try to remain positive. There are a lot of things that are going to need to happen if you are serious about fighting back. And a positive mental attitude is often a big part of the battle.  This is something that can seriously impact on your anxiety and stress, and you need to be determined and driven to get better and fight this condition. Never underestimate the power of the right mentality, and staying upbeat and positive is a great way of being able to work through this condition and try to get well.

 

Talk About It

The one thing that a lot of people seem to get wrong when presented with a chronic illness is that they don’t talk about it. It is natural to close up when dealing with bad news and trying to process negative information. And there are a lot of occasions on which you may not want to talk about the problems you’re having and how you’re feeling. But, it can actually be very therapeutic and useful to talk about how you are feeling. You don’t necessarily have to talk to a therapist, but you should definitely speak to somebody and not bottle up the way you are feeling.

 

Do Research (But Not Too Much)

It is important that you keep on top of the situation and what is happening, and that you do some research, so you know what you’re dealing with. If you can learn more about the chronic illness you are facing this will help you in strategizing a plan to fight it. However, you also need to be careful that you aren’t doing too much research as well these days. The internet is a wonderful resource, but it can also be overwhelming as well. It is also natural to look for and fixate on bad news. This is not what you need when you are trying to focus on the positives and work on getting better.

 

Keep an Open Mind

Keeping an open mind is really important when it comes to improving your approach and mentality. You need to understand what is involved in the process of treatment, and there are often lots of new and unproven remedies on the market. It is important to keep an open mind and realize that there are a lot of things you might not have heard of that could be essential in helping you. This is something you should bear in mind, and it will be important to ensure that you keep an open mind and are receptive the different kinds of treatments that you might be offered.

 

Join a Support Group

You can’t do this by yourself. It is going to be very difficult for you, and there are going to be good days and bad days. But, you absolutely need to have some kind of support network around you for when things get tough, and you need some support. This is why joining a group is really important, whether it be online or in person. You need to be able to interact with others who are going through the same sort of thing that you are. This is so important for helping you and giving you the right sort of emotional and mental support.

 

Take Things a Day at a Time

It can be easy to think too far into the future when you have a chronic illness and worry about things that you can’t control or effect. The best approach to take to any kind of bad news, or chronic illness, is to make sure you take things one day at a time. Living day to day is so important in the long-term battle, as well as allowing yourself to be happy now and again. Taking things a day at a time is a massive part of working through any chronic illness, and will definitely help you through the process.

 

Expect There to be Bumps in the Road

You have to understand that battling through any sort of disease, illness, or chronic condition is going to mean a lot of ups and downs. There will be good days and bad days, and you need to expect this. It’s going to be difficult at times, but you have to understand that there will be better days as well; it is all about taking the rough with the smooth. Try not to worry too much when you have bad days, it is a natural part of the process.

 

Don’t Lose Hope

When the bad days come it will seem like all is lost, and that there seems to be no way out. These are the times when you will feel at your lowest ebb, but you need to hang in there and be strong as much as possible. There are many situations when it can seem hopeless, and you might feel like there is no point in bothering, but this is not the approach to take. Try to hang in there and make sure you don’t lose hope – it will help you a lot when it comes to working on getting better and improving.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that play a role in your approach when you have a chronic illness. You need to be able to approach things in the most balanced way you can. Dealing with a chronic condition is a scary thing, and you have to make sure you are measured and sensible in the way you deal with it. There is plenty you can do that is going to help with this, and you have to make sure you battle as well as you can.

 

We have online therapists that can help with chronic conditions if you would like to book an appointment please visit www.dr-julian.com

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Stressed About Death? How Planning Can Provide You With Peace of Mind

Stressed About Death? How Planning Can Provide You With Peace of Mind

None of us like thinking about our demise- fear of the unknown and no longer being with our friends and family is never a nice thing to consider. However, something that each and every one of us needs to accept is that one day we won’t be around any more, and that the world will keep turning without us in it. Making arrangements for after our death can be strangely reassuring, and can give us peace of mind that everything will be handled the way we want it to be and that our family will be ok. Here are some of the things you can think about and put in place, just to be on the safe side. Once it’s done, there’s no need to think about it again and you can get on with enjoying your life!

 

Decide on organ donation

Do you want to donate your organs when you die? If so, you can easily sign up to the register online, including or excluding whichever you like. New technology is making it easier than ever to ensure that organs are used correctly after death- there’s more here on this. But it’s worth making it known if you get the chance- at the very least, let your loved ones know your thoughts on whether or not you’d like to donate your organs and tissues once you pass away.

 

Get life insurance

If you have a family who you support financially, it can be a worry wondering how they would get by if you passed away. Life insurance is a proactive way that you can get around this worry, for a small payment each month they can get a payout in the event of your death. Things like mortgage life cover will pay off your mortgage if you pass away, meaning your spouse isn’t at risk of losing the home. Once it’s all set up, the direct debit will come out of your account each month and you don’t need to think any more into it.

 

Make funeral arrangements

If you have specific ideas about what you would like to happen after you die, it can be worth putting this into writing in some form. Perhaps you want a religious funeral, or maybe you specifically don’t want any religion mentioned. Would you prefer to be buried close to relatives, or cremated and have your ashes sprinkled somewhere in particular? You might even have ideas for songs you’d like to be played. If you’ve taken out life insurance then often, some funds from this can be used to pay for a funeral. Otherwise, you might want to include your funeral costs in your will, so whoever inherits your money or estate can recoup the costs. You can also take out funeral insurance if you’re over a certain age (it will depend on the company) so that everything is covered once you pass away.

 

Write a will

Speaking of a will, this is something that’s well worth considering. If you own a substantial amount of money, possessions or property then a will allows you to decide how this will be split up. Without one, it will be down to the state that you live in to split things up as they see fit. If you have certain people or charities that you want to include then a will allows you to do so, and your money gets distributed in the way that you choose.

 

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4 Common Health Issues You Can Help With Cardiovascular exercise

4 Common Health Issues You Can Help With Cardiovascular exercise

Sometimes it can seem like exercise is the solution to everything. While it certainly can’t solve all of your problems, there are many smaller health concerns that be helped – and even more major health concerns that can be prevented through exercise.

Cardio, in particular, has proven to be great news for your body and mental health. Here is a handful of the best benefits as well as how you can get started if you’ve been sedentary for a while now.

It is, after all, never too late to start and a lot of damage can still be prevented with cardio exercise as you age.

 

#1 Anxiety

Let’s start with the most obvious ones and work our way down. Anxiety and depression, troubling as it may be, are not somatic problems although it will have an effect on your body as well.

With anxiety, your heart beats faster, you may break a sweat, you feel flushes – in general, it tells your body that it’s time to prepare for a flight or a fight and your body will respond accordingly.

This is only caused by anxious thoughts, though, and not an actual threat so most people with anxiety are looking for ways to get rid of it. Therapy will definitely help as well as a host of mental techniques to help you to cope with the problems.

Plus, of course, a good round of exercise. The great news about exercising when you struggle with anxiety is that you’re treating yourself to a different chemical reaction; a good run makes you feel elevated, happier, and more at ease with yourself.

It is the endorphins or those ‘feel good hormones’ that tend to do this with us. In the long run, exercising will help you to handle those stressors in your life a bit better – and that meeting with your boss won’t really seem that scary anymore.

Anyone who struggles with anxiety should pair their other treatment with steady exercising throughout the week and they may feel that the symptoms decrease.

 

#2 Menopause

Many of us will struggle with the health problems that come with menopause at some point in our life. The most important thing to remember, however, is that continuing your exercise routine can help you a lot in terms of handling those hot flashes and even some of those bladder control problems that are so common.

While you can do strength exercises as well, particularly in terms of strengthening your pelvic muscles, cardio will also help you out as it helps you to maintain a healthy BMI.

Because bladder problems can occur, together with other causes, when excess fat puts pressure on the organs below, losing a bit of weight certainly won’t hurt if you’d like to get your menopause or general bladder problems under control.

If you’re leaning more towards the latter, it’s important to keep in mind that urinary inconsistency can be caused by a lot of different factors and it may not just be your stomach pooch that’s the cause behind it all.

Have a chat with your doctor about it and see if you can find the root behind it all or just continue with your exercises and see if your symptoms won’t disappear. A thirty-minute walk or a quick run can, after all, get rid of those hot flashes for up to twenty-four hours after your exercise – so it should certainly be worth it, either way.

 

#3 Weak immune system

Have you ever felt like you’re getting the symptoms of a cold after a good exercise? It is, in fact, not that strange as your immune system will be slightly weaker after a vigorous run or a hard session or aerobics. It seems odd, however, that something that is supposed to strengthen our immune system can make us feel weaker right after it.

The reason is actually quite simple; when you exercise, your body releases the human growth hormone which helps to repair muscles and encourage tissue growth in order to fix everything you compromised while exercising.

When it’s released in excess, however, such as after a particularly hard exercise, it can make us feel nauseous and weak. Pair this with general dehydration and you have the recipe for feeling shaky, tired, and not like you should have exercised at all.

The good news, of course, is that the feeling isn’t permanent – and, as long as you eat and drink properly after your workout, your immune system will be stronger when you’ve recovered.

Just a bit of commitment in the gym or on your yoga mat, and you will significantly reduce the amount of sick days you take.

 

#4 Back pain

So many of us experience back pain during our lives because we are increasingly sedentary both at home and at work. While a good weight session with a focus on strengthening your core can help to relieve that pain, cardio can also help you out a lot.

It may not be as tough on your core muscles as a good weight session, but running will still keep your abs active – and that is, in fact, great news for your back. When you develop your lower back, abdominal, and oblique muscles, you’re taking some pressure off your spine as well as improving your range of motion.

If you’d like to enjoy a healthy back for longer, the message is clear; get out and go for a run or pick up some weights to strengthen your body. Either way, it’s great for your health.

 

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