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Don't Be Afraid of Commitment

For Valentine's Day, why not make a commitment, a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. What could be a better gift to a loved one and to yourself than living the longest, healthiest life you possibly can?

It's never too late to start and with a few changes you could be on the road to healthy living. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), all it takes are some simple, practical changes to make a positive impact that will improve your health now as well as prevent future painful health problems.

ACA President Dr. Michael Pedigo says, "When a patient asks me what steps they can take to improve their health, I, of course, urge them to stop smoking, eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly and reduce stress in their life; however, I also give them more chiropractic-related tips that are often overlooked by other healthcare providers — tips that can make a big difference in their quality of life and prevent future pain and injury."

The following commitments can help you toward a healthier lifestyle, ACA suggests:

I will limit my intake of caffeinated coffee, sodas and teas. The caffeine in these drinks can cause dehydration and can rob the body of essential nutrients. Stick to water, juices and other decaffeinated beverages.

I will not carry a heavy purse or briefcase with its strap over my shoulder, unless I place the strap over my head on the side opposite the bag. Wearing a shoulder strap over one shoulder unevenly places the weight of the bag on one side of the body, potentially causing shoulder and back pain.

I will not lift heavy objects over my head. These types of movements can strain muscles and affect nerves, causing severe neck, shoulder and arm problems.

I will avoid the habit of consistently crossing the same knee over the other. Such a habit can also eventually cause misalignment of the spine.

I will try to keep moving while I'm at work. If sedentary for the majority of the work day, it is very important to take periodic stretch breaks throughout the day. Get up from the desk and take a brief walk, and stretch arms and legs as frequently as possible to avoid postural and spinal stress.

I will avoid over-medicating myself and my family. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications have unknown side effects.

Copyright 1999 Health Resources Publishing

© 2000 Health Resources Publishing