It’s a new year and a new beginning – a fresh start, a time to think of future goals and desired achievements. But this year, Alberta’s chiropractors encourage you to think back—or least think about your back.

Approximately 80 per cent of Canadians will experience a significant bout of back pain during their life. Many will have several bouts, with some developing chronic back pain. Most back pain develops after lifting a heavy object, straining muscles after exercise, or through poor posture.

The following simple exercises will help condition the muscles of your back, hips, thighs and stomach:

  • Ankle flex. Lying on your back, flex and then point your toes. Repeat 10 times per ankle.
  • Leg bend. Lying on your back, slowly bend knee and then straighten. Repeat 10 times per knee.
  • Stomach contraction. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place hands below your ribs. Flex your stomach muscles to squeeze down and flatten your lower back. Count to five, then relax. Repeat 10 times.
  • Leg lifts. Lie on your back with one leg bent and one straight and lower back flat on the floor. Slowly lift straight leg about 5-10 inches. Hold for count of five and lower leg. Repeat 10 times per leg.
  • Heel lifts. Stand with weight evenly on both feet. Slowly raise and then lower your heels. Repeat 10 times.
  • Wall squats. Stand with your back against the wall. Move feet 12 inches in front of body, keeping back against the wall. Keeping stomach muscles tight slowly bend both knees to a 45 degree angle. Count to 50 and then return to upright position. Repeat 10 times.

If your resolution this year is to improve your health, look back. It could make this year your best ever.

Chiropractors are spinal health specialists and can provide advice and excises to strengthen muscles so you remain healthy and active. For more information, including where to find a chiropractor near you, visit www.albertachiro.com.