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Looking Good Longer

by Betty Guy-Wills
Your back is a key to your health

Being overweight can cause pain in the lower back from pinched nerves and/ or disk problems. Excess
weight also places a lot of pressure on your joints that can cause arthritic problems. Keeping your weight
within 10 pounds of your ideal weight is healthier.

The correct exercises can add strength to your back. These include low impact aerobics, like walking or
jogging in place, or walking one to two miles three times a week. Swimming or water exercises if you
can arrange it, are wonderful because they are weightless causing no strain at all. Stationary bike riding
is recommended for those who feel they can handle a bit more than the average. With the help of a
therapist you can program your individual needs. Always consult with your doctor or physical therapist
before starting any exercise or stretching program.

When sitting make sure your knees are a little higher than your hips to give you support for the lower
back. Do not cross your legs. When standing keep one foot forward of the other while slightly bending
your knees. This stance takes the pressure off your back. When lifting stand close to the object, use your
legs to pull the item up, bend your knees and keep the back straight. While sleeping stay on your side if
needed place a pillow between your knees. Invest in a strong supportive mattress; a futon is excellent.
Stretch your hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your legs) on a daily basis, by placing both hands on
a wall and bring both feet together back about 12 inches from the wall. Next slide one foot backwards
about 12 inches keeping the leg straight with foot flat on the floor at the same time bending the other
leg, keeping your foot flat on the floor. You will feel a stretch in the calf of the straight leg. Repeat on the
opposite leg. Always consult with your doctor or physical therapist before starting any exercise or
stretching routine.

Drink plenty of liquids daily, at least eight glasses, including water and lemonade, but no sodas and
minimal caffeine. Keeping hydrated maintains the elasticity and fluids in our joints. Pay attention to
your work and car seat to maintain good posture for your individual height. Do not stay in one position
too long because the back muscles will become tight. Learn to listen to your body. Don’t overdo your

The complexion of the back is also very important to keep it moisturized and free of pimples and black
heads. Exfoliate weekly or apply an exfoliator crème on a back brush, let dry then shower off with warm
water. This treatment performed once a week for three weeks, then twice a month can aid in removing
brown spots and encourage a smoother back complexion. After exfoliation, apply a vitamin infused
moisturizer lotion. A sponge attached to a long handle is excellent for this application. If you are prone
to break out, pat on a facial astringent, via the long handled sponge, before the moisturizer. These
sponges are available in drug and health food stores. When the bath lotion is absorbed, next apply an
SPF the same as you apply on your face, neck and all other exposed areas of the body. Also, be sure and
apply an absorbent nighttime moisture on the back with your sponge.

Incorporating these methods into your health and beauty routine can help you in avoiding many back

(Betty Guy-Wills is a columnist/author, motivational speaker and consultant specializing in anti-aging and age subtracting. You may write her at P.O. Box 10713 Beverly Hills CA 90213. Please include a stamped self-addressed envelope.)

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