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Health Resolutions For The Year 2000

The new millennium is now here, so start it off right by committing to a healthier lifestyle. A few simple and practical changes in your lifestyle can make a positive impact on your health this year and can also prevent you from experiencing a variety of painful health problems in the future.

Limit your 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.

Avoid carrying a heavy purse or briefcase with its strap over your shoulder, unless you place the strap over your 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.

Do not (or do not allow your children to) carry backpacks that weigh more than 10 percent of your (or their) body weight. Beyond that weight, the backpack will cause the wearer to begin bending forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.

Avoiding lifting heavy objects over your head. These types of movements can strain muscles and affect nerves, causing severe neck, shoulder and arm problems.

Never turn your torso while lifting relatively heavy objects. This rotates the spine and can bring on a "back attack."

Try not to consistently cross the same knee over the other. Such a habit can also eventually cause misalignment of the spine.

Try to keep moving while you're 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.

When using a shovel - in winter or summer - remember to push rather than lift, whenever possible.

When using a shovel - in winter or summer - remember to push rather than lift, whenever possible.

Use luggage with wheels whenever possible. Carrying, lifting and moving a heavy suitcase can ruin a vacation.

Avoid over-medicating yourself and your family. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications have unknown side effects. Discuss alternative remedies with a doctor of chiropractic.

Source: American Chiropractic Association