Is your beer belly causing your back pain? 

A nice, cold drink should help you relax, unwind, and chill out.  But indulging too often can lead to unexpected side effects that will do anything but lower your stress. Drinking too often can lead to weight gain – and if it centers in your gut – you might end up with a beer belly. This concentrated weight can then put added strain on your back and lead to pain.

“Beer” belly – The name really isn’t fair to beer; while it is high in carbohydrates, beer isn’t the only alcoholic beverage that can cause weight gain. The trouble with adult beverages is that on top of all the carbs, sugar, and calories, they include alcohol, which your body will burn instead of the other ingredients. Thus, the more alcohol you consume, the more carbs, sugar and calories will be stored, eventually becoming excess fat.

Back strain – If you develop a sizable gut, your body begins to compensate for the additional stress that it’s experiencing. For every pound you gain, more stress is placed on your muscles and joints. Additional stress can pave the way to injury, misalignments and other complications that can lead to pain. Experts recommend maintaining a healthy weight to lower your risk of pain.

Lose the gut – The best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to make it exactly that – the habit of your day-to-day life. Don’t fall into the trap of fad diets. Make lasting changes and give yourself time to adjust. As you eat healthier, you will have more energy to exercise. Consider any of the following or maybe a combination of these approaches:

  • Core – Work on core-strengthening exercises such as Pilates or yoga to help take additional stress off of your back. These exercises are low impact, stress relieving and relaxing. They also help to increase flexibility, muscle tone and circulation – all of which encourage healing.
  • Walking  – Studies have shown that consistent, vigorous walking can help decrease belly fat and reduce excess body fat all over. This type of activity is free and easy to incorporate into a routine for just about anyone.

Drink smart – By all means, enjoy an alcoholic beverage after a long day of work. But do so in limited amounts and no more than a few times a week. Consider a light beer or enjoy a dry wine rather than a fruity, sugary cocktail.

Moderation is the key word when discussing health and alcohol. Smart drinking choices today can spare you pain down the road.

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