I recently did a series called Day in the Life. It came out of many of my followers on social media messaging me asking what I did on a daily basis to reduce and eliminate my low back pain. After many answers and countless interactions I decided to create a video series. It included tips on stretches I start my day with, core and mobility I do, foods I avoid and things I try and eat a lot of, as well as desk exercises and end of day stretches I do to reset. I'm diving deeper in this blog, including my actual literal routine and a little more detail (I love you Reels but you only give me 90 seconds!). This is my way of saying to those followers of mine who need more detail, I hear you. And while I love watching Reels as well to get some good tidbits of information, I do read daily to further my knowledge in an array of subjects. It takes time right? And just a side note. This is my daily routine around 80% of the time. We also travel frequently so sometimes I have to bend and flex with my daily routine. This is just a representation of my ideal days that allow me to have some wine each week or indulge in meals or heck just taking a day off from work! Okay let's get into it....
I start with a big glass of water to wash down my multi-vitamin, fish oil, glucosamine and turmeric, taurine and vitamin D before my celery juice I make with lemon, ginger and green apple. Then I dive into my 1-2 cups of coffee with milk after I've meditated. So where do these habits come from? I know that I need to hydrate from the start of my day and I take an array of supplements to decrease inflammation and also support my other nutrition. I meditate to help manage my anxiety and stress. I've been battling anxiety off and on the past 10 years or so. I find that when I meditate I tend to manage my day better and don't get as upset over things. I also come from a family of women who tend to internalize their stress. Previous to meditation when I would get stressed out, like really stressed out, the following day my back would give out. My mom, sisters and grandmother are the same way.
I either eat a bowl of oatmeal that I top wth fresh fruit and add some collagen to or I go the egg whites with veggies and a side of toast. I do track my food most days to ideally hit around 130 grams of protein (about 1:1 ratio to my weight), 25-30 grams of fiber (the amount to hit as a women over 35) and keep my fat and sugar levels in check. These meals help to keep me full, focused and support muscle growth and weight maintenance. I also drink a simple protein shake daily of collagen powder, water, and fresh lemon to help me hit my protein goal. If you're interested in learning more about how hydration plays a role check out one of my other blogs HERE.
I work out 5-6 days a week and ensure that I do a minimum of 5,000 steps daily. My workout routine is pretty cut and dry. Three of my days I run around 4-6 miles and three of my days I do a total body workout to hit all of my major muscle groups and movements. I also ensure I do about 15 minutes of core and mobility and isometrics that keep my hips aligned. I follow that by around 30-45 minutes of cardio. This routine allows me to feel strong, move well and maintain my weight. If you're interested in learning about some of the exercises I do on a daily basis check out my Reels HERE.
I eat a variety of lunches but typically I am eating a plate of cold shrimp with fruits and veggies, a protein shake with fiber added, healthy fats, egg whites or greek yogurt, or a small sandwich with meat and cheese with a side of raw veggies. Again I am ensuring I am adding in foods that help to lower inflammation in the body (fruits, veggies, whole grains and certain proteins) as well as keeping my energy levels throughout the day.
I tend to start work fairly early (around 7AM most days) so by midday I am usually waning a bit coming off of my workout and lunch. I use this time to do a little reading or brainstorm on new ideas. I like to clear my head, focus on my breath and even take a nap if that's what my body needs. It helps me to recharge so I can continue to work until around 4 or 5PM. That's usually my quitting time so that I can start tackling dinner!
I make a lot of soups that include lean protein, beans, vegetables and spices. I like to serve that with basmati rice or maybe some crusty bread. We also do a LOT of salads because we love them! We do a good variety of vegetables and also like to add cold shrimp or rice to it as well. I also cook quite a bit of baked chicken or pork, roasted veggies and baked potatoes. Again, I am looking to add more color to my diet as well as healthy proteins and fats. If you are looking for a little more help on how to build better meals check out one of my other blogs HERE.
END OF DAY
I watch some TV, read or talk to my husband. We usually indulge in some dessert (trail mix, yogurt and fruit or a piece of cookie bar that I love to make) and get into bed by around 8PM. I'm asleep most nights before 10PM.
MAT (MUSCLE ACTIVATION TECHNIQUE)
I also see an MAT Specialist every 4-6 weeks depending on my schedule. This helps to ensure my movement patterns stay strong. After years of running (I ran around 8,500 miles in college) that led to poor foot and hip function is why I endured so many years of chronic pain. And that's why I see someone who can help me to keep my compensation patterns from hindering me wanting to run and work out on a regular basis. I also have clients who have a massage therapist or do acupuncture to help them to relieve some of their pain.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
So why am I telling you all of this? There are a few reasons. Low back pain is typically a result of many little things. It can be caused by poor workout form, bad habits, poor diet, stress, lack or sleep or simply hydration. It's not always just one thing. So when people learn that I endured back surgery where they removed about 2 inches of one of my discs and I am now pain free, I tell them that the surgery was one minor piece of a very large puzzle. Removing the disc sure helped me to get out of the massive pain I was in (the disc was sticking out so far it was pushing on my nerve root causing me major sciatica). But that didn't solve the problem of why that happened in the first place.
That was a result of too much heavy lifting, poor foot function, lack of core strength, limited mobility in my hips and shoulders, too much alcohol, high stress, not enough sleep, and yes, probably lack of hydration. So I made it my mission to control as many of the variables that I could. This blog is NOT designed to tell you that you have to do all of these habits. It's to show you there are so many variables that you can work on to ensure you are putting your best "back" forward. It's also to remind you that making just a small change like adding more water or committing to an extra hour of sleep can make all of the difference.
If you're curious about where to start and how to create a customized program for your fitness needs, book a call with me HERE.