Category: Spinal Cord Injury | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
A spinal cord injury can change your life in a hurry, and while your life may never be the same as it was prior to your injury, a spinal cord injury should not get in the way of you living a full and healthy life. If spinal cord damage is limiting your mobility and affecting your mental and physical health, it can be easy to fall into some unhealthy habits. With that in mind, we share some tips in today’s blog for helping you maintain a healthy and active life in the wake of a spinal cord injury.
Staying Healthy After A Spinal Cord Injury
Regardless of whether you have mild nerve damage or severe mobility issues due to your spinal cord injuries, these tips can help you live a healthy lifestyle after a spinal cord injury.
- Regular Exercise – Even though your mobility may be affected, it’s important that you exercise your body each day. Find a safe but challenging exercise routine that helps to build muscle and burn calories. This activity will vary from person to person based on the extent of your injuries, but try to be mobile and safely test your body’s capabilities. For some that means going for a run or a swim, while for others that means walking the block or doing some upper body exercises in their wheelchair. Find what works for you and still test your body physically on a regular basis.
- Mind Your Diet – It’s also important that your body gets a helpful supply of vitamins and nutrients from your diet. Make sure you’re eating a range of healthy options and are minding your calorie count, especially if movement isn’t as easy and it has now become harder to burn off calories. Don’t be afraid to indulge here and there, especially when your dietary choices have been healthy throughout the day, because being overly restrictive on your food choices can have negative consequences for your mental health.
- Engage Your Mind – Speaking of your mental health, it’s very important that you exercise your mind just like you exercise your body. A spinal cord injury can really affect your psyche, and your mental health will help with a number of these options on this list. Challenge your brain and engage in stimulating conversation to help improve your mental health, and reach out to your spine specialist or your general practitioner if you begin to feel anxious, depressed or overly stressed.
- Regular Checkups – Everyone should get an annual checkup, but it’s especially important for individuals dealing with a spinal cord injury. This will help ensure everything is operating as it should, and it can also help catch any problems in their infancy. And while we’re on the topic of healthcare, make sure you are getting your normal shots and vaccinations. The seasonal flu can be hard on everybody, but it can be especially challenging on individuals with a spinal cord injury, so work to prevent problems instead of treating them after the fact.
Maintaining your overall health and fitness takes work, and it can be even more challenging to stay on top of things after a spinal cord injury. However, if you keep these factors in mind and you reach out to a spine specialist for any questions or concerns you might have, we’re confident that you’ll be doing right by your body. For more information or for help with your spinal issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.