Life can sure be hectic. We’ve had painters in our house the last few days and the interior of our house looks like we’re moving. Life has a way of throwing your routine off, just when you have things planned, other things come up, and sacrifices have to be made. There are things I don’t sacrifice, like brushing my teeth and exercising. Once you start putting off exercise, it’s very easy to fall off the exercise bandwagon, and hard to start again.

As I’ve said before, I don’t exercise to look at my muscles in the mirror, I exercise to make the things I have and want to do in life much easier. For instance, one of the painters needed me to help move my entertainment center to a different wall-it was very heavy and took both of us ~10 minutes. But I was able to hang with a man 1/2 my age, and it’s not because I sit on a couch all day. Exercise allowed me to do the work successfully with no injury.

Some tips on back pain. If you do a lot of sitting, make sure you keep your knees at hip level or higher-it takes a lot of pressure off of the back-use a footstool if necessary. Also, get up and move at least once an hour.

In my 20+ years of experience, I have noted that a lot of back pain actually comes from weak and/or tight hips. There are four muscle groups that act as guy wires, holding the hips where they should be. They are the hamstrings, hip flexors, abdominals, and low back muscles. They should be strong and balanced so that they can play tug-of-war with each other all day long with no winners or losers. To find out specific exercises, please respond to this via my email at

Stay well. John R. Blilie, M.S.