Are you having back pain with any of the following?
We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.
We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.
Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.
Successful weight loss means reducing the number of calories you eat and increasing the number of calories you burn. But just knowing what works isn't enough. Having a plan that works for you turns knowledge into action and will help you shed excess pounds and keep them off.
Making changes in your health often means making changes in your lifestyle, whether you want to eat healthier, be more physically active, quit tobacco, or better manage your stress. Change can sometimes be challenging; however, we all have strengths within us to find the strategies, motivation, and confidence to make lasting changes and reach our health goals.
It is normal to think about a change before feeling ready to give it a try. In fact, this time to think can be an important part of the change process: You can strengthen your motivation, weigh the pros and cons of the change, and learn more about your options.
Different people have different styles of change. For example, some people make elaborate written plans and follow them; others don’t bother to plan at all. It’s important to discover the style of change that works for you, and in what situation.
Many big changes – such as quitting tobacco or getting into better physical shape – happen as the result of a series of small steps (getting rid of ashtrays and buying fewer cigarettes, for instance, or using the stairs instead of the elevator). Other changes come from a more radical conversion; they often involve a major shift in our hearts and minds. The change may result from a conviction that the old way of behaving is no longer compatible with who you are. We have identified three of the basic pathways to change:
This pathways to change section was adapted with permission from the Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook, by David Sobel, MD, and Robert Ornstein, PhD.
Everyone has his or her own unique motivations for making a health behavior change. You might be motivated by improving your well-being and getting healthier, or you may be motivated by other personal reasons like having energy to do things you enjoy, feeling strong, setting a positive example for family members, or being able to take care of loved ones.
Knowing yourself and taking time to identify your motivators is important in strengthening your commitment and sticking to the change process. When your reasons to make a change are related to things that really matter to you, it is easier to stay committed to finding ways to make the changes you desire.
To help surface your own motivation to make healthy changes, think about these 2 questions. There are no right or wrong answers here, just your own ideas.
You may have some reasons to keep things the same and not make the change. At the same time, you may have reasons for making the change. Identifying your own personal reasons can help you get ready by weighing the pros and cons of making the change.
Identify the health behavior you would like to improve. It might be becoming more physically active, eating healthier, getting more sleep, practicing relaxation, or something else. It’s up to you to decide what you want to change.
When setting your goal, start with one or several small, specific changes. Keep it realistic and doable for you. You can always take more small steps in the future. Small successful steps over time add up to bigger change.
For example, if you want to work on healthy eating, decide what specific small goal is a realistic starting point for you. This might be:
Or let’s say you wanted to be more physically active. Choose what type of activity is realistic and doable for you. Examples might be walking, jogging, taking the stairs, swimming, or trying an exercise class. Write down your goal and keep it nearby to remind yourself what you’re working toward.
Once you have decided on your first small step, write down your goal so it is very specific. Decide what you plan to do, and when and how often you plan to do it. Here are some examples of specific goals:
Having confidence in your plan means you believe you can do it, which in turn means it is more likely that you will do it. People who build a plan they feel is realistic and achievable are far more likely to be successful. After you write your goal and plan of action, ask yourself “How confident am I that I can be successful with my plan?”
If you feel confident in your plan, go for it and give it a try. If you don’t feel confident, try adjusting your plan so that it seems more realistic to you. Consider breaking your goal down into several steps. Then make each step into a separate goal and approach these new goals one at a time. Remember, success in one step can inspire you to try more small steps in the future.
Being ready is key to successfully making any health behavior change. Being ready is a combination of feeling motivated and feeling confident that you can do it. You are ready when you believe that the time is right and that you can successfully navigate barriers that might get in the way. Only you know when you are ready to make a change. Ask yourself:
Once you feel motivated and ready to begin working on the change area you identified, and you’ve put together a plan you feel confident in, it is time to take action.
Your environment can support you in making your desired change. If you are working on eating healthy by choosing fresh fruit for snacks, having fresh fruit available at home or at your workplace can support you. If you are adding more walking to your day, it helps to keep walking shoes close by.
Your environment can also trigger the old behavior, leading you to a setback. Consider what cues in your home, car, and workplace might trigger the habit you are trying to change. Plan ahead for preventing those triggers. For example, if you are working on quitting tobacco, create a smoke-free environment by thoroughly cleaning places where you would normally smoke. Or if you are trying to eat healthier by choosing fewer pastries or sodas, consider buying fewer pastries for your home or work.
As you set up your environment for success, consider all the settings that can support you: your home, workplace, and other places you frequently visit. Create environments that are friendly to healthy habits.
Having support is another key ingredient in making lifestyle change stick. Consider what type of support would be helpful to you. Some options are group support, a partner or friend, or online support.
In addition to asking yourself where you might find support, ask yourself what kind of support you think will be most helpful. Is it having someone to listen to you or help you brainstorm strategies, or having someone who expresses confidence in your ability to make the change, or some other way? Let people know what they can do to help you most.
Trying out a new health behavior can feel awkward. Many people find that using journals or tracking tools can increase their awareness of a current habit as they get ready to make a change. Journals are also useful to stay on track when making a change. For people working on losing weight, research shows that keeping a food journal leads to more success. Journals or tracking tools can be helpful in making any behavior change.
People are more likely to stick with lifestyle changes that make them feel good. If you are thinking about being more physically active, choose activities you enjoy or be active with people you enjoy. If you are working on healthy eating, experiment with meals and snacks that are colorful, tasty, and delicious. Or consider your meal surroundings as a way to add pleasure and enjoyment to your meal.
Everyone experiences setbacks at some point in making health behavior changes. Experiencing setbacks or falling off track is a normal part of the behavior change process. Setbacks can easily happen when you are:
You can plan to minimize setbacks by considering what situations might lead you to fall off track and developing a plan of action for those situations.
Surprisingly, setbacks can be useful to your success in the future. When you experience a setback, we recommend taking time to think about it and learn from it. Some things to consider are:
We all deserve a pat on the back for a good job. You may want to plan a reward or treat for accomplishing your plan, especially when you are just getting started. Choose rewards that you enjoy and that are easily available. Examples might be: watching a good movie, spending time with a friend or partner, or 10 minutes of reading.
If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.
This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.