For most people, back pain is a fact of life at some point. But there are many things you can do on your own to reduce the risk of injury, minimize back pain, and prevent its recurrence and speed recovery if you experience problems. Most of it boils down to developing healthy lifestyle habits. Here are six you should adopt now for your back's sake.

Exercise. One of the best things you can do for yourself, whether you have health problems or are healthy and want to stay that way is to be physically active. A regular and varied exercise program can ease pain and stiffness, strengthen muscles and bones, burn calories, improve flexibility, increase energy, improve sleep, boost your mood, increase your sense of well-being and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

If your back is so stiff or painful that you can hardly imagine exercising, speak to your doctor or physical therapist about exercises that might be appropriate for you. Then start slowly, set small goals and build from there.

Try these stretches for neck and back pain.

Read about exercises that can keep you healthy and active.

One type of exercise that is safe and helpful for people with virtually any back problem and or form of arthritis is aquatic exercise.

Learn about water exercise and the Arthritis Foundation’s Aquatic Program.  To find a class near you, click here.

Learn the basics of walking in water.

Proper posture. Knowing the right way to sit, stand, walk and lift can help prevent back pain. Poor habits such as slouching, hunching over a desk or even pushing your shoulders back too far with your buttocks protruding (known as swayback), on the other hand, can put tension on the spine.

To evaluate your posture try this: Stand with a full-length mirror to your side so that when you turn your head you can see your profile. Now, imagine that you have dropped a weighted string from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. Look in the mirror and imagine where the string would fall. If you are standing properly, it should pass through your earlobe, the front of your shoulder, the center or your hip, behind your kneecap and in front of your anklebone.

To improve your posture, practice standing in a way that would make the string pass through the spots mentioned.

Learn about proper posture when lifting as well as safe-for-joints cleaning tips.