Activities That Help Your Back
The irony about back pain is that while it causes you to have some degree of immobility and a restricted range of motion, it also requires you to move and exercise more for it to heal and get better.
Strong abdominal and back muscles will mean that you’re less susceptible to back pain. Being flexible and limber is also important for good spinal health. With age, your joints, ligaments and muscles will get tighter due to less movement.
Most people get increasingly sedentary as they age. The key here is to stay active well into your senior years. This will not only retard the aging process but also keep you energetic and youthful. You lose what you don’t use. So, regular activity is great for keeping back pain at bay.
This is one of the most underrated forms of exercise and yet, it’s one of the most beneficial too. Walking 20 to 30 minutes a day in the morning on an empty stomach, will not only improve your cardiovascular health, but will also burn your fat stores. Make sure you wear proper footwear while walking.
By losing your excess weight, you’ll be taking pressure off your joints. Maintaining good posture will be easier, and this is extremely important for preventing back pain. In fact, if your posture is good, that’s half the problem solved.
Swimming is a fantastic low-impact activity that is not only cardio in nature but also has elements of resistance training. You’ll want to focus on strokes like the crawl and backstroke. These styles will not only strengthen you, but also make you more flexible.
It’s important that you swim in a controlled and rhythmic fashion. Do not strain your neck or swim vigorously like you’re at the Olympics. You’ll end up straining a muscle. Stick to controlled movements.
- Yoga and Pilates
You may wish to do one or both. Either one is excellent for toning your core and increasing the strength in your back muscles. Yoga is more effective for stress relief because of its emphasis on breathing techniques, etc. Both these exercises are extremely effective for back pain sufferers.
- Resistance training
This is one of the most powerful forms of training especially if you’re suffering from osteoporosis – weight training will increase your bone mass, strengthen your muscles and help to relieve back pain. Of course, you’ll need to do the exercises with good form and in a controlled manner.
The 5 activities mentioned above are ideal for back pain relief and even general health for that matter. All you need to do is stick to these, and you’ll be fine.
*Activities to avoid!
There are some activities, however, that will aggravate your back pain and you should avoid them at all cost.
Jogging and running are two of them. Both are high impact and you might accidentally trip or miss a step and the staggering that follows might trigger your back pain. Cycling is also best avoided because you’ll need to stoop and hold the handlebars for long periods.
Golf, badminton, tennis and other racket sports are a no-no. The twisting of the back and trunk that often accompanies these sports will worsen your back pain. These are high-risk activities.
Avoid other activities like gardening, and household chores which may require lots of stooping and bending your back for prolonged periods.
If you follow the tips in this article, you’ll have a back that’s strong, healthy and less prone to back pain. Even those suffering from back pain will notice that their pain diminishes and may even disappear once they get more active.