Four Easy Activities to Help You Get in Shape and Avoid Back Pain



April 18, 2013

After the long cold winter, spring is finally in the air. As the weather starts to warm up, it’s time for us to get active again, for fun and for good health. If your wish to get in shape and avoid back pain this spring, here are 4 easy activities you can do to help you achieve your goals.

Taking a walk

Walking is a great way to control weight and to improve overall health. It also helps avoid back pain by enhancing the flexibility of the hips and the lower back. Because it has a low impact on the joints, walking is a wonderful alternative to running. If you can take a 30-minute walk each day, great. Research suggests that a 30-minute walk a day does wonders to our health. If you don’t have 30 minutes to spare, park your car at the far end of the parking lot at work or the grocery store. Walking the extra distances count as well.

Striking some yoga poses

Yoga has been shown to help reduce back pain. One of the central goals of yoga is to enhance postural awareness and core muscle strength. Good posture and strong muscles help stabilize the spine and joints and thus help prevent back pain.

Jumping into water

Excising in water allows you to move your arms and legs through optimal ranges of motion without putting stress on the joints. For people with arthritis, water exercise can help improve the flexibility of the affected joints and reduce pain. Because of its low stress on the joints, water exercise has gained great popularity in recent years. It’s a wonderful form of exercise not only for the elderly, those with injuries, or those recovering from back surgery, but also for fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes.

Stretching

The benefits of stretching abound. It helps strengthen muscles, maintain the flexibility of the joints, and enhance good posture, to name just a few. Research has found that stretching can also significantly reduce lower back pain. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends using stretching to enhance flexibility and to prevent injury.

Besides its abundant benefits, another good thing about stretching is its easy access. It does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment. And you don’t even have to schedule a time for it. A few minutes here and there work wonders. If you have time, stretch a few minutes after you get out of the bed in the morning. If you don’t have the time for it because you are late for work, you can still stretch your arms, legs, and back while sitting in front of your computer.

All these activities are low cost, low impact, yet highly beneficial. Although they are not necessarily spring-only activities, the warm weather of spring does make it easier to try and enjoy them. To get most out of these activities, be persistent. If you can, strive for doing at least one of them each day.