The back is a complicated system of bones and muscles. Each piece plays a vital role in your ability to move. Inactivity leads to atrophy of those intricate components. Overexertion can result in muscle and joint pain, or sore bones. Back pain can also be caused by poor posture, being overweight, ill-advised or awkward lifting, or from an accident. Or you may simply be getting older. By some estimates, more than 80 percent of all people will suffer from back pain.
One of the easiest ways to stave off back pain and discomfort is to remain active in sports. Here are five popular suggestions:
Swimming – Laps in a pool may not seem that exciting, but a good swim requires you to use nearly all of your muscles. Your back muscles, in particular, will get a full workout and your spine will naturally correct.
Running – Nothing gets your heart racing quite like running. You’ll build up stamina while working most of the muscles in your lower body. Running also forces you to fix your posture – you can’t run well if you’re huddled over or pitched to the side. Running can cause you to experience some lower back pain, so it’s crucial you stretch before taking off. If your leg muscles are tight, you’ll try to overcompensate with other muscles, which can lead to awkward running positions and unnecessary stress on your pelvis.
Yoga – Several studies have been completed on the long-term benefits of yoga for those dealing with back ailments. One 60 to 90 minute session a week can improve your back health considerably.
Biking – For those suffering predominantly from lower back pain, biking is a recommended exercise. Biking doesn’t jar the spine the ways other forms of exercise do. Stationary bicycling – not dealing with the variables of natural terrain – is especially gentle on the spine. Leaning forward on a bike alleviates some of the pain. You can also opt for a recumbent bike if traditional bikes are too uncomfortable. Some bike lovers have opted for spinning classes, which are also less stressful on the back.
Golf – Among all sports, golf is one of the most low-impact. Although the frequent twisting of the back to swing can lead to issues, a big advantage is the amount of walking you have to do to play a course. Like running, it gets the blood flowing throughout your body.
Before any active sport, go through a warm-up routine. Doing so prepares your muscles and helps your back get ready for the stress about to begin. Here are some basic warm-up rules:
Stretch – You need to loosen the muscles you’ll be exercising. Stretch common muscles like your hamstrings, triceps, and calf muscles and also twist and rotate the muscles along your back and waist to increase range of motion.
Gradual Improvements – Gradually stretch with simple movements to increase blood flow. Subtly increasing the intensity will help loosen your back muscles.
Practice – Phantom swim before you hit the water. Do a few practice golf swings before you tee up. You want to give your muscles an idea of what’s to come.