Everyone knows being active and exercising is good for you, but do you know which activities affect your spine in a healthy or harmful way?
Healthy Walking Habits
Walking is an excellent way to promote spinal health. One good habit is to go for a walk once or twice a day. Try to maintain good posture while doing this. Consider using the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Do not sit still for hours at a time if possible. Instead, get up and walk around every so often.
Other aerobic activities like biking can also do the trick. Going for a bicycle ride can get the heart pumping and blood flowing, which makes you feel better overall. You also strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles this way.
Swimming, another aerobic exercise, is an excellent way to achieve greater spinal health. Why? It’s because swimming allows you to exercise in a way that takes weight and pressure off your back. This can make exercising less painful and more fun. Avoid strokes that twist your body.
Lifting weights can be great for your back in moderation, but it depends on the individual. Lifting weights can help relieve some conditions that cause chronic back pain, but people with spine injuries should not lift weights. As with all exercise, you mustn’t over do it. If significant pain lasts for more than fifteen minutes, stop. Also, do not ever do deadlifting, as this type of weightlifting puts you at risk of hurting your spine.
Pilates is good for the spine, and so are many stretches. Some particularly good stretches for the spine include wall sits and pelvic tilts. Also try yoga positions like cat, camel and cow to move your back bone in a safe and healthy manner.
What Exercises Should you Avoid
Some harmful hobbies and exercises include stretches such as torso twists, toe touches and sit-ups. These activities can aggravate injured backs, so don’t do them if you have ruptured or herniated discs or damaged ligaments. Partial crunches are okay, but don’t do regular crunches. If your back muscles are weak, it is important that you don’t do too much with them all at once or you can risk injuring them. Remember to take it slow and steady.
It’s important to avoid certain sports, especially rough contact sports like football or boxing, where the risk of back injury is likely. Golfing can also sometimes create back problems, especially if there are no warm-up stretches beforehand. In short, it’s important to avoid activities that promote bad posture or that have serious risks of spine injury.
If your spinal health is a top concern, contact Texas Spine Clinic today!