Summer is right around the corner, and with warmer weather, the desire to get outside and exercise comes naturally. But if you are struggling with back pain or dealing with a back injury, choosing the right exercise is important. You can benefit a lot from exercise, but you want to be gentle on your spine so you can avoid injury and continue regular exercise. Here are four fun outdoor activities that can help you stay fit while avoiding unnecessary strain on your back.
If you are like many people, walking is not the first thing you think of when you hear the word “exercise.” But walking is arguably the most natural, safe form of exercise for humans. You probably already do it quite often – just not with the intent of improving your physical fitness. Your body is made for it. And to top it off, walking is relatively low-impact, so it won’t jar your spine. If jogging just seems like too much, try out walking.
Water exercises are as low-impact as it gets. The water is supporting the majority of your body weight so it’s much kinder on your joints – something that you may need depending on the condition of your back. There are water-based exercise classes that are accessible to most people, even those with significant injuries. If you are up to it, you can swim laps and greatly increase your fitness level. It all depends on where you are right now with your back. Just be sure to talk to your chiropractor before you dive in if you do have significant back issues.
Bike riding can be low-impact and kind to your spine if you choose the right bike setup and route of travel. You’ve seen how many variations there are in biking – mountain biking, street bikes, road bikes, BMX, beach cruisers. When you are trying to protect your bike, you need to choose options that make sense for your needs. Set up your bike so you can maintain an upright posture and sit comfortably. Choose a route that keeps you on smooth, even pavement so you aren’t jarred by debris and potholes.
Gardening can be demanding enough to keep you fit without overdoing it. Planting, pruning, weeding and all the other tasks needed in the garden keep you engaged and active and they don’t have to put excessive strain on your back. You will need to approach each task with care if you have back pain so you don’t injure yourself. Bend at the knees and try a back brace if you think it will help. There are also knee cushions you can buy that allow you to sit on your knees close to the ground so you don’t have to bend over excessively.
If you are worried about hurting your back while exercising outdoors, you probably have a good reason for your concern. It’s a good idea to approach any new form of exercise or movement carefully when you have back issues. Take it slowly, feel things out and stop if you feel significant pain. You can work up to the activity level you want to achieve if you take things slowly and carefully.
Our chiropractic team can help you learn how to move safely to avoid back injuries. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor and get the knowledgeable advice you need and deserve. We look forward to assisting you!