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It’s no secret that staying active is a great way to help keep your body and your spine healthy. In fact, going for a brisk 10-minute walk each day is enough to help improve your health and prevent conditions of the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body.
There are also a few other recreational activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine to prevent back pain and reduce stress.
Here are a few suggestions:
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates are forms of exercise that typically focus on moving the body while focusing on breathing and body awareness. The poses are purposeful and usually work a few areas of the body at once, including the back and leg muscles to build a stronger foundation for other movements.
Also, the poses often focus on balance which can be important to prevent falls and injuries as we age. Compared to higher impact activities that cause added strain to the body, yoga and Pilates are known to be ‘safe’ for healthy and even injured individuals. Yet, with most practices being keenly aware of your body is important and adapting movement to your skill level. However, regular practice has been shown to decrease back pain. The great thing about yoga and Pilates is that there are several types of classes catered to your specific skill and comfort level.
Aquafitness is a dynamic, low-impact activity that usually involves the entire body in movement, including the abdominals, gluteal, and leg muscles. Since the movements are done in water, the water adds extra resistance to strengthen muscles but also minimizes the impact on your joints.
Aquafitness has been shown to be an effective management tool for those suffering from certain musculoskeletal injuries allowing them to keep active. Notably, people suffering from low back pain may particularly benefit from aquafitness or gently swimming in water. Contact your local community centre or gym to see if aquafitness is part of their regular programming.
This Chinese martial art focuses on meditative, deep breathing combined with the methodical practice of slow movement enhancing mobility and balance among those who practice the art. Tai chi is known to have major health benefits – even for those with back pain. Tai chi can improve pain and function while decreasing the likelihood of chronic pain. It is a safe and effective activity for those experiencing long-term back pain symptoms.
Other activities you may want to consider are low-impact cardiovascular exercises such as walking or striding on the elliptical machine. There are always alternatives to staying active, even when you experience pain. Some of these can even help relieve the pain.
The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage encourages you to improve your overall health by making exercise a part of your daily routine. If you want to learn more about managing your health with exercise, contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.
With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.Leave a Comment
The heat is on across Southern Ontario. Whether you’re staying cool in a nearby lake, beach, or swimming pool, let’s talk about water exercises and why they’re good for your body.
Here are nine benefits of exercising — particularly swimming — in water:
- There’s low impact on your joints: Water gives you buoyancy—i.e., you float! This decreases the impact on your joints, so when you swim or exercise in the water, you have a lower risk of injury.
- It does a better job at keeping you cool: Working out can cause you to overheat, especially in the summer. Exercising in the water helps the body cool off faster and reduces the risk of overheating. If the water is warm, it may not help keep you cool, but it does help increase blood circulation, which is a plus when exercising.
- Water has built-in resistance: Because you’re moving your body through water instead of through air, you’re working harder. This resistance is great for building all-around strength and endurance.
- You can adjust the resistance: Depending on your speed, position, or form in the water, the resistance you face is dynamic. For example, the more streamlined your swim stroke, the faster you’ll travel with less resistance. If you’re jogging or running in water, particularly if it goes higher than your waist, you’re getting much more resistance (this is often done if you’re training to improve your running speed, strength, and endurance when you’re on land).
- It gets easier over time: The more knowledge and skill you have with respect to swimming, the more efficient your body becomes when moving through the water. This translates to less energy and effort exerted, and greater speed. The good news is that the more you learn, practice, and condition your body, the easier swimming will be.
- You can incorporate rest: You don’t have to stop exercising in the water to give your body a rest during a workout. If you’re swimming, you can add resting strokes like sidestroke or elementary backstroke for a minute or two (or a lap or two in the pool) until you recover.
- You can increase intensity slowly: The benefit of swimming is that you can make gradual changes to your routine without much effort. Simply increase the time spent swimming continuously and take shorter rest breaks—or replace your breaks with rest strokes (see tip #6) as you build up your swimming regime.
- It’s great for keeping joints limber and toning muscles: Since exercising in the water is so low impact, your joints stay nimble. With the built-in resistance of the water, swimming is great for keeping your muscles toned.
- It offers support for the whole body: Not only is exercising in the water low-impact, it’s also excellent for support. Bonus: it supports your back! You don’t have to worry about the weight of your body on your spine or your posture when you move your body through water. If you’re not a swimmer, you can still use the water for gentle exercise: do some walking workouts waist-deep in a swimming pool to take the pressure off your joints and back while still getting movement.
So, take the pressure off, hit up your local beach or pool, and go for a swim!
Remember to stay hydrated when you exercise. If you’re swimming outdoors this summer, be sure to remember to be safe in the sun and heat.
Are you suffering from neck, shoulder or low back pain?
At Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage, we use chiropractic treatment to relieve neck, shoulder and low back pain using effective clinical tools like manipulation, mobilization, soft tissue therapy, exercise, patient education and rehabilitation.
Extensively trained in spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), our chiropractors provide specialized care to reduce pain, improve function, and decrease the chances of neck, shoulder and low back pain becoming a chronic condition.
Looking for a chiropractor?
Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera can provide education on your spine and posture and create a personalized treatment plan for your low back pain designed to ease pain and lower your risk of recurrence. Therapeutic massage therapy is also available at our clinic by massage therapists Rolf Castanheiro and Jessica Raedisch. Call 905-427-3202 to book an appointment.