While watching the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio last summer, you may have felt inspired to pursue your own athletic goals while watching the Olympic athletes pursue theirs. If you’re currently experiencing back pain, or have dealt with back pain in the past, it can be intimidating to jump into a sport or exercise routine. You worry about putting too much pressure on your already compromised spine, or tweaking your back just enough to send any recovery progress you’ve made into a tailspin. If you want to incorporate more activity into your life, but want to be easy on your back at the same time, the below sports may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Swimming laps is easy on your joints, builds muscle and improves your cardio all at the same time. One of the most popular Olympic sports, swimming is comparable to running as a cardio workout, but it is low-impact and much less jarring.
Yoga and Pilates
While it’s not an Olympic sport, the benefits of yoga and Pilates for those struggling with back issues are undeniable. Both yoga and Pilates strengthen and stabilize the body, which can both prevent and remedy back pain. While not all yoga and Pilates moves and positions are suitable for those struggling with back issues, these fields of exercise both promote listening to your body, and not pushing it to a point of pain or being uncomfortable.
Like swimming, cycling provides an outstanding cardio workout while being a much lower impact sport than running. A few key precautions need to be taken to protect your spine and back health when cycling though. Make sure your bike is the proper size for your body, and the seat is positioned at a height that allows your feet to barely touch the ground. It is also important to engage your abdominal muscles will riding and keep your back straight. To ensure your bike is the right size, you may want to enlist the help of a local bike shop. Spokes Little Rock and Chainwheel Inc. are both great options in central Arkansas.
If you’ve experienced back issues in the past, always consult your doctor (preferably one that specializes in spine health like a neurosurgeon) before starting any new sport or workout regimen. While the above workouts are generally good options for those with back issues, only you and your physician truly understand your condition well enough to choose the sport safest for you. If you need some guidance on the best sporting activity for your back condition, feel free to contact us.