Everyone understands that staying active is essential for a healthy life, but what kind of physical activity should be pursued to avoid exacerbating an already strained back? Even if you had the first signs of back pain, following a number of precautions and practicing a healthy lifestyle, you can not only reduce pain, but also improve your quality of life.
Numerous sports can be considered relatively gentle on the back, either imposing minimal strain or actively contributing to back strengthening. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to keep in mind that each person is unique, and the safety of a chosen sport depends on factors such as individual fitness levels, technique, age, and overall health. Here are several sports generally regarded as back-friendly:
Swimming tops the list in terms of back benefits and is commonly regarded as one of the safest sports for your back. The buoyancy of water supports your body and minimizes stress on your joints and spine, making it an excellent method for fortifying your back muscles.
Nordic walking with poles serves as an excellent form of physical activity that not only enhances your physical fitness but also fosters back health and fortification. This sport actively engages the muscles in your upper, middle, and lower back, along with your abdominal muscles.
Incorporating exercises and stretching into your routine can assist in maintaining flexibility and back strength, while also promoting better posture. Therapeutic exercises are often conducted under the supervision of a physiotherapist or instructor to ensure the correct execution of exercises and to tailor them to the individual requirements of the patient.
Yoga can be instrumental in enhancing flexibility, strength, and posture. Throughout yoga practice, the emphasis is on mindfulness of movement and breathing. This focus helps prevent improper movements and postures that might lead to back pain. It’s essential to select an instructor who can adapt the practice to suit your specific needs and limitations.
Cycling, particularly on flat terrain, can be gentle on your back. Cycling activates your back muscles, particularly those in the upper and middle regions. Consistent cycling helps strengthen these muscles, providing better support for your spine. It’s crucial to configure your bike correctly and maintain the proper body position.
Running on Soft Surfaces
Running on soft surfaces, like dirt trails, can reduce the impact on your back. Prior to commencing any physical activity, particularly running on softer terrains, it’s imperative to consult your doctor or physical therapist. If your doctor gives the green light for running on soft surfaces, commence with shorter distances and gradually increase both the intensity and duration of your runs.
Pilates focuses on strengthening your core, improving flexibility and improving posture, all of which benefit your back. A flexible back can reduce the risk of injury and pain.
Tennis and badminton
These sports, when played with proper technique under the supervision of a trainer, can be back-friendly as they promote muscle strengthening and flexibility. The main thing is to constantly warm up and stretch before and after playing and maintain a balance of the load on both sides of the body, especially if you play tennis with a dominant hand.
Regardless of the chosen sport, it is important to start with moderate loads, consult a doctor in case of existing back problems and pay special attention to correct technique and strengthening the back muscles. To avoid overloading the back muscles, at the end of training it is recommended to use elastic back braces that relieve muscle tone, like Dr. Mertens’ “Acupressure Octopus”. And avoid the unnecessary use of rigid corsets that restrict movement. It is also recommended to carry out relaxing or massage treatments and back health will bring you only joy in life, regardless of the sports activities you choose.