Make your back a priority when you exercise and stay injury-free.
Your back is the core of your body. If it's not healthy and strong, the rest of your body suffers. And yet, back pain is common. These tips will keep your back healthy and keep you happy!
Choose athletic shoes carefully. Proper footwear protects your back. Impact from your feet hitting a surface radiates up your legs and into your spine. Once the cushion breaks down in sports shoes, your back becomes vulnerable. Old, comfy sneakers may lead to a back injury later.
Always warm up before exercising. Walk for 10 minutes minimum before your workout, thereby preparing your body for rigorous exercise. Stretching is key to limbering up. For great examples of stretching, visit The North American Spine Society website.
Stay aware of your posture. Even veteran athletes forget about good posture when tired during a workout. If you slump or hunch while exercising, it's time for a rest. Good posture means keeping shoulders back, hips level and toes pointed forward. Your lower back will have a natural curve.
Practice good breathing habits. Deep breathing uses muscles in your chest. When these muscles are engaged, your core remains stable, even during rough sports or a heart-pounding workout. In turn, your spine stays strong. Never hold your breath.
Lift with the knees. This age-old piece of advice is absolutely essential. For example, during a game of basketball or while lifting weights, keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Remember not to twist your spine.
If you feel severe pain, stop your activity immediately. If pain persists or recurs, call your doctor. Rest is an important part of exercise! Central Florida Regional Hospital's Spine Care Center is here to help. To schedule an appointment or ask a question, call our Consult-A-Nurse® hotline at 1-800-445-3392.