Your back provides your whole body the needed boost to perform your daily tasks. Many of the muscles in your back help power you through your daily routine such as walking, climbing stairs, or carrying a heavy load. It essentially helps you in all of your functions. The individual muscles of your body generate a certain amount of power, but it’s your back muscles and your abs – your core, in general – that combine these forces into one total force. Your core is what really connects your lower and upper body. The energy that you put into your daily tasks comes from the total force generated here. It greatly affects the performance of the upper and lower extremities by providing a stable base for more efficient use and greater power output, which then improves your overall strength, flexibility, and endurance. This applies to any fitness level, the old included. Given these reasons, protecting your back and the core as a whole is vital in your daily life.
KEEP A STRONG CORE. Everything that you do emanates from your core…
Building up a stronger midsection can definitely put off some stress on your back, especially along the lower part. Strong and supportive trunk muscles are essential to support your spine and prevent lower back pain. If we take a look at our daily lives, we are either sitting or standing every single moment of the day, and it requires strong back – and core – muscles. A simple brisk walk every morning can do the trick. It can help increase blood flow to your spine, sending ample supply of nutrients to the structures that support your back, which can nourish damaged spinal structures, in case there’s any. It also stretches and strengthens your back muscles, especially if you keep your trunk straight and your tummy tucked in strong and solid. If you’re into serious fitness, you can try core-building workouts that intensely work your abdominals and your back muscles as well.
KEEP A HEALTHY WEIGHT… This will unload your back...
Haven’t you noticed that pregnant women most often than not complain about back pain? The extra weight on their tummy puts additional strain on their back in an attempt to keep the back straight. This is exactly the reason why carrying excess weight around your belly would cause you so much pain in your back. As earlier said, brisk walks can train your core muscles, and this can also shred off some extra fat around the midsection. In fact, the NHS-UK advocates brisk 10-minute daily walks to meet the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. Other activities that can both tackle that extra pound and exercise your back based on the guidelines are cycling and stair climbing. Just make sure to keep your core engaged.
WATCH YOUR POSTURE AND OBSERVE PROPER BODY MECHANICS…
It’s important to keep a proper spinal alignment in all your daily activities. This practice always ensures a strong core while also training your abdominals and back muscles for endurance. It’s been emphasized repeatedly, keep a good posture as it's critical. Sit, stand, and walk with your back aligned.
Slouching while working at your desk puts extra stress on the low back structures such as the spinal discs and can cause problems when kept for too long periods. You can unload the stress on these sensitive structures by:
• Using an ergonomic chair that keeps your back at ease and maintains proper alignment of your spine
• Placing a small rolled-up towel under the arch of your back for added support
• Using a standup desk and sit-stand chair that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing
• Taking rest breaks for at least every30 to 50 minutes to check your posture, as well as for walks and stretches.
Improper lifting mechanics, such as lifting with your back bent or lifting while twisting can cause lower back problems and may lead to chronic back pain when repeatedly done or when left untreated for a prolonged period of time. Follow these lifting-guidelines to prevent lower back injury:
• Keep your feet shoulder-width apart to ensure a wide base of support.
• As you squat, bend at your hips and knees, not at your lower back
• Keep a good posture, by looking straight ahead and keeping your back straight, chest out, and your shoulders back.
• Hold the object close to your body while straightening your spine.
• Slowly lift the object by extending your hips and knees and not your back.
• Pivot at your feet and hips, rather than twisting your lower back.
• Don’t lift by bending forward. Always bend your hips and knees as you squat down, keep the load close to your body, and straighten your legs to lift.
• Don’t lift a heavy load above your shoulders.
• Don’t twist your body as you lift.
NOW, TRY THIS EXERCISE TO PROTECT YOUR BACK!!!
1. Lie on your back with both hands placed at the small of your back, palms flat on the floor.
2. Tighten your abdominals while feeling your back pushing down against your hands.
3. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds, while maintaining relaxed diaphragmatic breathing throughout.
4. Relax then repeat several times.
The exercise described is what many call the abdominal hallowing, or more specifically the abdominal drawing-in maneuver (ADIM). This exercise strengthens your deep trunk stabilizers, which may aid in alleviating or even preventing low back pain. Try to observe and practice this while you sit, walk, bike, or climb stairs, in essentially all activities that you do, and you’ll achieve everything that has been described above. You can feel your core getting stronger, your waist and midsection feeling tighter, and your posture becoming more aligned. You’ll feel more balanced as you get to do the things that you love with fewer worries of hurting your back!
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