Sometimes when faced with a challenge, it seems much easier to relent than to actually do what it takes to overcome and push through whatever challenge we face. But when it comes to our health, the opposite should be true.
We should do whatever we can to preserve ourselves so that we can enjoy our time here on Earth much longer. But you say, “Maya, I have back issues and have limited range of motion.” I don’t know if you realize this, but your back, under a doctor’s supervision, can be improved with regular and frequent exercise. The opposite is true if you decide to use rest as the only way to treat your back pain.While resting and limiting any strenuous movements can help when needed, it can do more damage than good.
Keep in mind, the healing process is gradual and so should exertion be through exercise. Start small working your way up to more difficult movements. Back exercises done in a very focused, gradual and progressive manner helps to get needed fluids and nutrients into the muscles and spinal cord to keep them healthy. Consequently, having a regular routine targeting your specific back issues helps to avoid stiffness, weakness, and decreases the chance of the pain or discomfort from returning. More importantly, it helps to reduce the severity and duration of potential future recurrences.
A balanced workout program of back exercises should include stretching, strengthening and low-impact aerobics.
Try these 7 movements suggested by the Mayo Clinic, which only takes about 15 minutes per day. To easily integrate into your daily routine, complete these stretches when you wake up and again before going to bed.
Knees to Chest
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor (a). Use both hands to pull one knee to your chest (b). Press and hold for 15-30 seconds. Return to starting position (c). Repeat with opposite leg (d). Return to starting position and repeat stretch by bringing both knees to the chest at the same time (e). Repeat routine three times.
To see the rest of these great back stretches, including step by step video instruction with exercises and stretches to help overcome back pain, click here for part one of my entire article featured in the May issue “Health, Hair, & Happiness” on pages 12 and 13.