Whether you are a committed exerciser or have just begun, you may have experienced your share of back pain and discomfort over the years. In fact, back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work. Many of us find ourselves living a sedentary life during the day and then striving to become more active at night and, perhaps, on the weekends to make up for it. This type of routine, week after week, can wreak havoc on our bodies. The key to a healthy back is to maintain a healthy diet and be physical activity on a daily basis. Avoiding injury in the first place, is essential, but if you find that you have developed back pain there are ways to alleviate the symptoms and get yourself ‘back on track’. It is important to note that if you have severe back pain, you need to be evaluated by your physician and follow the recommended treatment plan for your specific back pain. This plan may include medication, physical therapy and/or surgery in rare cases. However, we are going to talk about mild pain that is likely caused from inactivity, de-conditioned muscles, and carrying extra weight around the torso area.

Increasing your physical activity during the day can be as simple as taking a 10-minute walk upon waking in the morning, parking as far from your destination as possible, choosing the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a 10-minute walk at lunch, and strolling around the neighborhood after dinner in the evening. You don’t need to exert a tremendous amount of energy when dealing with low back pain, the more important aspect is to not remain sedentary for long periods of time throughout the day. If you work in an office setting, try and get up from your desk for 5 minutes each hour and walk to a co-workers station. If you are in the car for long periods of time, make sure to get out and stretch as often as you can.

These small bouts of movement engage your muscles to contract and increase the blood flow throughout your body. Engaging in regular exercise such as walking and swimming are great ways to increase strength and endurance, and exercises, such as the one shown here, are great ways to build muscular strength and flexibility. Building core strength in your abdominals and low back help conditioning the muscles so that they work in unison to create a strong “corset” for your back. Maintaining a healthy weight is also essential to dealing with low back pain, being overweight puts strain on your back muscles, so striving to lose a few pounds can prevent back pain.

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