Keep your back strong and limber by exercising it at least two or three times a week. Walk, swim, and do other low-impact exercises. Add some abdominal exercises and weight lifting to strengthen the muscles that support your back. Take 10 to 15 minutes to warm up before each exercise to prevent back injuries. Also try yoga or tai chi to stretch your muscles and improve your balance so you're less likely to injure yourself and cause back pain. If you suffer from back pain, talk to your doctor before you start exercising, since some exercises may not be recommended and can be harmful.
These easy exercises can help strengthen the muscles of your back:
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Slowly lift each knee to your chest and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your buttocks and slowly raise your hips into the air. Hold for 5 seconds, and then slowly lower your buttocks back to the floor.
If you feel any back pain while exercising, stop what you're doing. See your doctor to talk about back pain treatments that will help you feel and function better.
- Lose Weight
If you're several pounds heavier than your doctor recommends for your height, losing weight is an important part of pain prevention. Combine exercise with a healthy diet to get down to a lighter frame that will be easier for your back to support.
- Bone Up
While you're changing the way you eat to lose weight, add in nutrients that build bones and prevent fractures. Make sure you're getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous from a supplement and foods like skim milk, low-fat cheese, and lean chicken.
- Ditch the Stilettos
Ladies, high heels might make your legs look sleek, but they're hard on your back. Walking around on wobbly heels all day can destabilize your posture and leave you in some serious back pain. Leave the towering heels in your closet and instead wear low (1 inch or less), comfortable shoes that support and cushion each step.
- Lighten Your Load
Humans weren't meant to be pack mules. When you leave your house in the morning, only carry what you need. Take a few books out of your backpack and remove all nonessential items from your purse. Carry your bag on both shoulders to even out the load on your back.
- Stub Out Your Smokes
Smoking, in addition to a long list of other health offenses, restricts blood flow to the discs that cushion and support your spine.