15 Sep How to Stay Fit with Back Injury
It’s almost inevitable to find ourselves in some sort of accident at some point in our life. Whether it be during our childhood or as a grown adult, we can’t help but encounter little mishaps that sometimes lead us to injure ourselves. As we progress further into life, we become more vulnerable to pains and sores. It’s completely normal. However, this isn’t an excuse for you to just spend the rest of your days sitting on your lazy boy 24/7.
Fortunately for you, you can still stay fit and lead an active lifestyle despite your back injury. Just like how Nick Vujicic gets himself around without arms and legs, you can definitely rock a full exercise routine without further straining your injury. Here are some tips and exercises to consider applying to your daily habits.
Consult your doctor
Before anything else, allow a professional to assess your back injury. They will be able to tell its severity and recommend what you can and can’t do. Everyone will have their own limitations, and you can find out yours by having yourself checked. Never proceed with any exercise or activity without consulting your doctor first. Remember, your spine is the backbone that supports your body and connects the upper and lower extremities. Inside it is the spinal cord that helps the brain to connect the brain with the rest of the body systems to control your movement. If the injury is there and is worsened by exercise, you might end up being paralyzed.
Get on your feet
Naturally, we tend to just lie down whenever we experience discomfort in our bodies due to injuries. Although it can definitely help to rest and relax, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing we should do for the whole day. Inactivity can actually worsen your back injury if you’re not careful.
Allot some hours to getting up and doing some stretches, so that as you are recovering, you are still able to maintain and strengthen the other unaffected parts of your body.
Simple exercises you can do
It is best to start with some basic exercises such as walking. jogging, or swimming. If resources allow, you can also try recumbent cycling to minimize any back discomfort during your work out. These exercises can help you maintain cardiovascular fitness while you are still recovering.
Stretching your limits
Your muscles are likely to spasm once you have sustained a back injury, which can cause intense pain that limits your movements and make you immobile for a certain period of time. Once your body starts to ease out of it and you slowly gain your mobility back, it is highly recommended to do some stretching to prepare you for more strenuous exercises in the future.
Try out something new
As you grow closer and closer to your full recovery, you can already start training with your core muscles to aid in speeding up the process. This is the perfect time to try out an exercise you haven’t done before, like Yoga for example.
There’s the common misconception that Yoga is only for women but that really isn’t the case. A lot of men also practice Yoga and there are hundreds of videos on the internet relating to Yoga for Men and Yoga poses for Men.
Yoga poses to try
Adding Yoga to your routine has plentiful benefits to your health such as increased muscle strength and tone, improved athletic performance, and protection from further injuries in the future.
How to do it: Get on all fours, wrists parallel to your shoulders and knees to your hips. Inhale as you look up and let your stomach drop down towards the floor. Exhale while tucking your chin into your chest, arching your spine toward the ceiling.
This gentle stretch is perfect for warming up and mobilizing the spine. Remember to maintain awareness of your movements and focus on releasing the tensions in your body.
- Sphinx Pose
How to do it: Lie on your stomach with legs fully extended behind you. With elbows tucked under your shoulders and palms facing the floor, slowly lift your upper torso and head. Keep your gaze straight ahead as you execute this pose.
This pose is popularly used in Yin yoga, where the poses are usually held for a few minutes at a time. Aside from helping you maintain a healthy lower back curve, this pose is also a great substitute for the Cobra pose, which puts more pressure on the wrists and stronger curve in the lower back.
- Bridge Pose
How to do it: Lie on your back, bend your knees, and let your arms rest alongside your body. Pressing both feet and arms into the floor, lift your tailbone up. Hold this pose for 1 minute before releasing slowly, rolling your spine back down to the floor.
Like most yoga poses, the bridge pose also helps in strengthening your back and hamstring muscles, reduce aching, improve blood circulations, and many more. Although it may seem simple, it is actually quite stimulating and exhilarating.
- Downward-Facing Dog
How to do it: Get on all fours, hands in alignment under your wrists and knees underneath your hips. As you press into your palms, tuck your toes under and straighten your legs. Hold this pose for one minute, rest, and repeat one more time.
The down dog helps alleviate back pain and chronic tightness in the hamstring and hips by releasing tension in the muscles all while building upper body strength. Because of this, it is highly recommended to do this even once a day.
- Two-Knee Spinal Twist
How to do it: Lie on your back, drawing your knees into your chest and your arms extended to the side. Slowly lower both legs to the left side while keeping your knees as close together as you possibly can. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
Twisting poses can generally aid the restoration of the spine’s natural range of motion and stimulate circulation in your body. However, this posture should be attempted with strict caution by those suffering from severe back problems.
By starting with small stretches and being active every day, you also help accelerate your healing process. Always remember not to overdo it and that it’s okay to stop if you are feeling heavy discomfort. Take a breather in between exercises and don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout your routine.