Biking and Hiking: 4 Tips to Avoid Back Pain
By Virginia Laird
October’s crisp, fresh, cool air brings an invigorating feeling among the many ready to enjoy the outdoors without the sweltering heat of summer. Though it may be too cool to even think about hitting the pool, it is a great time to plan biking and hiking trips. Research suggests, the fresh air of fall can help promote good mental and physical health. There are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing to hit the trails, including:
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Pack light
- Take breaks often
- Make routine visits to your chiropractor
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Comfortable shoes are described as shoes that are broken in and support the foot. Chiropractors suggest shoes that support the arch of the foot help to prevent an unnatural stride. When shoes are uncomfortable, they can cause you to compensate by altering your posture or stride, which can lead to back pain or even injury.
Although there are a few obvious, must-haves while on an outdoor adventure, it is vital to keep the items you are lugging to a minimum. A heavy backpack on a long trip can add stress to the spine, which can be painful. Chiropractors suggest keeping your backpack light to avoid damage to the spine.
Take Breaks Often
It is important to take breaks along the way, allowing the body to release tension that may be building up as the trip progresses. During these breaks, chiropractors suggest light stretches to help the body relax and prevent back pain. This is also a great opportunity for you to enjoy the magnificent beauty of nature, especially in fall.
Make Routine Visits to Your Chiropractor
Whether you struggle with back pain or not, it is always a good idea to visit your chiropractor. The spine is constantly shifting, which can cause restriction of function and pain. Chiropractors can restore the spine to its natural position, which can restore function and prevent (or manage) pain.
As you plan your next outdoor fall adventure, make sure to keep these tips in mind. Allow for plenty of time for your trip so you have the time to stop and take breaks, enjoying the variety of changes nature has to offer this time of year. Here’s to hoping your fall is full of bike trips and hikes!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.