This is Your Spine on Exercise
By Sara Butler
Most people know that exercise is good for you, but many people aren’t familiar with all the ways exercise is good for the spine! You may be wondering how exercise can be good for bones, but there is a myriad of ways in which exercise benefits the bones, including the spine. Here's what you need to know about keeping your spine healthy through exercise!
How Exercise is Good for the Spine
When you strengthen your spine you are reducing your chances of injury as well as reducing back pain. This is accomplished by:
- Strong abdominal muscles – These muscles help to build a support system for your spine so the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your back don’t get overworked and injured.
- Increased range of motion—When the joints in your spine retain a full range of motion, you will experience less stiffness, pain and lower your chances of injury.
- Decreased body mass – When you exercise it helps you to maintain a healthy weight, which then helps to reduce the strain on your spine and other joints, reducing chances of back pain and injury.
What Type of Exercise?
There are several different kinds of exercise out there, but how do you know which is the right one for you? There are a few important things to keep in mind as you choose which exercise is right for you. The three types of exercise are:
- Aerobic – This kind of exercise improves circulation and helps to strengthen your lungs and heart.
- Strengthening – This kind of exercise increases endurance and muscle tone.
- Stretching – This kind of exercise assists in normal movement through increasing your flexibility and range of motion.
All three types of exercise are important, and a mix of all three is what will be the healthiest for your body overall as well as your spine.
You can do strengthening exercises in many different ways. Exercise machines, free weights, resistance bands and even water exercise can help to build strength and allow you to reap the benefits of building strength. It's important to focus on stability and strength for your lower back and hips to help support the spine while doing exercises for both lower and upper strengthening.
Flexibility is one of the most important things to retain as you age, so working in some stretching every single day is going to be your best bet. You don’t have to do anything special, just ask your chiropractor at your next visit for some exercises to help lead you through the full range of motion for your back, legs, neck, and arms.
No need to join a fancy gym, because aerobic exercise is easy to find. You can use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk when you go to the store or go out to eat, and park your car farther away from where you’re going, be it work or the mall.
If you have any questions about these types of exercises and need some guidance, your chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic is a great resource. The friendly professionals there will be excited to share!