STRENGTHEN YOUR BACK MUSCLES TO HELP ALLEVIATE BACK PAIN
“Oh, my aching back!” What do you think of when you hear those words? If you’re like most people you can relate from personal experience. According to the National Institute of Health, 80 percent of all adults will experience low back pain at some time in their lives, and 25 percent report having had back pain within the last three months. In fact, in 2010, lower back pain was reported to be the third most burdensome medical condition in the U.S.
- Advancing age – The first occurrence of lower back pain usually happens between the ages of 30 and 50 and becomes more common as we age. As we get older, we experience loss of bone density and muscle elasticity, both of which can be contributing factors to back pain
- Lack of fitness – Not surprisingly, back pain is more common in those who are out of shape. Abdominal and back muscles that lack proper strength are more susceptible to back injury
- Weight gain – Being overweight, especially if the extra pounds have been gained in a short period of time, puts additional stress on the back, leading to back pain.
How can I alleviate back pain?
One of the best ways to prevent or alleviate back pain is with a regular fitness routine. Regular aerobic and strengthening exercises can reduce weight, strengthen muscular support and increase flexibility. All of these things can help avoid or alleviate chronic back pain.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) outlines four categories of exercises that are important for back health. The Curves circuit provides an outlet for each one.
- Flexion exercises are those in which you bend forward. This motion widens the spaces between the vertebrae, stretches the muscles of the back and strengthens abdominal muscles. The Curves Ab Back station provides flexion exercise.
- Extension exercises are those where you bend backward or raise the legs or trunk. The Curves Ab Back station provides an extension exercise for your body.
- Stretching exercises stretch and improve the elasticity for back muscles and other soft tissues of the back. Try the Curves Stretch and Strength class* for an extra focus on stretching exercises.
- Aerobic exercise is good for your overall health and fitness. According to the NIH, everyone should get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. The Curves circuit machines and the metabolic conditioning stations between the machines provide a great opportunity for aerobic exercise.
Preventing or alleviating back pain is just one more healthy reason to commit to your Curves workout three to four times a week. Your back will thank you for it!
*Scheduled at participating outlets only.
Written by Cherri Megasko