Now that Winter is almost behind us, it’s time to swing open the windows and get outside into the fresh spring air. Beyond dew-kissed flowers, and the bees whizzing past you – it’s time to get moving, not just for your mental health, but for your spinal health as well! Spring is the perfect time to get the blood pumping and your spine in motion. Outdoor pursuits involving physical activities are a perfect way to help strengthen the muscles that surround and support the spine.
Strong muscles not only provide better stability to the spinal column but also promote better posture as well. Not to mention, activities that involve some light bending and twisting help circulate essential nutrients to the spinal discs. Most importantly? Physical movement improves blood circulation, ensuring that oxygen and nutrients reach the spinal structures, aiding in repair and healing. Try some of these fantastic outdoor activities below to make your back stronger!
Hiking is a great low-impact cardiovascular activity that puts less stress on your joints compared to high-impact exercises like running. This makes it great for the spine as it’s gentle whilst proving an effective workout. Hiking also activates your core muscles to maintain balance and stability as you navigate through different landscapes and terrain.
Cycling is a great cardiovascular activity that gets your heart pumping, whilst also engaging the muscles that support the spine. Cycling has the added benefit of being low impact, especially compared to other activities such as running or weightlifting. The best bit? Cycling can be done just about anywhere and can help to reduce lumbar muscle tension and improve flexibility – all important factors in mitigating or relieving lower back pain. Just be sure to have a bike that fits your body comfortably with the handlebars at elbow level and a seat position that allows for full leg extension and back support.
Yoga in the Park
Now that it’s warmer, yoga in the park is a great way to combine the fresh spring air with mindfulness, stretching, and spine-strengthening exercises. Yoga is another great low-impact form of exercise that can train the muscles in your core to be stronger over time. If practiced regularly, yoga can improve your posture, build upper body strength, and reduce back pain by strengthening and lengthening the muscles throughout your entire body! Combine that with a mat on some fresh grass, and under a shady tree and you’ve got yourself a little slice of heaven!
Now that the weather is warmer and the flowers are blooming, it’s a great time to put on a hat and some gloves and venture out into the garden. Gardening is a great example of a popular hobby that can also be used as a workout. Gardening engages all the major muscle groups, such as the arms, legs, shoulders, back, and abdomen. Not to mention, gardening also improves mobility and builds endurance. Connecting with nature is also a great way to relieve stress. So, potter around the garden in the spring sunshine and enjoy the fruits of your labour – all whilst strengthening your spine.
And just like that, you’ve got it covered. Four great activities that can propel you into spinal health this spring while bolstering the strength of your spine. All these activities are also great for supporting mental health, getting fresh air, and getting those endorphins flowing.
For an added boost, you can even make use of the ACA’s Straighten Up app, which contains a perfect three-minute exercise routine that is also great for improving your spinal health and stabilising core muscle groups. The app also allows you to set daily reminders about sitting right, stretching, taking breaks, drinking water, and improving your posture! It even has a nifty augmented reality feature, which allows you to see good and bad postures in different scenarios. To learn more about the Straighten Up app visit www.chiro.org.au/resources/apps/
Don’t forget the best way to look after your spinal health is to visit an ACA chiropractor. ACA chiropractors are at the forefront of spinal excellence and healthcare. To find your local ACA chiropractor, visit our ‘Find a Chiro’ search engine www.chiro.org.au/find-a-chiropractor