| As you probably know, the health of your back can impact so many areas of your life. If you have experienced any kind of back pain, you know the limitations that it can cause to your life. Many people who experience back, neck, hip or shoulder pain are aware that their pain can ultimately handicap them from an active lifestyle. However, what many people may not realize is that having an active lifestyle is often the best medicine for making sure you have a healthy back! Here is why staying fit is so important for the longterm health of your back! Staying fit helps your muscles to stay conditioned. According to Harvard Medical School, “Weak back and abdominal muscles — due to deconditioning or age — cause or exacerbate many cases of low back pain.” By stretching and strengthening both your back and abdominal muscles, it helps to prevent a recurrence of injuries. Your exercises should strengthen and lengthen the muscles that support the spine. A good exercise regimen should target the back, abdominal, and buttock muscles. Whether that’s stretching or weight lifting, always pay attention to your body. If you feel pain, back off and recognize when your body has it’s limitations. Staying fit helps your body maintain a healthy weight. Carrying around extra weight can cause an additional pressure on your body. The heavier you are, the greater the load your spine must carry. According to Harvard Medical School, “… if the bulk of your weight comes in the form of abdominal fat, rather than muscle, your center of gravity can shift forward — a condition that puts added pressure on your back. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can ease the burden on your spine.” It’s important to have a combination of both cardio and weight training exercises. Cardio involves getting your heart rate up and can help your body to metabolize food at a higher rate. Weight training with pressure resistance can help your muscles to stay strong and balanced in strength. Staying fit helps your emotional and mental health. Believe it or not, but emotions can be carried in your back! Whether it’s stress, grief, anxiety, fear, anger, etc. our muscles will often respond to what we are feeling. So if we experience pain, we can surely expect our emotions to follow. And if we experience an emotional trauma or stress, our muscles will also follow. Our bodies will respond to our emotions by tensing up, causing blood pressures to spike, and many other issues related to the back. According to Dr. Stubbs, “Our data shows that both back pain and chronic back pain are associated with an increased likelihood of depression, psychosis, anxiety, stress, and sleep disturbances. This suggests that back pain has important mental health implications which may make recovery from back pain more challenging. The exact reasons for this are yet to be established.” Staying fit prevents pre-mature aging! Studies have shown that staying fit and doing regular cardio work can extend your life expectancy. In a recent medical study, researchers measured the length of telomeres in blood samples from two groups of professional athletes and two groups who were healthy nonsmokers, but not regular exercisers. Results showed that athletes who performed regular exercise had increased white blood cells, crucial for fighting off disease, and healthier over all cell performance. Those who were not as active showed advanced cell damage and thus, advanced aging. For more on this study, click here: https://www.livescience.com/5927-exercise-prevents-aging-cells.html Overall, the more you can do in exercise, the greater chance your life will be extended. A painful back can keep you from achieving a goal of living long! Get Back On Track, See A Tulsa Chiropractor! If you’re reading this and sensing that you may be overweight, it’s not too late to gain control of your life. Exercising for 20-30 mins every day can make a massive difference! Also, seeing a Tulsa chiropractor to ensure that your back is healthy is crucial to making sure that you can withstand exercise. To schedule an appointment with us, please call our office at 918-836-7900 or fill out the form below! You do not have permission to view this form.