Walking Away Back Pain
Could relieving back pain and achieving back health be as simple as taking a walk? It’s no secret that walking can provide a multitude of health benefits from weight loss to increased cardiovascular performance. Now, recent studies suggest that walking may also be able to eradicate back pain.
Walking engages muscles in both the abdominal and back regions, similar to the way they are in various exercises. Engaging these muscles over a prolonged period of time (instead of only a few short sets at a gym) can help increase their strength and endurance. While these two attributes alone may not eliminate back pain, they can lead to better posture, balance and stability, all of which can help reverse common occurrences of back pain.
So, how should someone with back pain begin implementing a walking routine? Here are a few suggestions:
- Take it Slow. This is not a race and attempting to do too much too soon could only make matters worse. Walking at a comfortable pace will provide plenty of benefits and will set the tone for you to eventually increase your level of effort.
- Begin With Two Walks Per Week. Research has shown that walking as little as two times per week can be enough to reverse back pain. Much like taking it slow, it would be best to start off with fewer walks per week and increase gradually over time.
- Make it Aerobic. Once you walk at least twice a week for two or three weeks, you should begin to make the workouts a bit more intense. Begin walking longer (increase from 20 minutes to 30 and 40 minutes), walk up hills, and increase your speed. Not only will you receive the benefits of an aerobic workout but increasing your walking output can be just as effective as physical therapy. As a bonus, walking can be less stressful on your body then many gym movements.