This year for Spinal Health Week the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA) told us all to “Back Your Inner Athlete”.
Many Australians these days are very inactive which is purely to their own detriment. Too many people I know have become old before their time because of the sedentary way they live their lives. Now in no way am I having a “crack” at the elderly by any means, in fact a lot of older people in our communities should be very proud of themselves. I see more and more seniors in gyms exercising than ever before, keeping themselves in decent shape, supple and flexible. And from this the younger generation can learn a lot in regards to looking after our bodies as we all age.
The saying “use it or lose it” and that “prevention is better than cure” certainly applies when it comes to our health and fitness and our overall well-being. An inactive lifestyle can lead to:
- Back pain
- Poor posture
- Decreased mobility and flexibility
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Poor cardiovascular function
- Weight gain
- And many more health related issues.
Now there are so many exercises that will keep our spine (back) strong for years to come. In particular many forms of yoga and pilates are good as these two disciplines will give us a stronger core, better posture and stronger muscles. That in turn will support our spine and joints, will enable us to function more efficiently and may reduce the back pain that so many Australians live with - something that could definitely be managed better through active exercise.
As I’ve said before, I am a great believer that at the right age all of us should include a resistance program to our training routines. Keeping our muscles strong will only strengthen our ligaments and tendons giving our skeletal system far greater support. Please note, when starting a new weights program at any age, seek a professionals’ help to make sure your technique and form is correct. This is paramount (and always remember to lift to your strengths’ ability).
Swimming is also a great way to keep our bodies strong as its very low impact. The impact on your joint function is minimal due to the fact that water supports your body, enabling us to exercise without the stress that occurs in weight bearing exercises and is excellent for your overall breathing and cardiovascular system to function more efficiently.
Before we act and put our bodies through rigorous day-to-day activities, put a little thought into what we do and how we do it to help keep our backs stronger for longer.