There’s no denying that leading an active lifestyle has many health benefits. At the same time, outdoor activities like hang-gliding and bungee jumping aren’t all that good for your spine. If you do want to be adventurous outdoors, especially as the temperatures start to climb, consider some spine-healthy alternatives instead.
There’s a reason why walking is the first activity recommended for patients recovering from spine surgery. Walking is ideal for your spine since you can choose the surface, control the pace, and determine how long you keep at it until you need a rest. Walking helps your spine by:
- Increasing spine stability
- Strengthening back muscles
- Improving circulation
Since cycling is a non-weight bearing exercise, you don’t have to worry about too many sudden jolts to the spine, at least if you stick to flat surfaces. On rainy days, a stationary bike will work the same muscles. Protect your spine while riding by:
- Adjusting your seat for proper alignment
- Keeping your back straight while riding
- Avoiding unpaved or rough surfaces
If you have existing back pain, swimming is an outdoor activity that’s instantly going to be good for your spine. Because of the water, there’s very little pressure on your bones and muscles. Yet you still get to make enough movements to improve flexibility and muscle strength. It’s also very therapeutic if you’re recovering from a spine injury due to the absence of gravity in the water.
As long as you’re mindful of surfaces, hiking can provide enough exercise to build muscle strength. Choose a location without too many twists and turns and other terrain challenges. Maintain spine safety by:
- Choosing a backpack that evenly distributes weight
- Wearing proper hiking boots to reduce jarring
- Using walking poles on uneven terrain
5. Paddle Boarding
One of the most popular beach activities also happens to be good for your spine; and it’s not surfing. Paddle boarding works core and abdominal muscles as you maintain your balance. It’s a low-impact activity that won’t put too much stress on the joints, tendons, and muscles supporting your spine if you stick to relatively calm waters.
If you enjoy an active lifestyle but are being slowed down by back pain, reach out to The Spine Institute Center today. Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of experienced spine specialists can diagnose the cause of your pain and identify treatment options that will put you on the path to a pain-free lifestyle. For more information and to schedule a consultation, call (310) 828-7757 today.