3.09.2007

6 Ways to Strenghten Your Back

Common backaches are usually due to the wear and tear of the spine. Reader's Digest Asia has some tips to strengthen your back:

  1. Sit properly. Sit maintaining the natural curve in the small of your back. Sitting puts more pressure on the discs, which is why many people with sore backs prefer to stand.
  2. Strengthen the back muscles, or perispinals. The back muscles, along with the abdominals, work together to support your spine. It's not strength you're after but endurance. The more endurance your back muscles have, the better chance you will avoid significant back pain.
  3. Get flexible. Yoga and tai chi use deliberate breathing movements to develop flexibility. Another great exercise is swimming. Water exercises reduce the load on your back by countering the effect of gravity.
  4. Keep active. Aerobic activities such as walking and fitness classes help keep the back limber and help maintain healthy weight.
  5. Avoid standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time. Gravity compacts the spine, so get up or change positions every 20 to 30 minutes. Movement of the joints helps lubricate joint surfaces.
  6. Back off. Never overdo weekend activities. When lifting, bend at the knees, not the back, and hold the load close to your body. keep your back erect, and avoid lifting anything too heavy. Balance any load in both arms. If you're traveling with luggage, get a suitcase with wheels.

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