Back Pain Prevention

author : smeeko
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Having been a runner for such a long time, I know that a lot of us don’t spend too much time worrying about stretching and strengthening exercises for our lower back. Are you one of the few? I was not for a long time, and then when I turned 30 and studied to become a Personal Trainer I figured out that, if I wanted to keep running for many years to come, I should start to take better care of myself, even if that meant running 10 minutes less and stretching 10 minutes more, when I only have 30 minutes for my lunch break. So I would like to list here a few things that are important to keep your back healthy, which will result in you being able to run longer and happier. I am not claiming to have invented any of the following. They are a collection of tips I have learnt or read and that I try to apply in my daily routine. Finally, please do not use the tips below instead of going to your doctor.  Always consult your physician for professional advice on any problems you may be experiencing in your back.

  1. Stretch and strengthen your lower back and abdomen with stretching exercise

    and strengthening exercises.

  2. Try to run on soft surfaces and to limit cement runs as much as possible. Your body will thank you for that.

  3. Bend your knees when you have to pick up something from the floor.

  4. Wear good supporting shoes when you run.

  5. Wear shoes indoor, especially on hard floors (including in your house). Try to avoid walking bear feet.

  6. Sleep on your back or on your side. Try to avoid sleeping on your belly. If you sleep on your side, use a pillow between your knees. Sleep on a good, firm mattress.

  7. If you bike, make sure you get fit by a knowledgeable bike store to assure you are riding the correct size bike and in a fashion that does not put unnecessary strain on your lower back.

  8. Sit properly. Straight back, weight on both your butt muscles, both feet on the floor. Having your chair slightly bent forward may help with this. Also, if you have a big wallet in your pants pocket and sit on it all day, move it somewhere else. It is
    elevating one of your butt muscles and as a consequence your back is not straight.

  9. When seated, try not to overlap your legs. This will unbalance your butt muscles unnecessarily stretching one more than the other.

  10. Listen to your back. If it complains, give it a day-break and/or visit your doctor.

Hope these tips help keep you running without problems for many years. If you have some other good tips to add to the list above, let me know.

I am also attaching below an article that appeared in this month Ace Personal Trainer newsletter. It deals with Sciatica, which is another back problem. I thought the timing was great.

Have a happy and safe 2004

P.S. All information in this article is provided freely with the only goal of educating athletes accessing the beginnertriathlete.com website.  The article/workouts above are not meant to be exercise and/or personal recommendations, but only examples of workouts that I and/or other athletes have completed in the past. Enrico Contolini will not be responsible or liable for any injury, illness or death resulting from the use of the information contained in this article. Please, always remember to consult your physician before starting any exercise program.

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date: August 31, 2004

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smeeko

family, God, triathlon, nutrition, mountains, geography, astronomy, computers, tennis, pro-life work

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family, God, triathlon, nutrition, mountains, geography, astronomy, computers, tennis, pro-life work

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