Shape up, move and be healthy – but be careful!

It’s always in the summer when we want to shape up and tone up. There is a huge emphasis on fitness at the moment which is evident with the onslaught of fitness inspired blogs that are popping up on our news feeds. There has been a switch in attitudes recently with people wanting to be strong rather than skinny. Not only are people cycling, running and walking but there is an increase in ‘television commercial’ exercisers, these are the people that are taking full advantage of the ad breaks in the middle of their favourite programmes to hop up and do push-ups, squats and even the wall sit is very popular amongst these people. It’s a great way to exercise, it’s free and you don’t need any fancy equipment and it doesn’t matter what you wear as you are in the confinements of your own home. However it’s important to stress that you still need to mind your back.

If you are in your twenties or thirties now you may, if you’re lucky, be ignorant of the effects of back pain but doing small things now will help to prevent future back pain.

For the simple but effective push-up, do them on one foot and then cross the other foot over – this will support your lower back. It will make all your muscles in your legs and back tighter. The bouncing effect of push ups might not hurt you now but in ten years’ time you will be thankful for this little trick…
The wall sit is an exercise done to strengthen the quadriceps muscles. The person wall sitting places their back against a wall with their feet shoulder width apart and a little ways out from the wall. Then, keeping their back against the wall, they lower their hips until their knees form right angles. It is a very good exercise but again be mindful if you are suffering from any type of back pain that this may not be suitable for you as you will be putting pressure on your back.

As always, I tell my patients it is only you who knows your body and if something hurts or doesn’t feel right for you then don’t be afraid to stop. If you do wish to be more physically active but are afraid of a persisting injury or causing one then I would be happy to go through the best course of action that is right for you and to show you exercises that can be done if you are experiencing pain.

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Dr. Benjamin Martin is a Chiropractor and speaker on Health and Wellbeing. Ben is regularly called on to discuss health topics and chiropractic on radio, tv and press. His promise is to adjust and educate as many families as possible towards optimal health. His work changes lives and has restored people's quality of life.
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