One of the most frustrating aspects of the coronavirus quarantine has been the disruption in schedule that we’re all experiencing. In addition to the most obvious aspect of not being able to go to work or take children to school, those who were regularly exercising at the gym or going to physical therapy for the relief of chronic back pain are now stuck at home, unable to get the therapy that they need.
If you are a person who has been tasked with continuing your exercise program at home, don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve allowed your daily ritual to fade into the background – you’re not alone. All over the world people report that they’re exercising less, sleeping less, eating in a way that is much less healthy and drinking more alcohol.
The good news is that the trend is reversible, especially now that the weather is turning warmer. Though you may feel that you don’t have time to exercise, a careful look at your schedule pre-pandemic and post-pandemic will reveal that with a little bit of creativity you can carve out half an hour a day for a walk.
Doing so will make a difference in your sense of purpose throughout the day, and even more importantly in any back pain you may be experiencing. Getting out and getting exercise will clear your mind, and it’s something that you can involve your entire family in if need be.
For those with lower back pain, walking is one of the very best exercises that you can do that will help you get back into shape and not cause increased discomfort.
Benefits of Walking
- Walking get you out of your house and clears your head
- Walking for exercise increases strength in your lower body, and particularly in the muscles of your torso, hips and legs.
- When you walk you are engaging the muscles of your core which support the spine and keep it upright. As a result, those muscles will be more engaged and resilient when you’re back at home and sitting at your desk.
- Walking will improve your range of motion and flexibility
- Walking helps to minimize bone density loss and reduces the risk of osteoporosis
- Walking is an aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping. As your blood circulates through your body it carries essential nutrients and oxygen to every one of your cells.
- Walking will help to remind you of how good it feels to maintain an upright posture. When you return home and get back to work, you will be less likely to slouch or slump.
- Walking will improve the quality and duration of your sleep
- Walking will help you maintain your weight, and may even help you to lose weight. Losing weight will ease pressure on your spine, knees and other joints and may significantly reduce your back pain.
If walking increases or aggravates your pain, then call our lumbar spine practice for guidance on alternatives, but for most you will find that walking will make you feel better and reverse the impact of poor postural habits you’ve developed while working at home.