Back pain affects many people. Approximately 80 percent Americans will have back pain at some point in their lives. But the good news is staying in shape can help us keep back pain at bay.
Regular exercise, combined with healthy eating, is the most beneficial way to stay in shape. Many exercise programs (eg, aerobic exercise programs) can help keep you in shape. But not every exercise program works the same for everyone. You should choose an exercise program or routine based on your physical condition. If you are overweight, you should start with weight loss program. The more weight you carry, the more pressure your back (especially lower back) bears. As a result, parts of your back bone (the spine) will wear out over time. When this happens, you’ll start to feel persistent back pain.
The bottom line of weight loss exercise is to burn the extra calories stored inyour body fat. Any daily activities you do, including breathing, talking, and walking, burn calories. And any extra activities you do (eg, walking, jogging, or aerobic dancing) burn extra calories and may help you lose excess weight.
While you try to lose weight by participating in regular weight loss exercise, pay attention to your diet, and make sure that the number of calories you consume is not larger than the number of calories you burn (via maintaining basic body function, performing daily physical activity, and participating in exercise). If you consume more calories than you burn, you cannot lose weight, doesn't matter how hard you exercise.
Remember, losing all the extra weight may take a long time. The key is to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. And to be able to exercise regularly, it is important for you to choose a program you enjoy or at least you can stick with for a long time. Since not every weight loss exercise program, commercial or free, works for everybody, ask your doctor or a professional trainer to help you choose or design a weight loss exercise program or routine that will work for you.
Once you have successfully achieved a healthy weight, the next thing on your to-do list should be maintaining your healthy weight and staying in shape. Aerobic exercise is a great way to help you achieve just that. Besides staying in shape, regular aerobic exercise offers many other benefits. For example, it keeps your heart strong, improves your mental health (eg, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression), strengthens your muscles, and burns calories. The bottom line is regular aerobic exercise can improve your overall health. Studies have repeatedly shown that people who exercise regularly tend to live longer and healthier than those who do not exercise.
To keep back pain at bay and to live healthy, long lives, let’s get moving.
Dr. Marcello Sammarone, MD ●