Back-Friendly Outdoor Activities To Try This Fall
We all know how important regular exercise is to our health. In fact, 36% of all regular exercisers participate in a fitness class of some kind. But although many gyms have reopened, concerns about COVID-19 transmission have kept many people at home. Getting out into nature can be a great way to exercise and to take in the beauty of the season.
However, outdoor activities can become more complicated if you experience back pain — like 50% of all working Americans do each year. Even the slightest misalignment somewhere in the 33 bony vertebrae that make up your spinal column can cause discomfort. However, regular movement can also be key in preventing back pain flare-ups. So if you’re concerned about your spine but want to make sure you stay active this season, here are a few back-friendly activities you might want to try this fall.
Go For a Bike Ride
It’s still warm enough to go for a bike ride, so take advantage of the next sunny autumn day and bring your cycle out for a spin. This exercise isn’t weight-bearing, which means it’s often more comfortable for back pain sufferers. Stay off of rough roads for the best results! Avoid leaning forward, as well, as this unnatural position can add strain to the back. Biking around your neighborhood can be a great way to burn some calories and take in the fall foliage without dealing with pain or discomfort.
Take a Walk
Hiking may be a bit too vigorous with some people who have back pain, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a daily constitutional. Go for a walk around your home or in a nearby park to appreciate the changing leaves and fit in a bit of cardio. Be sure to wear the right shoes to alleviate discomfort. Walking can be a low-impact way to loosen up the muscles and joints in your body, which can translate to lowered pain overall.
Do Some Outdoor Yoga
Yoga can be a fantastic practice for people who are prone to back pain, as this activity can increase flexibility and strengthen muscles. If the weather is nice enough, you could bring your yoga mat outdoors to an open space or engage in an outdoor class (provided that social distancing and mask-wearing measures are followed). Look for a low-impact or back-friendly option if you sign up for a class or make sure the instructor will provide some modified versions of movements for those who need them. There are a number of poses and stretches that are ideal for back flexibility; learning what they are can help you ease discomfort even outside of a formal class.
Prune Your Plants
Gardening can be a back-friendly activity for many people and it can allow you to improve the look of your property at the same time. Now that fall is here, you can do some end-of-the-season pruning to prepare for the winter ahead. If you keep a vegetable garden, now’s the time to harvest your bounty, as well. Even watering your plants can get you moving and get you outside — and it’s important to continue doing this even through the fall.
If you suffer from back pain, you might assume you can’t enjoy the beauty of the season. But regular exercise can often help, rather than harm, your body when you have spinal concerns. As long as you talk to your doctor first, these outdoor activities can get you moving and allow you to take in all that autumn has to offer.