At our Ealing chiropractor clinic, we know that one exercise is good for the back more than many others. If you want to stay healthy and keep your spine and joints in good shape, regular walking or hiking in the country is a pretty great way to stay fit. And it’s fun too!
Hiking is a low impact form of exercise that not only gets you out and about and helps relieve stress but also works on key areas to help strengthen your back and improve mobility. It’s a great exercise, particularly if you have had recurrent bouts of lower back pain and want to improve things.
The Benefits of Hiking
The first thing walking does is strengthen the muscles in your torso, hips, buttocks and legs which all help improve the muscles surrounding your back. When people think of back problems, they usually focus on the spine and the bone or cartilage without realising that the muscles also play an important role.
Walking, even if it’s just a gentle amble in the countryside, will get your blood flowing and provide nourishment to vital areas of the body including the spine.
The more regularly you do it, walking should improve flexibility and, along with stretching exercises, reduce the risk of you having a recurrence of a back problem in the future. Walking also helps control bone density and should allow you to maintain a healthy weight when combined with a good diet.
Of course, you don’t have to go out hiking in the country to do this form of exercise. A walk around the local park or down Ealing high street can be just as effective. If you have a recurrent back issue, we certainly recommend building walking into your daily activity. You can walk to work, for example, or spend your lunch break walking in the local park.
If you can, try building some more serious hikes into your regime if you want to really improve your back health. They don’t need to be up steep hills either. Heading out to the country can have all sorts of benefits, not just on your back health but your whole sense of wellbeing.
Our Top Tips
For those who are planning to add a little serious hiking to their back care regime, here are some great tips we like to give patients at our Ealing chiropractor clinic:
- Invest in a good pair of walking boots. While trainers and even ordinary shoes might be okay for around town, investing in a pair of quality walking boots is important if you hike regularly. Make sure you have them properly fitted and find a pair that is comfortable but also supportive.
- Build up slowly if you are not used to walking long distances. This is an aerobic activity, no matter how low impact it is. Start with walking a few miles (or as much as you can manage) and then build up to a long walk to avoid putting too much stress on your back and body in one go.
- Stop to consider your posture every so often and make sure you are walking with a reasonably straight back. It’s easy to get into the habit of stooping, especially if you are carrying a backpack.
- Finally, however long your walk, always carry water with you and make an effort to stay hydrated. Be particularly aware if you are walking in the summer and it’s very hot.
Walking is one of the best and cheapest ways to get exercise and anyone can do it. For those who have suffered from regular bouts of back pain, regular gentle walking can improve flexibility and muscle strength and reduce the likelihood of further problems in the future.
If you’re currently suffering from back pain and require a chiropractor in Ealing, contact the team at The Spine and Joint Centre today.