Many people can pinpoint the moment their fitness decreased and weight increased. And more often than not, that was the moment that they injured their backs. Whether from a car accident, a fall, or overuse, back pain makes it difficult to exercise and burn calories.
Think about safety and back protection the next time you start a fitness weight loss program. It would be devastating to hurt yourself right at the start, or even worse when you start to see progress.
Your Back Works Hard Even When You’re Not
If you live a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight, your back is already under strain. Holding the same few positions for long periods of time puts stress on your muscles. Lifting and moving objects incorrectly can place a further strain on the back.
Imagine carrying a barbell around with you all the time. When you stand, you lift it. When you sit, you hold it. When you walk, you carry it along. If you’re 20, 50, or 100 pounds overweight, your back carrying that barbell everywhere you go.
How to Protect Your Back During Weight Loss
As you work to get into better shape, there are three things to remember when protecting your back:
1. A Healthy Lifestyle = A Health Back
By losing weight and building your strength, you improve your long-term health. Your back will thank you for picking up barbells a few times per week instead of carrying them around 24/7!
2. Learn Correct Body Mechanics
When starting your weight loss program, take time to learn proper exercise. This is very important! Nothing will derail your journey faster than throwing your back out in the first week or two. It may be worth the expense of hiring a coach for a few sessions to help you learn a safe and smart routine. It will cost less than the doctors’ bill for a serious back injury.
3. Always Protect Your Back
It’s also important to protect your back outside of exercise too. For example, when lifting a bag of groceries or a toddler. Bend your legs, and use your leg muscles to assist with the lift. Bending from the waist and putting stress on your back is a recipe for eventual disaster.
How to Strengthen Your Back
Your fitness routine should include both cardio and strength-building exercises. The latter will help your back the most. Look for exercises described as “core strength” or “core building”. Your core is the muscles that hold you up and carry you around. There are two key parts of your core:
Back muscles: Building your entire core will help you protect your back from injury in the long run. Stronger back muscles are a critical component of a strong core.
Abdominal muscles: Your abs provide extra support and stability. If you haven’t been exercising enough, those muscles with get lazy. And your back will carry more of the load than it should.
Excellent core strength exercises include yoga, Pilates, bodyweight calisthenics, and lifting weights. There are plenty of Youtube videos, streaming programs, and apps specifically designed for core strength.
Treating Back Injuries
As you start your new exercise routine, your back will get sore which is natural and shouldn’t be a problem. Here are some ways to ease the discomfort:
- Heat pads
- Over-the-counter painkillers
Rest: If you have a more serious level of pain that hampers your movement, take a day or two off from exercise. But within 24 hours, do your best to get up and walk around for 15-20 minutes, several times per day. Being stationary for too long will worsen the injury and make it harder to heal.
Chiropractor: For moderate to severe pain, consider seeing a chiropractor. Your injury may have thrown your back out of alignment. A chiropractor can make adjustments that reduce pain and enhance proper healing. In fact, you should see a chiropractor regularly even if you’re not in pain. Everyday living also causes your back to move out of proper alignment. Regular adjustments can protect your back from injury in the long term.
Losing excess weight is great for your back, and so is regular exercise that builds core strength. Remember the first rule: do it safely!
This is How You Lose the Weight, Once and For All
If you’re ready to say goodbye to quick fixes that never last? And you’re serious about losing the weight for good? We’re the experts you can trust to guide you through a weight loss program that will not only take the weight off but keep it off.
Schedule a consultation with us today.