No matter what sport you play, if you are active and participate in regular physical activity, your back is going to take a beating. Aches, pains, and strains are all common issues, but they don’t have to stop you from playing your favorite game or sport.
Pro athletes have learned how to deal with and prevent back injuries, and they can teach us a thing or two. Here are some tips on how to take care of your back while staying active.
Stay active and stretch regularly to keep your back healthy
Active individuals place a high demand on their bodies and as a result, are more susceptible to developing back problems. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of injury and keep your back healthy.
It is important to stay active and maintain good fitness. This will help to keep your muscles strong and enable them to better support your spine. Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your back. It strengthens the muscles that support your spine and helps to keep your joints flexible. If you’re not used to exercising, start slowly and build up gradually.
Likewise, stretching helps to keep your muscles and joints flexible, which can reduce the risk of back pain. Try to do some gentle stretching every day, especially after sitting or standing for long periods of time.
If you also have another job or hobby that causes you to sit or stand for long periods of time, make sure to take breaks often and move around as much as possible. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we may still end up straining or injuring our back. If this happens, “it’s important to take care of the problem right away and not try to ‘tough it out. Ignoring back pain can lead to further injury and make the problem worse in the long run” mentions a concrete driveway expert from Gisborne in the day and athlete at night.
Use a foam roller to massage out tension and knots
One suggestion that is often given by both trainers and doctors is to use a foam roller to work out tension and knots. This can be done either before or after exercise, and it can help to loosen up muscles that are tight or in spasm. Foam rolling is also a great way to warm up the muscles before activity, which can help to prevent injuries.
The benefits of foam rolling are many. It can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and prevent muscle soreness. It is also an excellent way to release tension and knots that have developed over time.
For best results, use a high-density foam roller and apply steady pressure as you roll over each muscle group. Start with the larger muscle groups such as the back, glutes, and hamstrings, then move on to the smaller muscle groups such as the calves and IT band.
Learn how to properly lift weights and avoid injury
Lifting weights is a great way to stay in shape and strengthen your muscles. However, if you don’t lift weights properly, you could end up injuring yourself. Here are some tips from professional athletes on how to lift weights safely and avoid injury:
- Warm up before lifting weights. A light jog or jumping jacks will get your heart rate up and help loosen your muscles.
- Use proper form when lifting weights. This means keeping your back straight, maintaining good posture, and using smooth, controlled movements.
- Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the amount of weight you’re lifting as you get stronger.
- Don’t try to lift too much weight at once. If you can’t lift a weight without straining, it’s too heavy for you.
- Focus on using your muscles, not your momentum, to lift the weights.
- Breathe normally as you lift the weights- don’t hold your breath!
- Cool down after lifting weights with some gentle stretches or a light walk.
Use hot and cold packs to ease pain and inflammation
As an active person, you’re no stranger to aches and pains. But when your back starts acting up, it can really put a damper on your workout routine.
One of the best ways to reduce inflammation and pain is to alternate between hot and cold packs. Start with a cold pack for 15-20 minutes, then switch to a heat pack for another 15-20 minutes. Repeat this process as needed throughout the day. You can also use heat before exercising to loosen up your muscles, and ice afterward to reduce pain and swelling.
Get plenty of rest and relaxation to allow your body time to heal
Plenty of rest and relaxation gives the body the time it needs to heal. After a long training session or competition, make sure to schedule some time for R&R. This means taking a few days off from training, getting a massage, and spending time with your family and friends. Also, make sure to eat healthy foods and stay hydrated.
Getting enough rest and relaxation is essential for allowing your body to recover from strenuous activity and preventing injuries. Follow these tips to help your body recover from physical activity:
- Take at least one day off per week from training or competition to allow your body to recover.
- Get a massage once a week to help relieve muscle tension and promote blood circulation.
- Eat healthy foods that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants to help repair tissue damage and reduce inflammation.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Spend time with loved ones and friends to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
Get regular massages to improve flexibility and relieve tension
A chiropractor from Rouse Hill recommends getting regular massages to improve flexibility and relieve tension. The development of chronic back problems can be prevented by maintaining a healthy back, which includes keeping the muscles strong and flexible.
When muscles are flexible, they are less likely to tear or become strained. Moreover, massage therapy can help to maintain muscle flexibility by increasing blood flow and improving the range of motion. In addition, massage can help to relieve tension headaches and trigger points, as well as improve posture. As a result, regular massage can be an important part of keeping your back healthy and preventing future injuries.
Taking a few minutes each day for some active back care can go a long way in preventing pain and injury. These tips from pro athletes will help you get started on the right foot, so to speak. With just a little bit of effort, you can keep your spine healthy and pain-free for years to come.