Exercise and other kinds of physical activity can go far in keeping your body strong and healthy, able to fight disease, and ward off injuries from pulling, pushing, and lifting. A healthy and fit body also generally recovers faster from injury and pain.
In general, there are three basic types of exercise: strengthening, stretching, and aerobic.
Here's a brief description:
- Strengthening exercises focus on the abdominal and back muscles because these play a key role in supporting your spine and maintaining good posture.
- Stretching exercises target the soft tissues in your legs and surrounding your spine. These muscles provide flexibility you need to move and get around.
- Aerobic exercises foster a strong and healthy heart and lung function. These kinds of exercises generally involve large muscle groups.
Other kinds of mild exercises include those that help you correct or maintain good posture (with a focus on the neck and back) and ease tension from prolonged periods of sitting.
Strong abdominal muscles may actually prevent you from incurring a back injury, since these muscles are so critical to maintaining your spine's position, as well as assisting you with lifting.
Strong abdominals can also lower, minimize, or avoid back pain from excessive strains, help your body deal
Lie flat on your stomach. Raise one arm at a time. Hold for 5 counts, then slowly lower. Do 20 repetitions for each arm.
Try raising one leg at a time. Hold for 5 counts, then slowly lower. Do 20 repetitions for each leg. Advanced versions of this exercise involve raising both legs or arms
Tuck in your chin.
Push your head back against your hands or the floor (if your are lying on your back).
Hold 5 counts. Do 20 repetitions.
Alternate or extension:
Place your hand on the side of your head.
Tuck in your chin and push your head to the side, against your hand. Hold 3 to 5 counts. Do 10
Pilates is an exercise program named after Joseph Pilates, who developed an exercise program in the early-20th century to improve the physical fitness of World War I soldiers. Pilates incorporated resistance into programs for rehabilitating injured patients. He later incorporated springs into exercise