The first day of sunny spring weather makes a lot of us want to spend the whole day doing outdoor activities, like fishing, gardening, biking, or spending a day on the golf course. The problem is, if the winter weather has kept you cooped up inside for months, you may not have been as active as usual. If you jump right into full activity, you could be at risk of a back injury.
If you’ve been inactive for months, you need to ease yourself back into physical activity, rather than getting right into it at full force. You don’t want a back injury to prevent you from enjoying the nice weather! These tips will help you ease back into an active lifestyle so you can enjoy your favorite spring activities without back pain.
- Don’t skip the warm-up. Golfing with tight muscles puts you at a greater risk of a back injury. Take 10-15 minutes before you step onto the golf course to stretch the shoulders, back, and legs.
- Work on your swing. Poor technique could put additional strain on the back, especially if you are hunching. Whether you’re just out of practice or relatively new to golf, it won’t hurt to take a little time to work on your swing.
- Work on core strength. If back pain is a problem for you when playing golf, the problem could be a lack of core strength. Try exercises like yoga or pilates, which help to build both strength and flexibility in the core.
- Use proper lifting techniques. If you need to bend down to pick something up, never bend at the waist. Always bend at the knees and keep your back straight, using the legs to do all of the heavy lifting, rather than your back.
- Avoid twisting, bending, and reaching too far. If you must stoop down, bend your knees and try to keep your back straight. Try to position yourself as closely as possible to the area you are working on so that you aren’t having to twist your back or bend over to reach it.
- Give it a rest. Take breaks frequently so you can stretch out, sit down, and have some water. This will help you avoid fatigue in your back muscles.
- Stretch before you run. Many injuries start from muscles that are too tight. Take a few minutes before your run to stretch out.
- Wear the right shoes. You need running shoes that absorb the shock of impact. If your shoes don’t absorb impact well, that force transfers to your bones and muscles, which could lead to a stress fracture in your spine or elsewhere in the body.
- Start slow. If you haven’t been running in awhile, you probably won’t be able to start back off at the same pace you were used to when you left off. Trying to do too much could lead to muscle fatigue, which could lead to back pain and soreness. Pace yourself!
- Technique is important. Arching your back too much while serving could lead to back pain. Try bending your knees and raising your heels instead to balance your upper body weight.
- Use the right equipment. Make sure your racquet is the correct size and weight, and that you have the correct grip size and string tension. Work with a professional if you’re not sure about fit.
- Give yourself time to recover. If you’re just getting into playing tennis again after a long break, your body won’t be used to it. Until you get back into the swing of things, you may need to allow yourself breaks in between matches so you don’t overexert yourself.
Physical activity is very beneficial to your overall health, and the nice, sunny spring weather certainly makes it easier to want to get out there and be active. Keep these tips in mind so back pain doesn’t get in the way of the activities you love.