People with ongoing or recurrent episodes of lower back pain should consider the benefits of walking as a low-impact form of exercise. Aerobic exercise has long been shown to reduce the incidence of low back pain. However, people with low back pain often find some forms of exercise too painful to continue, and therefore don’t get the exercise they need to maintain good health. Exercise walking is one way to benefit from regular exercise while not aggravating the structures in the lower back. **It is cheap and its easy and its free and able to be done anywhere**
For some back conditions, walking will aggravate or cause too much pain to be bearable. For these patients, other low-impact exercise may be advisable, especially water therapy (pool therapy such as aqua-jogging or deep water aerobics). The body’s buoyancy reduces compression on the lower back, allowing for more pain free movement. **I would love to do this but am way to embarrassed to go to an open swimming pool. I am afraid someone would laugh at me**
It has long been known that there are many inherent health benefits from a regular routine of exercise walking, such as:
- Strengthens muscles in the feet, legs, hips, and torso – walking increases the stability of the spine and conditions the muscles that keep the body in the upright position.
- Nourishes the spinal structures – walking for exercise facilitates strong circulation, pumping nutrients into soft tissues and draining toxins.
- Improves flexibility and posture – exercise walking along with regular stretching allows greater range of motion; helps prevent awkward movements, and susceptibility of future injury.
Walking. In general, walking for exercise is very gentle on the back, and walking two to three miles three times per week is very helpful for patients. Walking also has the advantage of not requiring special equipment (except a good pair of shoes suitable for walking) and it can be done inside or outside, in almost any location, including at home on a treadmill.
Whatever low-impact exercise is used, the exercise should be vigorous enough to increase the heart rate to the target zone (which is scaled to the age of the patient) and keep it elevated. Elevating the heart rate for at least 20 minutes is required to improve cardiovascular strength, burn excess calories, and make noticeable strides in fitness.