Oh my aching back. Do you say that to yourself when you wake up in the morning? Are there day when it is a struggle to get out of the chair where you’ve been watching television? Is walking up stairs, picking up your children or grandchildren or walking the dog a pain in the back? If so, you may want to take to the swimming pool to swim away your back pain.
A bad back could be a symptom of sedentary lifestyles. A bad back could also be a medical issue or even hereditary. For those who suffer from back pain, you know that almost anything, and usually everything makes it hurt. For many, back pain is a continual dull, throbbing pain. Those with back pain know that their backs will hurt whether they’re sitting, standing or lying down. It hurts even more when you move BUT moving can actually help your back feel better!
Back pain relief
Have you talked with your doctor to try and find relief? Did your doctor suggest changes to your diet and exercise routine? Did your doctor recommend losing weight? Did your doctor, perhaps, recommend you take up swimming?
Exercising in a pool is fun and for most people it doesn’t cause pain. Being in the water with its buoyancy alleviates stress and strain on your back muscles. Also, being in the water makes you “weightless” and that can help alleviate pain on your joints and your aching back.
Oh My Aching Back: Swim Away Pain
Exercise — just getting up and moving around — is crucial for overall well-being and health. If you can get into the swimming pool, you can help relieve your back pain. When you’re in the pool with your friends and family you may just sleep better too because your back pain will be lessened.
Here are swimming pool exercises for your back
When it comes to swimming pool exercises for your back you don’t need much equipment (some suggestions below, many of which are optional):
- Bathing suit
- Waterproof sun screen
- Flotation devices or other exercise tools made for use in the water
- Pool noodles
- A kickboard
- Flotation belt
- Exercise bands
- Light weights
Get warmed up
Even though you’re in the swimming pool and it may not seem like you’re getting much of a work out — let’s face it, you won’t break a sweat in the swimming pool — you will still want to warm up.
Plan five minutes for your swim warm up.
Walk: Walk back and forth from side to side. Walk forward. Walk backward. Walk sideways.
Lunges: After you’ve walked a few laps back and forth, add in some deep lunges. Take a step, add a lunge. Alternate back and forth from side to side of the pool.
The natural resistance of the water will help warm up and loosen up your muscles.
Loosen up and work your legs with kicks. You can hold onto the side of the swimming pool and kick your legs. If you have a kickboard, you can hold onto that and kick your way from end to end of the swimming pool.
Do this exercise for about five minutes.
Make certain you’re getting your hips into the action. Don’t just kick from the knee down — kick from the hips and waist down. Really lift your legs.
Now stand and hold the side of the pool with one arm. Bring your leg up to your chest, bending your knee. Straighten your leg, then bring it behind you then swing it back forward. The resistance of the water will make this more of a workout than you may imagine.
This is also in the warm up exercise section. Sideways walking works different muscles in your legs than does forward and backward walking. Take wide steps sideways. Add in deep knee lunges for an even better work out.
Strengthening your abs strenghtens your core and this can help with balance and stability (a plus as we age) A stronger core will also help relieve some of your lower back pain.
You may want to wear a flotation belt to do this. When you’re working your abs, bring your knees to your chest, then put them down — do ten reps of this.
To strengthen your spine, rotate your knees to the right, then the left, as you bring them up and put them back down.
Whether you’re a strong swimmer or not, swimming laps is a great way to strenghten your cardiovascular system and your lungs. If you aren’t a strong swimmer, don a life vest and swim from end to end of the pool. If you’re just not comfortable in the deep end of the pool, swim from side to side.
When you’re swimming you’re working many more muscle areas — your arms, your back your shoulders — and all of this will help alleviate back pain.
Exercise cool down
Again, don’t forget to cool down. An ideal cool down routine is to simply walk in the water. Just as you walked in the beginning, this is an ideal way to cool down. Plan a cool down workout for about five minutes, at a minimum.
Better sleep rewards
It’s a truth that you will sleep better if you’re working your body. Your back pain may also be lessened simply because you’re moving and working and strengthening your core muscles.
A swimming pool workout is a great way to diminish back pain, get in better shape, improve your health and enjoy better zzzzzz’s.