As we get older, our bodies tend to wear down, which can end up causing us pain. According to the National Institutes of Health, many seniors experience chronic neck or back pain that can affect the quality of their daily life. Back pain and neck tension can be exacerbated by other chronic diseases. Fortunately, there are several ways to alleviate back pain through physical activity.
A very important rule to remember at any stage in life is to have good posture. Slouching or scrunching of the shoulders can lead to an array of problems such as back and neck stress. To avoid slouching, keep shoulders back and upright with the chest forward. Pull the chin straight and eyes forward to stay sitting upright. The best way to stay in good posture is to keep the hips, back, shoulders and neck aligned and stacked. An erect, neutral position is a great way to avoid stress on the muscles.
To stand or sit in an erect position, imagine a straight line running through your body aligning the ears, knees, hips, ankles and shoulders. Another method to be straighter is to squeeze the shoulder blades together slightly, pushing the chest upward and out. Do this and hold for five seconds. Release and repeat three to four times.
What holds our bodies upright stems from our core. A stronger core can help you have better posture. Exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles can also protect the back and spine. Almost every movement requires use of your core. The core on a body is comprised of several different muscles, from the abdominals to the entire torso and pelvic area. It is important that seniors do not lift heavy items using their back muscles to avoid injury. If you must lift something heavy, pick it up using core muscles and legs by bending the knees and keeping the back straight.
When it comes to senior fitness, stretching is an essential activity that can affect the way you sit or stand. Some studies have shown that yoga for seniors can help reduce back and neck pain by keeping the joints and muscles from getting stiff. Particularly for those who suffer from lower back pain, yoga can reduce stress and chronic discomfort in just a short amount of time.