Those with back pain have likely heard that an exercise program is one of the best remedies. For those with busy lives, however, back pain treatment may seem unattainable due to time constraints.
The biggest obstacle to exercise is time. People with jobs that involve a lot of travel may find it especially difficult to keep their backs in shape. If your job involves prolonged periods of sitting — at a desk, in a car or on a plane — you likely experience lower back pain. A lot of sitting combined with little exercise has likely left your abdominal and buttocks muscles weak while causing tension in your hip flexors and lower back muscles. You may have a difficult time sitting up straight because the muscles of your core are too weak to support the weight of your upper body. Muscle imbalances, pelvic tilt and a change in the curvature of your spine all lead to back pain which can, over time, become chronic.
Those who travel regularly have a disadvantage when it comes to exercising; travel fatigue, jetlag and forever changing living arrangements all make it difficult for the traveler to commit to fitness. Those who work close to home can make space and time in the house for workouts or get a membership at a local gym. Those bouncing from hotel to hotel don’t have that luxury.
It is still possible for the traveling businessperson to follow a back pain exercise program. The following tips will help you establish a physical fitness routine in your busy life.
1. Posture and Movement Awareness
The first step toward back pain treatment is acknowledging that you have a problem, most likely a biomechanical problem. The way that we move and hold our bodies has a great impact on the health of our backs. Do you bend from your lower back or hips to reach something? Do you really lift with your legs and not your back? Do you use ergonomic aids like lumbar supports to help maintain proper posture while sitting? Do you stay in one position for hours on end or get up and stretch frequently? Answering these questions and making adjustments are necessary components of back pain treatment.
2. Hotel Gym/Pool
Most hotels that businesspeople stay in have a pool and gym. For back pain, you should focus on developing a strong, balanced core muscle group in the gym. You won’t necessarily have professional guidance in the hotel gym, so do your research and watch your form. Some hotels offer special programs that support their guests in their quest for fitness such as the Sheraton chain. Talk with your employers about the benefits of boarding employees in hotels with fitness programs.
Swimming is a great way to build core strength and cardiovascular health. It is also the perfect back pain exercise, since the density of water takes your weight and unloads your joints and muscle while providing enough resistance to give your muscles and heart a solid workout.
3. Portable Classes
If your hotel isn’t equipped with proper facilities or you aren’t comfortable working out in a gym, you may want to consider taking online classes or investing in DVDs that you can follow along to in the comfort of your room. Using a DVD or online class provides the structure many people need to keep up with their exercise goals. Classes that focus on core workouts, such as Pilates classes, are especially relevant to those with back pain.
Online tutorials are also available, such as the one found at corefitnessbyjana.com. That particular website offers discounts to employees of companies that register with the site.
There are ways to fit exercise into your busy schedule. A commitment to back health and knowledge of resources available to you can help eliminate back pain.