To Your Health
July, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 07)
- Wear properly fitting running shoes that have good cushion.
- Wear flexible, custom-made orthotics that contain shock-absorbing materials.
- Avoid running on hard surfaces.
- Avoid long-distance running.
- Use your abdominal muscles to help stabilize your posture.
Biking is a great form of exercise, especially during the warmer months, and the entire family can participate, from young to old. It is easier on the knees than running and hiking; however, you can still injure your back if you're not careful.
In particular, mountain biking, an increasingly popular activity, can subject your body to considerable stress. Here are a few of the potential consequences, along with tips on how to minimize your risk of injury.
Effects on the Spine
- Poor riding posture (pulling up, holding your neck forward, flexing your back muscles) can damage spinal muscles and joints.
- Uneven or rough terrain can jerk and compact spinal joints/discs.
- Periodically shift your neck to loosen your muscles.
- Make sure to distribute your weight appropriately to take some of the pressure off your back.
- Adjust the bike so it fits your body.
- Choose a bike that best suits your needs (e.g., don't choose a racing bike to go mountain biking).
Swimming is a popular activity, particularly as people visit beaches and local swimming pools this summer. Some gyms also offer swimming facilities. If you have experienced lower back or hip problems in the past, the type of swimming stroke you choose is important in order to avoid putting undue stress on the body.