Friday, July 29, 2011

Feeling Better Through Exercise

In the past few months, I have had unprecedented lower back pain. The pain is especially bad at night, and it is often difficult to turn or get out of bed. Plus, once I’m awake it’s hard to get back to sleep, especially since I can’t move. During the day, with stretching and moderate activity, the pain is not as bad.

Since I’ve been back from my trip, my lower back has hurt more than usual. I suspect it may have something to do with the very long flight. I decided it was time to see if more targeted exercise would make a difference before seeing a doctor. So here is what I do now: I start every day with a gentle yoga routine, which really helps make me feel better right away. I also do some yoga stretches when I wake up with pain at night, and it makes a big difference because I am able to get back to sleep. Finally, I got back to my Dailey Method classes, which combine barre work, core work, stretching, and orthopedic exercises. I felt better after the first class.

Hubby and I also went on a nice walk the other day. Instead of our usual hilly hike, we walked in the bay. It was a nice change of scenery. The walk was truly good for body and soul.


Questions: Why do you exercise? How does exercise make you feel better?
 
Be well,
Andrea

18 comments:

  1. Oh goodness! Sorry about the back pain- that can really be debilitating! But it also seems to be self-limiting. Both Derek and I (and pretty much everyone in my family) has had back pain at various points of our lives- sometimes needing total bed-rest. But eventually it does get better. I'm sure that will be the case for you too.

    I exercise quite frankly because it helps with my weight maintanence. I do enjoy lifting weights. I do not enjoy slogging it out on some stupid cardio machine. I do love hiking and jump roping and stair climbing. It also depends on my current whim and situation- I'm coming off a recent injury myself so I haven't been able to do the exercises that I love. Always a state of flux!

    Feel better- your lake walk looked glorious!

    D

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  2. oh good for you, and what a beautiful walk!

    I have a tight back most mornings and when I regularly get up and do my am routine which is some pilates and some yoga blended together, I don't have near the tightness.

    :)

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  3. What a nice walk!
    I do difficult exercise because I know it's good for me (weights, run, etc.) Not that I don't like doing these types of exercises, but sometimes it's more of a push to get me there.
    I do yoga because it makes me feel amazing and I always amazing after.

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  4. so glad you're starting to feel better! Different kinds of exercise make me feel better in different ways (I never realized this until now -thanks!). Lately I've been enjoying the thrill of bike riding - it kind of brings me back to childhood!

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  5. I have bad back pain as well... I need to do lots of stretching to help it feel better.

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  6. I'm so glad the exercise is helping! I've never dealt with a lot of pain, fortunately, but can definitely see how certain kinds of exercise would be helpful.

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  7. Yep, back pain is the worst! Glad the yoga is helping though!

    I love how strong I feel after I exercise. Have a wonderful weekend Andrea!

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  8. I had this naggy muscle-knot in my back for the longest. I'm talking over a year. It wasn't until I started doing Yoga that it went away. Yoga is a tremendous practice that I recommend EVERYONE do.

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  9. Back pain is the worst! So sorry to hear about that! It's amazing how exercise helps the body, huh? Whenever I have leg pains walking helps them go away.

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  10. I had horrible lower back pain earlier this year. As it turns out it was from a tight psoas which is the most common reason for back pain. If you google tight psoas you will find some really good stretches. My favorite one I got from a cross fit site. It involves lunging in a doorway with your back against the frame. Deepen the lunge while pushing your upper back into the frame. I did that regularly and my back pain disappeared.

    I exercise to stay sane. The end. :-)

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  11. Sorry to hear about your back, Andrea. I bet it was the plane, like you said. I tend to get get very sore when I sit for a long time. I'm betting it will go away if you keep doing what you're doing, and not push yourself too hard quite yet. Like you, I love a nice long walk every once in a while. IN fact, I was planning on doing that today to prep for my rigorous 30k bike ride and 5k run tomorrow!!

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  12. What a beautiful walk Andrea!

    I used to have a lot of lower back pain but since I picked up running I hardly ever have it (strangely enough at the beginning of this week I did, don't know what caused it). That's one of the reasons I exercise, the others are because it's good for my health and it helps me to maintain or lower my weight.

    I'm glad the exercises you did helped against the back pain.

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  13. andrea, i am soooo sorry you are having back pain. i had such bad back pain last fall. it was terrible. it can really affect all parts of your life. i think yoga and walking is helpful but sometimes too much exercise can be awful for it too.
    i am glad you have found something that helps you.

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  14. Sorry to hear about your back pain! I dealt with a lot of back problems after both my pregnancies, and was able to alleviate it with physical therapy. My mom swears by acupuncture which cured her debilitating back problems years ago. I agree exercise can really help too! BTW-Love the pictures of you and your dad hiking in the alps. What a fabulous trip for the two of you!

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  15. Sorry to hear about your back.Back pain is no fun. I dealt with back and neck pain a few years ago because of an accident so I know how you feel. Acupuncture and Pilates is what helped me tremendously. I exercise not only to feel and connected to my body but also for stress relief. Love the pictures.

    I am glad you mentioned The Dailey Method, I have been thinking about buying the DVD, what do you think?

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  16. Hi Andrea, REALLY hope your back feels better soon!!!! BEAUTIFUL photos of your walk! Thanks for sharing. Take care of yourself and have a good rest of your Sunday.

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  17. Oh no! Sorry to hear about the aching back. That's never fun. As to your questions, I think I like spinning classes for the endorphin rush and pilates for how elongated and upright I feel afterward. ;)

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  18. As someone with back pain, I hope you find some relief soon. Mine is all about my shoes because of my super flat feet!

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