Weight Loss Camp Pros Tell You How to Care for Your Back
Weight Loss Camp Tips: Starting a Workout Program with a “Bad Back”?
One of the most common complaints for clients at weight loss camp who are just starting an exercise program is back pain.
Back pain, especially for the overweight person going through weight loss camp, is mostly in the lower back. While many people may assume that they just have a bad back, the real reason for this pain is deconditioned muscles. This means that the muscles are weak from having little to no physical activity. Obesity or other unhealthy habits such as smoking can also contribute to muscle weakness. While it can be tempting to give up at the first sign of back soreness, you shouldn’t give up on your exercise program, as it will help strengthen your back muscles and keep you from getting sore in the future. However, it is important to care for a sore back in the early stages of a workout program in order to avoid injury.
Here are some weight loss camp tips to help a sore back for those just beginning and exercise regime.
Weight Loss Camp Tip # 1. Stretch – One of the most important things you can do after exercise to reduce muscle soreness is to stretch. Stretching releases lactic acid, which builds up during strenuous exercise and causes muscles to be sore. However, improper stretching can cause injury. Don’t strain yourself, keep your muscles relaxed, and hold the stretch without bouncing or moving. Whether or not you are on a weight loss camp program, if you are working with a trainer or therapist, have him or her show you stretches for your back that you can do after exercising.
Weight Loss Camp Tip # 2. Rest – If you find that you are still sore after stretching or your soreness prevents you from doing other activities, resting may help. Soreness can also be caused by inflamed muscles and rest can help bring down the inflammation. For back pain, lying down flat in a comfortable place is best. Make sure you are getting enough sleep as well so that you give your muscles time to recover. Keep in mind that too much rest – or giving up your workout program – will cause the muscles to weaken and won’t help you deal with soreness in the future.
Weight Loss Camp Tip # 3. Ice/Heat Therapy – Back muscle soreness can also be relieved with ice and heat therapy. During the first 2 or 3 days of soreness or after an injury, use an ice pack as this will help soothe inflamed muscles. If you have chronic pain or a sustained injury, applying heat to your back opens up blood vessels and gets blood flowing to the sore area to repair the muscles. Keep in mind that both ice and heat should be applied for about 15-20 minutes at a time, then removed for about 20-30 minutes before being applied again.
Weight Loss Camp Tip # 4. Easy Exercise – If you find that your back often gets sore because of exercise, try doing easier exercises until your back heals. Once you get stronger, you can move up to harder exercises. This way, your back muscles will gradually strengthen and stop getting sore after physical activity.
Weight Loss Camp Tip # 5. Good Shoes – One thing that exercise beginners don’t always think about is footwear. A good pair of tennis shoes will help your back from getting sore during exercise. Shoes that are designed for exercise and that provide adequate support will absorb some of the impact on your body during a workout. If your shoes are worn out or not made for exercise, perhaps you should get a new pair.
Weight Loss Camp Pro, Brenda Lawrence owns the site Physical Therapy Aide for students interested in a career as a physical therapy aide; she is a physical therapist whose specialties include rehabilitation and weight loss.