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Lower back pain workout

Contents

Addressing the problem

Nine out of ten adults suffer back pain at some point in their life. So, there is a chance this lower back pain workout helps you, right now, or in the future. Lower back pain is the most common cause of chronic pain, a major contributor to missed work, and the most common cause of global disability. As Time magazine states in its article.
 
I hurt my back when I was 18 so, I´ve been dealing with lower back pain most of my life. My back pain and I have been friends for 24 years! I had plenty of time to read a lot about it, to try several therapies and remedies, such as:
  • analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs (prescribed by my doctor),
  • heat and ice packs,
  • spinal manipulation and mobilization (Chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists),
  • acupuncture,
  • yoga,
and in the process, I developed my own routine, which I´m sharing with you today, in case you want to give it a chance.
 
The lower back consists of five vertebrae (L1- L5). L5 is connected with the top of the sacrum. The lumbar vertebrae allow for forwarding and backward extension, as well as twisting movements. The segments L5-S1 and L4-L5, carry the most weight and have the most movement, this makes the area prone to injury. This is exactly what I hurt, L4-L5, and L5-S1. I´ll explain how I did it in a minute.
Back pain is classified in terms of the duration of symptoms.
 
1. Acute back pain: <6 weeks
2. Sub-acute back pain: 6-12 weeks.
3. Chronic back pain: >12 weeks.
 
Back pain can go from a muscle aching to a burning or stabbing sensation. Occasionally, the pain may radiate down your leg, worsen with bending, twisting, lifting, standing, or walking.  It can be challenging to maintain a standing position, sitting, or lying position. Carrying things in the arms, or bending can also be painful. Cleaning, sports, and other daily activities become challenging tasks for people with lower back pain.
5-10% of all low back pain patients will develop Chronic Lower Back Pain.
 
First of all, if your back hurts, you should visit your doctor, to rule out any serious pathology. Back pain is stressful, frustrating, disabling, and ultimately we worry about whether we have any serious illness or injury. This is usually not the case, but better to be safe than sorry, right?

When to get immediate medical advice

You should immediately contact your doctor if you have back pain and:
 
  • you feel numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
  • difficulty peeing
  • loss of bladder or bowel control
  • unintentional weight loss
  • a deformity or swelling in your back
  • the pain does not improve after resting or is worse at night
  • your pain started after a serious accident, such as a car accident
  • you’re having problems sleeping because of it
  • when sneezing, coughing, or pooing your pain is worse
These problems could be a sign of something more serious (Mayo Clinic). You must check it urgently.

Causes and risk factors

Approximately 90% of people with back pain are diagnosed with non-specific acute back pain in which there is no serious underlying pathology.
 
The good news is the pain is not caused by anything serious, in most cases, pain is due to a sprain (overstretched or torn ligaments), a strain (tears in tendons or muscle), and/or a spasm (a sudden contraction of a muscle or group of muscles). The cause is a peripheral injury to muscle or ligaments.
To get an idea of which muscles you may have injured, please read erector spinae. Also, check how small the ligaments that join the vertebrae are. It’s unbelievable that such tiny things can cause so much pain.
So, what does cause this injury? It might be caused by any of these factors:
 

Overweight.

Excess body weight puts extra stress on your back. You should consider losing a few pounds to ease the load on your back. Besides, being overweight causes many other health problems, so you will be improving your general health while avoiding that uncomfortable back pain. Your back pain is a red flag, a painful way your body tells you to have to do something about your weight. The solution is well-known: a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
 

Your job.

Does your job involve lifting, pulling, or anything that twists the spine? Then, it may cause your back pain. Obviously, you can´t quit your job but, back pain resulting from improper body mechanics may be prevented by avoiding certain movements, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly.
The usual suspect is improper lifting, using your back instead of your legs can lead to back pain.

Sweep.

This is also a dangerous activity. Sweeping exercises every muscle, but you probably don´t pay attention to proper posture. Keep your back straight while sweeping your floor with a standard bristle broom. Focus your attention on moving the broom with your arms, don’t bend or twist your back. Collect your sweepings with a long-handled dustpan so you don’t have to bend over as much.
 

Sitting at a desk all day.

It comes with risks of its own, especially if your chair is uncomfortable, or you tend to slouch. If possible, choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests, and a swivel base. Placing a pillow or rolled towel in the small of your back can maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level. Change your position frequently, at least every half-hour. Also, check your posture when sitting, using computers or tablets, and watching television.

Standing for long periods.

If you must stand for long periods, be mindful, stand smart:
  • Stand up straight and tall
  • Keep your shoulders back
  • Pull your stomach in
  • Put your weight mostly on the balls of your feet
  • Keep your head level
  • Let your arms hang down naturally at your sides
  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart

Carrying weight incorrectly.

When you wear your purse, backpack, or briefcase over your shoulder, it is the lower back that supports the upper body and the additional weight you carry. If you carry that weight every day on the same shoulder, that can strain the lower back.

Lack of exercise.

Weak, unused muscles in your back and abdomen might lead to back pain. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. You’re especially vulnerable if you tend to be inactive during the workweek and then spend hours at the gym or go out and exercise a lot on the weekend. You will be demanding too much of those weak muscles and, sooner or later, you will pay the price. Regular daily exercise increases strength and endurance and allows your muscles to function better.
 

Overdoing at the gym.

The other end is not advisable either. Overdoing it at the gym is another cause of lower back pain. This is how I got hurt. Back in the day, I just wanted to get bigger muscles. I had no idea of lifting weights, no lifting technique, no trainer to advise me, and the only motto was “lift heavy to get big”. Terrible and harmful motto. I learned that the hard way. Two slipped/herniated discs (the disc of cartilage in the spine presses on a nearby nerve) were the output of my teenage recklessness. 

Lower Back Pain Workout

My doctor told me not to lift or practice any sport because of my back pain. I became a weightlifter and I never had back problems again. By far, physical activity is the best therapy for chronic back pain. It’s even more effective than pain relievers treating pain in the long term. The great benefit of exercise is that it acts through multiple mechanisms, attacking the root problem: mobility, strength, circulation, and the nervous system. There is a lot of medical literature supporting specific physical therapy exercises for the treatment of low back pain. Some interesting readings:
Low back stability primarily depends on the abdominal and low back musculature. These muscles provide support on the spine. The stronger these muscles are, the less stress is on the discs and joints of the spine.
Core strengthening exercises to restore the coordination and control of the trunk muscles (abdominals, erector spinae, glutes) to improve control of the lumbar spine and pelvis. These exercises restore the strength and endurance of the trunk muscles.
 
But the surrounding muscles are also affected. Some are too tense or lack flexibility, others lack tone or strength. So, to relieve pain, we must pay attention to several muscles and restore a healthy balance among them.
Stretching and flexibility exercises to improve hamstring, quadriceps, piriformis, psoas, and hip joint capsule range of motion. These exercises reduce pain, improve movement, and improve functional limitations of movement.
 
So, here is the low back pain workout that I do regularly. You don’t need any equipment and it only takes you fifteen minutes.

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7 Ways to Stay Motivated With Your Fitness Goals

Taking the first step towards something important is always a significant milestone. It comes with energy, excitement, and endless possibilities, which are all great things!

What becomes more difficult at times, though, is the moments after you have started, and maybe some of the original feelings have faded away. These are the moments that will make or break whatever you are trying to accomplish. It is when you find that second wind, or when you decide to give up. 

So the better prepared you are for these moments of decision, the more likely you will be to push through and continue on with your journey. That is what this article is all about. 

These 7 ways to stay motivated with your fitness goals will keep you moving forward and onward. They will be there to continue to challenge you and to help you pursue your best.

Inspirational Books and Videos

What you put into yourself is what comes out. So if you want to feel like you can accomplish anything, read about people that have already done so. There are so many success stories out there (fitness and others) where people have overcome seemingly impossible challenges. Reading and watching videos about people that have already conquered their giants will only help to motivate you. You will be able to draw motivation and energy from their stories. And who knows, maybe someday someone will be reading about your inspirational story and will do the same. 

Follow Positive Social Media Accounts

Social media is here to stay (for better or worse), so you might as well make it work for you. In the same way that you want to watch and read positive material, your social media feeds should be the same. So take the time to find some social media influencers that speak to you, and that will help stay motivated to be your best every day. The more you can surround yourself with positive and encouraging messages, the more you will want to be your best self. 

Make a Plan

It is hard to stick to something if you are unsure of what you should be doing. This means that you need to sit down and figure out a fitness plan for you. If you are a beginner, get online and do some research on one of the many great fitness websites out there. Before long, you will have a good understanding of where to start and what you should be doing each week. And as you go, you will continue to learn and adapt as needed. It all starts with first taking the time to chart the right course, though.

Set Goals and Write Them Down

This is similar to making a plan, but slightly different as well. Along with creating a plan, you also want to set short term and long term goals for yourself. By doing this, you will have something to look forward to accomplishing, which will inspire you to keep working. 

When you set your goals, make sure that they are customized to you, and that they are challenging, but also realistic. Secondly, make sure that you write them down somewhere. It could be on a physical piece of paper, a whiteboard, or even on your phone. Just make sure that it is somewhere that you will see it regularly. This will help remind you to stay locked in and on task. 

Find a Fitness Partner

This is not always the easiest thing to do, but it can be a huge gamechanger. If you can find a fitness partner to join you on your journey, it will make a world of difference. You will be able to have someone to challenge you, encourage you, and hold you accountable. Also, on the flip side, you will be able to do the same, and you will also want to work harder so that you don’t let them down. 

If you cannot find a fitness partner because of scheduling or another reason, try and find an accountability partner instead. Ask a close friend or family member to hold you accountable, and then permit them to call you out if you aren’t doing what you should be. Setting up a regularly scheduled check-in time is also encouraged. This will make sure that you have regular accountability. 

Give Yourself a Break

You may not be able to make it to the gym every day, or you may miss a couple of days in a row because something pops up, that is okay. You should do your best to get right back on it as soon as you can, but don’t beat yourself up. Do your best to stay positive, and remember that progress is progress. 

Also, what will really help with this is being able to be flexible with your workouts. For example, if you are unable to get to the gym, but have 30 minutes at night, do some bodyweight exercises, yoga, or something along those lines. It might not be exactly what you wanted to accomplish for the day, but it is still a step in the right direction. 

Enjoy the Process

Anything worth doing takes time, and it is rarely ever going to be done the first time perfectly. It is a process that takes time, so enjoy that process and enjoy the challenges that come with it. The more you can learn to do this, the more you will want to continue on. And not only will you want to continue on, but when you accomplish your goals, you will want to set even bigger ones the next time. 

7 Ways to Stay Motivated With Your Fitness Goals Conclusion

Staying motivated with anything in life is all about how you prepare and organize your daily routine. It is the same way when it comes to fitness. If you do an excellent job with these seven ways to stay motivated and use them regularly, the sky is the limit. It is up to you, though, to make sure that you are staying locked in and setting yourself up for success. 

So have fun with the journey, and continue to improve and challenge yourself physically and in every other area of your life. 

Kyle Ohman

Kyle Ohman

Kyle is a basketball trainer in Tampa, Florida, and is also the CEO of BasketballHQ.com and ListsForAll.com. He enjoys all things fitness, sports, writing, and outdoors.

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25 best fitness blogs

Hello, wonderful people!

Last week I received great news. Flockbrain has selected this blog as one of the 25 best fitness blogs. Flockbrain is a decision making engine that uses machine learning and social curation to find high-quality content.

This list is based on user engagement so YOU guys made this happen!!!! Thank you for every single like, comment, and share.

A lot has happened since this blog started. From a small personal project, this website has become a small business that employs seven people from as many countries. I’m a huge fan of remote work, you know?

It has been many hours of work throughout these years and you have been there all the way.
It occurs to me that, since this recognition is based on your engagement, I could answer or clarify those doubts about fitness or nutrition that haunt your head.

If it is a simple question, I will answer it in the comments and if the question needs an extensive explanation, I will write a post about it. Do you like the idea?

What would you like to know about fitness or nutrition?

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7 Lockdown Tips for Weight Control

Whether we like it or not, most of us are stuck at home for now. This means that we’re getting less exercise, snacking a lot more, and stressing ourselves out. Under these circumstances, weight gain may seem inevitable and weight control almost impossible. But, here’s a reminder. Life hasn’t come to an end, it’s only on pause, and you still want to be beach ready when this is all over. So, instead of wallowing in self-pity or despair, seize this downtime as an opportunity to refocus and put yourself first. Staying focused on weight control or weight management is far from impossible and here are 7 simple weight control tips to help you get started.

Simple Tips for Weight Control During the Lockdown

Staying focused on weight control or weight management may seem almost impossible right now, but it’s not. Here are 7 simple tips for weight control during the lockdown.

1. Meal Prep Matters

Without your regular commute to work and the need to juggle an insane workload, the need for meal planning can seem redundant. In truth, meal planning is even more important during the lockdown. A study published in The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity shows that meal prep can significantly improve diet quality, food variety, balanced nutrition, and weight control. Meal prep allows you to gain greater control over your diet, in terms of both nutrition and portion control. After all, it’s easier to stay the course when you have your food portioned out and ready in advance.

2. Order Healthy Takeout

Most of us have switched, almost entirely, to cooking meals at home. Aside from the fact that it’s a healthy choice, it’s also one that we’ve been forced into as most local restaurants have been shut. That said, many restaurants still offer takeaway and home delivery services. Ordering takeout is perhaps the best way to break the monotony of eating your own home prepped meals and to support local restaurants during the lockdown. Just make sure that you’re mindful about your food choices, opting for green salads and grilled meats instead of deep fried foods, burgers, and pizzas. Be sure to also watch how much you eat, as restaurants tend to serve oversized meals that are actually meant for 2 people.

3. Avoid Emotional Eating

With the uncertainty around us and the loneliness of social distancing, many of us are struggling to cope with comfort food. While snacking can be a great way to avoid overeating and to maintain healthy body weight, stress eating or emotional eating can be extremely unhealthy. Indulging in unhealthy junk foods frequently will inevitably lead to weight gain and a whole lot of health risks. At the same time, it won’t do you much good in terms of boosting your mood as the mood boost is only temporary, but you’re then left with guilt and even stronger food cravings.

4. Fill Up With Fiber, Complex Carbs, and Proteins

If you’re trying to keep a check on body weight, sugar and simple carbs are the worst things to put in your body. Foods that are high in sugar and simple carbs will cause a spike in blood glucose levels. Not only does this increase fat storage, but it also increases the frequency and severity of food cravings. This means cutting back on most ultra-processed foods, especially cookies, donuts, and other desserts. Complex carbs from fresh fruits and veggies are healthier choices and will also increase your fiber intake, keeping you satiated for longer. Healthy proteins from lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish or eggs will also help to reduce food cravings and the risk of overeating.

5. Try Mindful Eating

You’ve probably heard of mindfulness meditation, which is a meditative practice that helps cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. While mindfulness will obviously help cope with lockdown stress, it can also be applied to eating. Mindful eating is the practice of eating in a more focused manner, paying greater attention to your body and to your food. It trains you to become more attuned to your body, helping distinguish between hunger and cravings, creates an appreciation for healthy food, and lowers the risk of overeating or making poor food choices.

6. Keep Moving

There’s no denying the fact that it’s harder to workout and stay motivated when every neighborhood gym is shut. They will be back eventually, but in the meantime you can work up a sweat at a home. You can use online workout videos and tutorials to find routines that are perfectly suited for you. Most of these home workout programs don’t require gym equipment or props, but they can be pretty intensive. In fact, many Instagrammers and other social media users have embraced lockdown fitness challenges to get in shape during the shutdown.

7. Don’t Skimp on Sleep

Sleep may seem like the least important thing when you’re focused on controlling your weight, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Sleep has a direct impact on the levels of hormones that regulate hunger, with studies showing that sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality can increase food cravings and the likelihood of weight gain. Aside from weight gain, the lockdown would be a good time to catch up on sleep because of its impact on immunity, which is perhaps your best defense against coronavirus infection.

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Staying Active: Advice for Seniors Seeking a Healthy and Rewarding Lifestyle

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 20 percent of the total population will be in the 65-and-over age bracket by 2030. That means Americans are living longer, and they’re living healthier as they age. It’s certainly a heartening trend, but older adults must be well-positioned to take advantage of a longer, more robust lifespan than their parents enjoyed. That means taking control of your physical and mental health (and using some technology) so you can enjoy a healthy and enjoyable quality of life – the kind you’ve earned through years of hard work. 

Healthy environment


One of the most important steps toward a healthy and active senior lifestyle is a safe, well-ordered home environment, a living space that makes it possible for you to be you without feeling restrained by fear for your physical well-being. That means arranging each room so pathways are clear and unimpeded by tripping hazards. Furniture should be arranged so you have clear passage from room to room. Cords, shoes, rugs and general clutter should be disposed of or kept in a safe storage space. And establishing an uncluttered home will alleviate stress and anxiety, leaving you better able to focus on reading, doing crosswords or jigsaw puzzles, journaling, meditating and other activities that help maintain mental acuity. 

An organized home environment also makes it easier to engage in activities that’ll help you take control of the mental and physical aspects of your life. This includes exercising. You’ll have the space you need to enjoy cardio or strength-building exercises, or you can even incorporate an exercise like yoga and achieve the flexibility and enhanced range of motion it can confer. Yoga’s many poses improve spinal flexibility, giving you a strong core upon which to build. You can even use some yoga apps that are great for beginners like Daily Yoga and Down Dog.

Branch out

To continue on an improved wellness path, try branching out into other pursuits that you enjoy, like walking and gardening, and give interesting new forms of physical engagement a try, such as Tai chi, a relaxing and meditative form of exercise that improves cardiovascular health, supports the immune system, and helps seniors improve concentration. Exercise that can be done as part of a social group is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so look into group yoga, swimming or water aerobics classes that are perfect for friends to enjoy together – it’s a lot more fun when people you love being around are involved!

Some seniors find that using a fitness tracker is a great way to monitor their progress and health as they engage in new activities. A fitness tracker can measure the basics like distance traveled and steps taken, but some of the newer devices can measure more advanced metrics like your heart rate and sleep quality. Smartwatches and fitness trackers can also help keep you safe while you work out. For example, the Apple Watch Series 4 has fall detection and will give you high and low heart rate notifications. If you prefer a lower-priced option, the Fitbit Blaze watch has GPS, a large display, and a battery that lasts up to five days

Healthcare coverage


As you age and enter the Medicare system, it’s important to understand your insurance options and how to get the coverage that best meets your needs. You may be aware that there are gaps in Medicare, though you can find ways to plug the gaps with Medicare Advantage, which provides dental and vision insurance, in addition to membership access to fitness facilities across the country. Do some research about plans available to learn more about various types of coverage and whether you could benefit.

Educate yourself

Few things engage your mind quite like learning about a subject you find really fascinating. Many seniors enjoy going back to school by enrolling in free online classes at local community colleges or online universities. Colleges in all 50 states offer such opportunities and many seniors are even able to earn degrees by taking advantage of free courses. Continuous learning keeps the brain active and healthy in many ways. In fact, your brain grows new cells and establishes new connections every time you learn something new. For older adults, learning strengthens memory and sharpens problem-solving abilities. In many cases, it even helps stave off the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

Social engagement

Studies have shown that older adults benefit significantly from regular social interaction. Spending time with friends is emotionally reinforcing and provides opportunities for physical activity (e.g., golf, walking) as do mentally stimulating games like bridge, bingo, Sudoku, chess and checkers. If you enjoy music, look into joining your church choir or a community-based musical group. 

There’s really no secret to leading a healthy mental and physical life as an older adult. Staying active is the key, and that can be difficult for many seniors. The important thing is to find ways to start small and build gradually, with the help and advice of a healthcare provider. You should have every expectation of enjoying a rich and fulfilling life as you age – after all, 65 is just a number.

Jason Lewis

is a personal trainer and the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He created strongwell.org and enjoys curating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.

We will coach you and help you achieve your health goals.
At Chape Fitness, we can help you every step of the way. Join our family and own your fitness. What are you waiting for? Take the first step today.

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