Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spare the Spine

Greetings from Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas. Located virtually in the center of the state, the city is also centrally located
in the country.

Muscles located in the central area of our bodies are called core muscles. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) says that core strength is important because the muscles of the lower back and abdomen serve as a solid foundation for nearly all bodily activities, movement, and posture.

Core training is rapidly gaining in popularity for one reason:
Sitting leads to a weak core.

Risks associated with a weak core include a common ailment...lower back pain. Other problems include poor posture, being injury prone, having minimal strength and (drum roll, please) a bulging waistline.

Professor Stuart McGill, professor of spine biomechanics at University of Waterloo, cautions that even some widely held notions - like, "stretching the back and increasing the range of motion will help prevent injury" - are questionable. In fact, he says research shows that people who have a greater range of motion in their backs are more susceptible to future injury. How's that for blowing a hole in your exercise routine??

One of my (mother's!) primary concerns as I began jogging and lifting weights was the risk to my lower back. "Once you've injured your back, it's not something that's easily fixed," she argues.
Point well taken.

So, for the health of all our backs, please take a few minutes to review Dr. McGill's recommendations for how to maintain
lower back health and prevent injury to this vital skeletal component.

This week, I'm staying at the newly remodeled Holiday Inn Presidential, one of the nicest properties in the company's portfolio, where I'm taking full advantage of the hotel's fitness center to keep my core in shape!


tas said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog last week and thanks for the encouragement. it was very helpful. i enjoyed your posts. as a metter of fact, i plan to try the stabalization exercises as keeping my back healthy is a struggle for me.

Pattie said...

Interesting info, Rebecca. I know that even at my thinnest, my core was an area that needed lots of work.

Hope your stay in Arkansas is enjoyable!

Grumpy Chair said...

Both my aerobic instructors are always reminding me/the other ladies to use our core!

I'm about to embark on pilates for the first time.

Jessica's Journey To Being One Hot Mom! said...

Have fun in the Rock! You aren't far from the downtown. I work in downtown!

Cammy said...

Great post! I'm adding additional core work to my repertoire for May. It's tough work, but I believe it will pay off in the long run.

Enjoy your trip!

Hanlie said...

I'm a great believer in core strength! Pulates ha taught me a lot.

Hope you have a nice stay... and that you win that bike!