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#21 Mon 17 Nov 08 8:59am

cupcake

Forum champ
From Cambodia, eh?
Member since Tue 09 Nov 04

Re: Jamie Baird - The Fitness Coach

Hi Proud Mom,

If you don't mind, I'd like to add to Jamie's suggestions on the subject of "bad backs". I used to dance (ballet) and play competitive tennis. Both of these pursuits, in combination with an inherited narrow disc space between two vertebrae in my low back eventually took their toll, and I had disc surgery.

For every common "bad back" complaint, there's a physical component, that can be attributed to weakness (including: overweight, repetitive injury, lack of muscular "core" strength, a degenerative condition, poor waking and/or sleeping posture) or a sudden injury or force to the spine. I believe there's also a relationship between back pain and ones emotional landscape -- the stress you mention. When back pain is acute, we often feeling unsupported, as though we are "carrying the world on our back or shoulders". This tends to result in muscle tension and, if left unresolved, severe muscle spasming.

As Jamie mentioned, heat and massage play a role in alleviating the symptoms of a "bad back", particularly during an acutely painful episode, but I've found that the most effective means of managing back health is prevention: exercise. It can be terrifically dull, and challenging to motivate and sustain yourself with an exercise routine (it's SO easy to slip out of the "noose" of self-discipline.) But I've found that this pales in comparison to the ugliness of doing battle with chronic back (and leg) pain and having to manage the acute episodes that turn your life upside down for a period of days, weeks, or months.

It's often tricky to balance (or even begin!) a regular exercise routine with family demands (and without doubt, young kids and household work provide their own workout!) but one of the best strengthening exercises you can do for your low back, can actually be done before you even get out of bed in the morning, if your mattress is reasonably firm and you've tossed the pillow aside:

Extension Exercise

-- Lie face down, hands level with your chest and palms against the mattress.

-- Inhale through your nose.

-- Exhale through your mouth and bring yourself to a push-up, raising ONLY your UPPER body off the mattress. Your hips, pelvis and legs remain in contact with the mattress at all times.

-- Using a very fluid, up-down motion, WITHOUT PAUSING, do 10 of these modified push-ups. Do 2-3 repetitions, twice daily, if  possible.


Of course, this can be done on the floor, but I've found that being able to do it before I get out of bed in the morning and again at night, makes it that much easier to maintain a routine.

Beyond this, Yoga and Pilates are now my eat-breathe-love pursuits. I have better core strength (back and abs) now than ever before. Pilates gives me increased strength, but Yoga gives me strength, increased flexibility, stress reduction and meditation. Whatever path you choose, exercise has to mean something to you in order to hold a place of priority in your life. It's about directing kindness to yourself and valuing your need for self-care, while giving so much to your other relationships.

I hope you find some of this helpful!


Cuppy
big_smile

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#22 Mon 17 Nov 08 11:09am

TheFitnessCoach

Member
Occupation Fitness Coach
From London
Member since Wed 29 Oct 08

Re: Jamie Baird - The Fitness Coach

Hi Saltedm8,

Thanks for the post. It can be very difficult when your stuck in front of a computer all day at home. If you see the sticky "top 15 home exercises" that should get you started. The only exercises that really would make a nosie in your flat is skipping, jump jacks and jump lunges. Skipping might be an issue indoors anyway, depending on how much space you have. The other 2 can be done quietly if your light on your fee and use your knees and hips to absorb the landing. All the top 15 exercises require very little equipment if any. To replace dumbells you could fill up a pair of small water bottles with sand or gravel.

To get some regular cardiovascular exercise (which I think you need) I would recommend getting out of the house and go for a 20-30min walk or even a very light jog. A good way to break into it would be 4min walk, 1 min run (x4-6). Then as you start to feel fitter 3min walk, 2min run. I think also getting yourself out of the house will also be good for you, get some fresh air and get away from your computer. Its entirely up to you when you do it, early morning, half way through the day or early evening.

Also sitting at a desk for extended periods is not great for your body, so any chance to get it moving will help. Every 30mins stand up, have a stretch and move around for 5mins.

Let me know how you get on.

Jamie

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#23 Mon 17 Nov 08 11:13am

TheFitnessCoach

Member
Occupation Fitness Coach
From London
Member since Wed 29 Oct 08

Re: Jamie Baird - The Fitness Coach

Hey cupcake

Thank you so much for your comments, very helpful indeed and much appreciated.

I think it is also very important to mention to everyone out there who does suffer from lower back pain is to seek professional help as early on as possible. The quicker the diagnosis the quicker the problem can be sorted out. Lower back pain can be attributed to many many different things and one course of treatment for someone might be totally inapporpriate for someone else.

Jamie

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#24 Mon 17 Nov 08 11:19am

TheFitnessCoach

Member
Occupation Fitness Coach
From London
Member since Wed 29 Oct 08

Re: Jamie Baird - The Fitness Coach

Hey Mrs Gibba,

Great work with the walking. What you can get for your bike is a trip computer. They are relatively inexpesive these days and what they do is record all the distances that you do to and from the station. The trip computer will log all the miles you clock up and you can then see how far you are cycling each week. Then the following week you can aim to better it.

Most cycling stores have them or go online to amazon or wiggle. A good brand is "cateye".

Jamie

Last edited by TheFitnessCoach (Tue 18 Nov 08 5:12pm)

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#25 Mon 17 Nov 08 4:10pm

cupcake

Forum champ
From Cambodia, eh?
Member since Tue 09 Nov 04

Re: Jamie Baird - The Fitness Coach

Hi Jamie The FC,

I absolutely agree that it's important to have a medical assessment (history and physical) to differentiate and treat a pattern of common, mechanical back pain from that which requires surgery. But it seems to me, that in general, people need to take greater responsibility for their own health and well-being, which again echoes JO's work.

You know, in North America, the second most common symptom-related complaint seen by docs is lower back pain; the first being the common cold. This is an enormous number of people and a lucrative market for unscrupulous practitioners. Studies have repeatedly shown that the majority of back pain has no precise cause, and that less than 3% of back pain sufferers actually require surgery.

As I see it, the silver-lining here is that if we've caused or contributed to our pain and discomfort, armed with knowledge and awareness of our posture, movements and habits, we can also alleviate it ourselves. Incidentally, making it a habit to sleep with a good, thick pillow between your knees and thighs can do WONDERS to alleviate lower back pain caused while sleeping, and keep your spine properly aligned.

Cupcake say: Just say know. Read!

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#26 Thu 20 Nov 08 6:12pm

Mrs Gibba

Forum champ
Member since Thu 14 Apr 05

Re: Jamie Baird - The Fitness Coach

Hi guys, so week three was a good week for me.  Average steps 8,687, against a target of 7,302.  Also, for the first time since doing this I hit 10,000 (long walk in the woods on Sunday), and then repeated that on Tuesday.  So really happy with that.

target this week is 7,800 - yes I know lower than I hit last week,  but I want to ensure that I sustain my increases.

Thanks for the idea about a bike computer - I'm getting a new bike for Crimbo, so might just get one to go with it.

Mrs G wave

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#27 Fri 05 Dec 08 10:59am

Mrs Gibba

Forum champ
Member since Thu 14 Apr 05

Re: Jamie Baird - The Fitness Coach

Last week did 8214 steps as an average, making good progress!!!  However, to get much higher, will really have to concentrate on getting a good walk at lunch time.

Mrs G

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#28 Thu 18 Dec 08 1:44pm

Mooosy

Member
Occupation Admin assistant (catering company)
From Berkshire
Member since Sun 12 Oct 08

Re: Jamie Baird - The Fitness Coach

Hi Jamie,

How important is diet when starting a new fitness regime? I'm going to join the gym in January (like everyone else, lol), but I was wondering what is best. I've got 3st to lose, is exercise alone going to shift that eventually? I'm going from basically a standing start so I'm hoping it would make a difference even if I don't change my eating habits!

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#29 Fri 30 Jan 09 4:03pm

cupcake

Forum champ
From Cambodia, eh?
Member since Tue 09 Nov 04

Re: Jamie Baird - The Fitness Coach

Does winter suck? Yes!
Do you fcking hate the treadmill? Yes!
Do you need inspiration? Yes!

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=CxeQN2GWAzw

mrgreen

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