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Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

oriental dancer backThe back bears the brunt of our mobility. The spine that helps us hold our head high and literally rise above other animals that walk the earth, pays a huge price for this anti-gravity action. It is essential that we take care of the back, especially the lower back that transmits the entire upper body weight to the lower limbs. Those who suffer from backache due to any reason realize the importance of this vital part of our skeletal and muscular system. Here are some tips that will help you deal with back pain to prevent you from becoming a slave to chronic backache.

  • Maintain correct posture- poor posture is one of the most common reasons for backache amongst people, especially those having sedentary jobs. A study confirmed that those with back pain compared to people with no back pain and those with a higher intensity of pain had higher tendencies to sway. This means that maintaining good posture is vital to prevent non-specific back pain that can often be disabling if chronic. Habits for good posture are sitting or standing erect, without stooping or hunching the shoulders.
  • Play sports- Engaging regularly in sports like swimming, running or walking in waist-deep water helps in maintaining back strength and stability. Studies have found that aquatic exercises are better than land-based exercises in regards to chronic lower back pain control.

The Aces of the Bases

boy baseballThe United States is one ‘Happy Nation’ when it comes to their national sport Baseball. Americans are ‘Aces’ whether it is in playing the game or being a mere spectator. The number of world cups bagged by Americans or the attendance of around seventy five million fans in professional games per year is ample proof of both.

Baseball is a field sport played on a diamond shaped field between two teams. Each team consists of nine players. It’s played with a ball which is made up of yarn wound around a cork covered with hide and a bat made up of wood in the shape of a stick. The team which scores the most runs wins the game. A pitcher throws the ball to an offensive player. A score is earned when an offensive player advances from the batter to the bases from the first, second, third and home base in counter clock-wise direction. As compared to other field sports like football, hockey or rugby, baseball is a less aggressive game. Injuries due to collision or trauma are lesser and more due to overuse of tissues.

Enjoy Soccer this Spring

soccer ballDating back to the eighth century, soccer or football is the most widely played and watched sport. In fact, over 250 million players score goals across 200 nations today. Every guy has at some point of time in his life tried his hands, rather feet, at this high adrenaline sport.

           Soccer involves extensive foot work both while scoring a goal and defending one. Except the goalkeeper, no other player may use his hands or arms to touch the ball at any point during the game. Netting the ball into the opponent’s goal gives points that pile on to decide the winning team. The court is a rectangular outdoor field and the spherical football is kicked around its length and breadth by eleven players from each team to score goals. Soccer involves two halves lasting forty five minutes each during which goals must be scored. There is also a fifteen minute half-time break between the two halves.

Recovering from a Rodeo

cowboy hat‘Let’s go around’ is probably what the cowboy originally told the bull. Thus emerged the macho sport ‘Rodeo’ which is Spanish for ‘go around’. This sporting event involves livestock like horses, bulls, calves, steers with athletes typically known as cowboys or cowgirls. Various events are designed to test the skill and speed of the participants. It’s loved in places that are abundant in ranches and attracts an audience that is entertained by the display of machismo.

Fun Run!

Try running!Whether you are a four year old boy or an old centurion, running is a sport which is enjoyed by the people of all age groups. In fact, world records have been set by these youngest and the oldest marathoners, Budhia Singh and Fauja Singh respectively. As the spring sets in, the temperatures are soothing enough to step out in the inviting sun and run against the soft wind blowing on your face. Exploring the country side and rejuvenating yourself amidst the budding flowers makes one feel alive in the heart of Mother Nature.

Cross country running as a sport does not require much equipment, but it surely requires a good exercise and training regimen to keep you on track for a long time. The benefits of this sport are similar to any other form of sport. People with co morbid conditions like diabetes or heart ailments too can enjoy this form of physical fitness program under guided supervision of a trainer.

The most important equipment required for running is the right foot wear based on the shape of your feet. It is important to select a show with correct arches as a person can have a neutral, flat or a high arch. An ill fitted shoe can give rise to a condition known as plantar fasciitis where the insole of the foot can get inflamed and give rise to pain. Another common condition that can occur is an inflamed tendo-Achilles, where a person experiences pain at the back of the heel due to inflammation of the tendons at the heels.

Over-enthusiasm with a rigorous training program, or increasing the distance of running too fast than what you have been used to, can give rise to a runner’s knee where a person experiences pain under the knee cap. There can be pain while doing any activity that requires movement at the knee joint like sitting, standing, and climbing stairs. A shin split where the shin gets affected due to a pull of the muscles of the lower leg too can occur due to overuse. Rest, pain killers and ice fomentation give relief. A good warm up and stretches prior to the run and cooling down after the run can prevent most of the injuries from happening.

After all, to run the rat race, you need to be an ace of the fitness race!

 

Penned by Dr. Rachita Narsaria, MD

References:

http://www.active.com/running/articles/6-common-running-injuries-to-avoid

Reach for Your Goal with Basketball

basketballWhile chilly winters can be party poopers for outdoor fun, indoor sports can more than compensate with their gaming spirit. Basketball is one such indoor sport where one need not compromise on the fun in the least.

Two teams compete in taking charge of an orange ball across a rectangular court and shooting it through the opponent’s basket to net goals. The basket is a narrow net suspended from a circular hoop placed ten feet above the ground against a backboard; one in each of the team’s courts. Goals add up to points and points to a winning game. No more than 5 players from each team may be present on the court at a time and unlimited substitutions can be made. Clad in jersey and shorts, taller players are preferred for the game but precision of netting the ball from a distance is the most requisite skill. The ball can be dribbled across the court to reach the opponent’s basket while their players defend the goal by trying to take charge of the basketball from the oncoming player.

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