Reserve your spot here and invite a friend.
Reserve your spot here and invite a friend.
Got this question asked in my clinic this week that I wanted to share with you (it’s a common question I get asked often on the topic of back pain…)
“Trupti, I’m desperate to get back into shape after suffering with a bad back for a long time. Can you continue to stay fit and active when long standing back pain still gets in the way? Physical Therapy is a great help, but I want to do more by myself while I’m receiving treatment, I’m just scared, a bit nervous and don’t know what type of exercise is safe…”
– Mary, 48, Cleveland Park
I understand that the thought of doing ANY type of exercise at all when you’re in some form of pain might seem a little scary and worrying.
You don’t want to run the risk of making it any worse in case it turns into an injury and puts you out even longer. But I’d like to put your mind at ease and let you know that just because your back is causing you issues right now, you don’t have to keep yourself stranded on the sofa until you wake up one day to find it has magically disappeared.
You see, even though Physical Therapy is great and really helps to ease your pain, it can never be a full blown cure alone. The real long-term success at overcoming things like Back pain lies within what YOU do in-between and after your Physical Therapy sessions.
Let me explain…
Most bad Backs happen because they’re not strong in the first place, so in order to get your back strong your lifestyle and the types of activities you do play a huge part in your recovery.
A lot of us have jobs that involve sitting at a desk all day. I know Mary works as a lawyer and her back pain came on as a result of sitting for long periods of time without regular breaks to move around, and then going home at night to sit yet again for a few MORE hours before going to bed!
And seeing as your back isn’t made to sit for long hours, sitting puts a lot of pressure on the spine.
So the long-term solution?
Regular posture style exercises to increase muscle control and strength with CORE CONTROL TYPE of EXERCISES.(And not only does CORE CONTROL TYPE OF EXERCISES help to ease knee pain, it also makes you more flexible and toned too! Win-win 🙂
“Core control” style exercises are great for people like ‘Mary’ who feel frightened and nervous about returning to exercise after a bad back, because it involves exercises designed to strengthen and control the muscles in your back – allowing you to return to other types of exercises like running, cycling and gym classes, much quicker!
But let me just point out that there’s a huge difference between “exercising” (running, golf, cycling…), and doing exercises like Core control and strength building.
Things like running are great to improve your cardio and the length of time you can maintain being active without feeling tired, but without strengthening exercises like Pilates and Core stabilization, there’s a
greater risk of injury. So we must build a strong foundation first, and then add in other activities.
So the answer to Mary’s question is – yes, you certainly can continue to remain fit and active even if you’re suffering with back pain.The solution lies within the long-term commitment you make to the other things you do outside of your Physical Therapy treatment and in-between sessions. Be consistent with doing “Core Control” style exercises for 3 months, and then when you notice a difference you can start adding in other gentle exercises as an addition to make sure your bad back doesn’t creep up on you again!
Manual Medicine, Spine & Sports Physical Therapy Mint Health Club.
If there’s one thing we love more than a good workout, it’s a good post-workout snack! Lucky for you… Glen’s Garden Market (locations in the Dupont Circle and Shaw neighborhoods) has you covered when it comes to tasty, healthy and easy post-workout goodies!
Check out some of our favorites next time you’re craving healthy and simple snacks after your MINT sweat session.
What they are: roasted chickpeas
Why we love them: They’re a protein-rich alternative to potato chips and the first products that Glen’s launched. They come in large and small snack packs, in the following flavors: cayenne rosemary, cinnamon toast, tomato basil. They also sell gluten-free crumbs made from chickpeas as a breadcrumb alternative – perfect for the holidays.
What they are: organic snack bites
Why we love them: Started as “momme meals” by a woman wanting to cook healthy food for her pregnant friend. She realized that everyone wants healthy snacks and decided to make these with new-moms and athletes in mind. They come in bites, not bars, for portion control, in the following flavors: Turkish apricot, tart cherry, fig ginger sesame.
What they are: kale chips
Why we love them: A light snack, both flavorful and crunchy. These are new and just launched 1 month ago! Healthy potato chip alternative. Flavors include Creamy Onion and Spicy Chipotle.
What they are: smoothie cubes
Why we love them: You can just put them in hot water and shake them up or put them in a smoothie. They’re nutrient dense and flavor filled. Many delicious flavor combinations including Mintergreen, Bright Blueberry and Pineapple.
What they are: apple chips & nut mixes
Why we love them: Fruit Cycle gives produce and women a second chance. They use gleaned products (fruit that would otherwise go to waste) and employ formerly incarcerated women.
Disclaimers: Consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regime. Never force a pose. Stop if you feel pain or intense discomfort. Yoga is meant to be yummy.
I love vinyasa yoga and I am obsessed with good alignment. This obsession doesn’t stem from a need for perfection, which would be very “un-yoga-like” of me, but from a passion for protecting the body from injury. Most bodies can safely practice yoga on a daily basis, but maintaining sound alignment is essential to your physical wellbeing. In this series, I will break down some common poses—explaining how to stay safe and fully enjoy each posture. Finally, remember to BREATHE consistently while practicing yoga to receive the full benefits of the practice … otherwise, you’re just stretching in Sanskrit. Today’s pose is Standing Forward Fold, or Uttanasana.
– Feet should be hip-distance apart, or where your feet would naturally land standing (people have a tendency to interpret “feet hip-distance apart” as meaning feet on the edges of your mat—this is much farther than the distance of your hips. To measure, you should be able to place both of your fists between your feet).
– Toes spread wide and gripping into the mat. Weight is evenly distributed throughout the feet.
– Engage uddiyanabandha, bringing the belly button in and up towards the spine. This will give you more space to fold forward. This is not an instruction to hold the breath. Continue to breathe fully.
– Maintain a generous bend in the knees, especially if this is one of your first forward folds of the day. If you have more flexibility and would like to go deeper, maintain a gentle bend in the knees.
– Hands can rest on thighs, shins, or on the mat below you. If you’d like, you can bring hands to opposite elbows and hang freely in your forward fold.
– Release any unnecessary tension in your neck and face. Shake the head “yes,” shake the head “no.” Then find stillness.
Practicing yoga on your own can be a ton of fun, but taking a class is a great way to explore new poses under the tutelage of a trained yoga instructor; check out MINT’s yoga offerings, here.
We’re hosting a charity ride on Oct. 15 to benefit the Keep A Breast Foundation’s #Fit4PreventionDay.
Sign up for the 12:30 MINTride class (suggested donation of $15) and cycle for a cause!
Reserve your spot here !
The Cycle Challenge kicked off over the weekend… but it’s not too late to sign up! Register here and get rolling!
Calling all ’80s and ’90s kids!
If you were in middle school back when Nelly was making it ‘hot in here,’ this ride is for you!
We’re so excited about our new barre studio at MINT Dupont… we’re throwing it a party!
Our “Basic Training” membership includes a monthly session with one of our expert trainers and FLEXGuest.
The steam rooms at MINT Downtown will be down for weeks for repairs. We’ll alert you as soon as they are up and running! Apologies for any inconvenience.
We’ve added FIVE new classes at MINT Dupont (including pre-natal and MINTKids yoga classes). All five classes will make their debut this weekend, so reserve your spot ASAP!
Cammie Wolff, who will be at MINT Dupont. Learn more about Cammie’s background and her passion for fitness here.
The system is used in Power Playground and MINTRide classes. Sign up today (free!) and start tracking your training intensity ASAP!
Join the MINT Ambassador team (and fellow MINT members) for a happy hour on October 12th at Big Hunt.
At MINT… we work hard and we play hard. So #treatyourself to a mid-week happy hour next week, Wednesday, September 28th. On that day, the MINT Ambassadors will be hosting a happy hour gathering at The Big Hunt in Dupont Circle (located right on Connecticut Avenue).
And great new! The Big Hunt is extending their regular happy hour specials until 8pm for the MINT crew! So gather your friends and family and join us for a MINT-y happy hour celebration, starting at 5pm!
The Big Hunt Happy Hour Specials:
$3.50 PBR, Lite Ass Brew, Big Ass Wheat, Hard Ass IPA & Bad Ass Amber
$3.50 rail drinks
$1 off all other drinks and draughts
RSVP right now and invite your friends with the Facebook event!