Having endured an 8 hour flight recently and trapped in a window seat with two total strangers next to me who had the temerity to fall asleep almost immediately - I can only sympathise for anyone who has back pain and has to travel.
It's great if you can sleep anywhere, but sadly for many of us our busy lives really disrupt our sleep and then add enforced sitting with limited room and add in a bad back and you have all the ingredients for a bad start to a holiday or business trip.
WHAT CAN YOU DO BEFORE YOU GET ON THE PLANE?
Depending on your problem, you can consider seeing your GP and making sure you have the right drugs to help you. Do make sure you tell them where you are going, in some countries some drugs we use here are illegal there. You don't want to arrive and be arrested. For example Tramadol is illegal in Egypt, so do make sure if you are taking any prescription drugs abroad that they are ok at your destination. With consultation with your GP who know's you and your back, you can potentially make the journey more comfortable. If you are taking over the counter drugs ensure you hve enough for your journey and a bit more in case of delays.
I don't know if you have a dog..but mine is causing havoc in my garden and is now on the naughty step.
I've got a south facing gravel garden and I've had to put all sorts of things in her way to stop her parting the gravel like the Red Sea in her efforts to get to the neighbour's cats. and trashing my new plantings along the way.
Much as I love being out there, albeit not as often as I should perhaps, spending any amount of time bending forward doesn't feel great on my body, even though I am in pretty good shape.
Likewise Pilates teachers everywhere dread a sunny bank holiday or Easter weekend because after sitting on their bums all winter, suddenly heading out to the garden for hours of digging, moving pots, throwing bags of compost around leaves our new clients complaining of aches and pains..REALLY!!!!! Why is this a surprise? It's not rocket science to work out that sitting down all winter followed by a day of hard work is going to result in some discomfort.
Using the winter to plan your garden fitness might be a better use of the dormant season in the garden.
So here's a tip for anyone who needs to move their spine, clearly if you have more than just a few aches and pains, you need to see someone to get checked out and don't do these movement suggestions.
We get a few enquiries asking if someone can join our classes during pregnancy. The short answer is usually no, which is such a shame. Why don't we allow a pregnant woman to join our classes?
Sadly that's pretty much what it comes down to. If you are pregnant most exercise instructors will not be able to teach you in the first trimester because our insurance providers will not cover us to teach you. The main reason for this is that one in four women will miscarry and the first trimester is when most miscarriages occur, it's such a shame because let's face it, if you have another one or two already at home, or still working and trying to keep the house clean, you will be doing WAY more than in an hours pilates class. Please read on for more useful help.
In your second trimester, you should be ok to exercise but how do we cope with you in a beginners class?
All our classes are geared to good spinal health, joint mobility and strengthening the core. All great stuff and perfect for someone pregnant, after all you are not ill.
Just one small problem, a growing bump and totally different requirements to everyone else in the class.
The logistics of trying to teach 11 people one exercise and all the reasoning behind it, then teach one person another exercise..with all the reasons behind it would be frustrating for everyone.
The best option would be a class with everyone at the same trimester.
If you can find a class where you can join others at the same stage, clearly that would be the perfect outcome.
What if you can't find a class?
It's been the biggest thing in exercise for nearly 20 years now. I know this because I was on the very first Body Control Pilates mat training course back in October 1997.
This was just at the time that a load of research was coming out of Queensland University about core control and the world was waking up to ‘switching on the core’. Suddenly every physio was on a course about the importance of the Transversus Abdominus and how vital it was to the causation of low back pain.
However, although your abs are important, they are not the whole story. You have spinal muscles that run parallel to the spine, your buttock muscles (Glutes or Gluteus) and your deep hip muscles – they all contribute to core strength and therefore..Core Control.
You cannot just strengthen in isolation, so a six pack might look great on the beach but ignore the rest as your peril because you will cause misalignment that will create it own problems.
Working out a balanced fitness routine will not only improve your core but allow you to improve so much more. It can even improve the stress on your neck and shoulders.
HOW TO AVOID BACK PAIN IN THE CAR
You might not yearn for one of these, but honestly the amount some people spend trying to get their back fixed could buy one! Well maybe enough to hire one.
YOUR CAR IS DESIGNED FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON
But we are not all average. You have to pay a fair bit of money for adjustable lumbar supports and I know that changes to design can mean a car that worked fantastically well for you in a previous model could be totally wrong in the updated version.
The Health Benefits of Pilates Infographic Contributed by Beyond Fit Pilates
Bad back? Stretch your hamstrings!
Karen Grinter, Mum, Pilates Teacher, Back Pain and Exercise Specialist, Business Owner and Millie's Owner!