So, I’m going to be 100% honest with you from the start: this blog post has nothing to do with leaves, except that it’s fall and I love watching the leaves start to change. The world changes color. If you live in a place like I do, you can look to the mountains, and they’ve changed from green to yellow, red, and orange. It’s like looking at the sun on the ground. Even though it’s starting to get colder, you feel warmth because you know Christmas is coming and snowmen and cinnamon hot chocolate. But you want to first enjoy this season, the fall. And you can start wearing winter clothes—scarves, jackets, pants, boots—some of the best fashion for men and women. You want to get outside and rake the leaves and jump in the pile with your family because no one should go through life without jumping in a pile of leaves, even though it probably isn’t good for anyone’s back. Back pain. That’s what this post is really about. Here are some tips1 about how to enjoy the fall even when you have back pain:
Go outside to exercise.
While you still can, go running in the fresh, brisk night air. Running can be beneficial for back pain. Often, movement is the cure for back pain because we sit at desks to do most of our jobs, or we just need to strengthen our backs. Running can help with both strengthening and moving. Just try to run on your toes rather than your heels. You can also do other back strengthening exercises such as core strengthening exercises and weight lifting (properly). Exercise can help with other types of pain too.
Rake the leaves.
Raking the leaves is fun because it kills a few birds with one stone. You clean up your yard, you get a little exercise, and you get to jump in the pile afterwards. As you rake the leaves, just make sure to switch hands of the rake every so often so that one side doesn’t get more sore than the other side.
Go outside to stretch.
Doing stretches outside can be good for your back for many reasons. You feel relaxed in the fresh air and stretching is good for getting rid of back pain. A lot of back pain is caused by stress because of tense muscles. When you take the time to relax outside, you can connect with nature, which naturally relaxes your body and muscles for a deeper, more meaningful stretch. Just grab a yoga mat or a blanket and spend some time outside with your new friend—nature.
Go on hikes.
Just like exercising is good for your back, hiking is good for your back too. Climbing up to a waterfall in the fall can be one of the most beautiful experiences you will ever have. It gets your blood pumping, which helps lessen back pain. And, again, it gets you outside with nature. When you get to the top of the hike and see the beautiful landscape before you, that’s all you will need to relax you and your back pain.
Eat sweet potatoes.
It’s fall which means it is prime time for sweet potatoes and other fall-healthy foods. Sweet potatoes are known to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most common causes of back pain there is. Read our other blog post to find out what other foods reduce inflammation.
Don’t gain holiday weight.
As fall starts and winter will soon begin, the holidays come, which means more time for sweets and less time for exercise. Weight gain around the holidays is just something that happens to most of us. Being around more family means eating more food and making more food and eating more food again. Plan ahead this holiday season; stay away from weight gain because a few extra pounds can cause back pain galore. Find time for exercise. Find time to make some healthy snacks to bring to your family party. You’ll be grateful if you do.
And above all, enjoy your back re-LEAF.