Leisurely Summer Activities That Go Easy on Your Back

By Savanna Stone
//

If you have back pain, you know that it can get in the way of everything you do, especially in the summertime. Your friends ask you to move and they think you hesitate because you don’t want to help. While that may be true, the real reason is that you know moving day is going to do a number on your back. Even things you used to love doing like camping, surfing, or running have become history because of your back pain


Thankfully, there are summer activities you can do that aren’t hard on your back. My dad has debilitating arthritis, and these are some of the activities he loves in the summertime. 



Paddle boarding

If you have the opportunity, paddle boarding can be an easy activity for your back because there are a lot of options with paddle boarding. You can sit or stand on the paddle board as you row around the lake. Movement is important when it comes to back pain because it loosens up your stiff muscles and promotes healing. 


Floating a river

Get a small inner tube and float down your local river, if you have one. This activity is a nice rest for your back and the water feels good in the warm sun. Do this when your back muscles need a break, but you still want to get out and socialize. 


Hiking

Hiking is a good way to motivate yourself to strengthen your muscles. Go on a hike with a fun destination at the end like a waterfall. This movement is good for you and can help your back heal. Try using a walking stick to add additional aid for your joints while going downhill or uphill. My dad loves to use two walking sticks, one in each hand, to help pull himself up hills, using his upper body strength more so that he doesn’t have to put extra pressure on his lower body joints.


Go for a walk

If you’re not quite ready for a hike, go on an easier walk around your neighborhood. Once you’ve  strengthened your muscles enough from simple walks, workup to harder things like hiking.


Kayaking

Kayaking is easy on your back. Most kayaks have a little backrest, which makes kayaking quite easy. Of course if you’re kayaking through white water rapids, that isn’t going to be easy on your back. So choose a location that has smooth water like a lake, pond, or a small river (if you’re feeling ambitious). As you kayak, try to row without twisting your spine. Keeping good posture will keep this activity one of your favorites in the summer for your joints.


Pickleball

If you’re up for it, pickleball can be a great activity if you experience back pain. This suggestion is more intense than some of the other activities on this list, but we are all at different stages of back pain. For most, pickleball is a good choice for those with back pain because it is usually played with a partner, which means less running around the court and less bending. But the little movement you do will be great for your back. 


Bocce ball

Tossing a ball around underhand usually sounds pretty good to people with back pain, and that’s pretty much all this game is. That sentence made the game sound boring, but the truth is this game is full of excitement and entertainment. It is fun to see whose bocce balls will get closest to the jack ball for the win. 


Croquet

If you love golf but hate the back pain that comes with it, croquet is a bit easier on your back. Of course, you might want to invest in an extra long mallet so you don’t arch your back when you hit the ball.


Corn hole

This is another fun activity that you can do with your friends or family easily even if you have back pain. Throwing bean bags underhand is probably one of the easiest things to do, and it is surprisingly fun!


Fishing

Sitting next to a quiet lake, gazing at the sunrise by itself is therapeutic. Add a fishing pole and a line in the water and you have a great activity for those with back pain. Just make sure to bring a comfortable thing to sit on. 


Swimming

Swimming is amazing for joint pain. It lets you exercise your body without putting extra strain on your joints. Check out this blog post to see the best swimming strokes for back pain.


Gardening

Gardening can also be a good chance for you to get outside and exercise if you have back pain. Although it is a little bit harder to do if you have back pain, so here are some tips on gardening without back pain. 


Playing chess

Simply sitting at a table and playing chess or a card game outside is a great activity for your back. I know that playing chess might make you feel extra old, but you already have back pain. So you might as well embrace everything that comes with age. 


Rolling out on the Chirp Wheel+

Of course, if you want a simple, fun activity, you can always take some time to roll out on the Chirp Wheel+ and get back pain relief. The Chirp Wheel+ is a back roller that stretches the muscles around your spine to relieve upper back pain, lower back pain, neck pain, and hip pain. It is shaped like a wheel so it can fit between your shoulder blades and massage deeply into the muscles around your spine. It comes in three different sizes: Gentle (12 inch), Medium (10 inch), and Deep Tissue (6 inch). The main difference between each wheel is diameter; the smallest wheel applies the most pressure, and the largest wheel applies the least amount of pressure.