Back pain is awful, this is true! However,  it’s not an excuse for not working out, and should actually become the reason you do.

Exercise could significantly help your back pain. A study done by researchers at UCLA determined, that after a year and a half of regular exercise, patients with a history of chronic lower-back problems were 31 percent less likely to experience an increase in pain than that of their sedentary counterparts. That great news!!

If you are currently living with back pain, where do you even start?

There are a few small changes you can make that can make all the difference.

Try swimming

Instead of running, try swimming. High-impact aerobic exercises like running and jogging are jarring to the joints, and back. Swimming is an excellent choice, since the water provides both support and resistance.

Recumbent bikes

Instead of stationary bikes, try recumbent bikes. Water is not always accessible to everyone. A great non-pool option is the stationary bike, but leaning over to reach the handlebars in spin class is often tough on your spine. The recumbent bike allows you to lean back and relax your back muscles and the pedals are out in front of you, giving you a more comfortable ride.

Pilates and Yoga

Instead of cardio aerobics, try Pilates or Yoga class, either one on one or in a group setting. The key here though, is to communicate to your teacher what you physically can and can’t do. Once they are aware of any limitations, they will be able to tailor sequences, and poses to suite your abilities.

Plank for core stability

Instead of crunches, try planks. Sit-ups and full crunches put too much pressure on the lower back, and are often done incorrectly, which could make existing injuries worse. Instead, strengthen your abdominal muscles in a plank. Your form is very important in a plank, so while holding the plank keep your spine as flat as possible( do it in front of a mirror) set your gaze a few inches in front of your hands, keep your belly button drawn in at your lower back to support the lower back.

Wall sits

Instead of squats, try wall sits. Squats are terrific for toning your legs and glutes, but they’re also notoriously hard to perfect, without injury. A foolproof alternative (that’s also great for your abs) is the wall sit, which works many of the same muscles and has the added back support of the wall.