Walking is a low-impact exercise, which means that when your foot hits the ground, the shock to the body is much less significant than running or jumping. According to Spine-Health, walking when properly warmed up can help to minimize back pain. Perform the following stretches prior to walking and hold each exercise in a slow, controlled motion to strengthen the back and provide the support needed.
While standing, place your hands on your hips and twist at the waist toward one side. Stretch to a comfortable, yet challenging, position. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds, then twist to the other side. Repeat five times on each side.
While lying on your back with your feet on the floor, lift one leg up and pull the knee close to your chest. While performing this exercise, keep your lower back on the floor and hold for five seconds. Next, repeat the same exercise on your opposite leg. Continue to alternate legs for 10 repetitions with each leg.
While lying on your back with your legs straight, lift your left leg to where your foot touches your knee. Then, point this knee to your right side as far as it will go toward the floor to feel a comfortable stretch in your lower back. For added effect, turn your head to the left side and relax in this stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side, with the right knee pointed toward the left and your head facing the right. Repeat this exercise two more times to stretch each leg three times.
Lower Back Stretch
Sit on the floor with your feet straight in front of you. Then, place one foot on the inside of your thigh, and stretch forward toward your toes while keeping your toes flexed. Make an effort to keep your back straight while leaning forward because making a C-curve can place unnecessary strain on your back. You do not have to completely touch your toes, but you should reach as far as possible. Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. Next, switch to the other side, placing the other foot on the inside of the thigh. If you are having difficulty reaching toward your toes, place a towel around your foot to reach toward the foot. Repeat this stretch two more times for a total of three repetitions each side.
About this Author
Rachel Nelson is currently a managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. A writer for more than six years, she has written for the Associated Press and “Charleston,” “Chatter” and “Reach” magazines. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in public administration from the University of Tennessee.