Acıbadem Comprehensive Spine Center
SPINE HEALTH EXERCIES FOR SPINE HEALTH

Exercies for Spine Health

Which activities count as exercises?

Physical activity is any movement which is performed by the skeletal muscles and results in the use of energy. Exercises are movements which are planned, structured and repeated for a given purpose. Regular exercises are necessary both to lose weight and maintain the ideal weight, and to prevent many chronic diseases and protect the health of the spine.

What is the purpose of exercises?

- They prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and diabetes
- They reduce high blood pressure
- They accelerate the metabolism
- They reduce cholesterol levels
- They help to control your weight
- They strengthen the muscles, bones, and joints
- They correct your posture
- They reduce skeletal muscle pain
- They reduce the risk of falling
- They increase bone density
- They increase energy
- They strengthen the immune system
- They improve general mood
- They increase your capacity to think, learn, and perceive
- They reduce stress
- They prevent depression
- They regulate sleep

How do you plan an exercise regime?

Egzersiz Programı Nasıl Planlanir? Nowadays exercises are one of the most frequently prescribed treatments owing to their therapeutic effect. Before starting the exercises, you should refer to your doctor for a check-up, and develop an exercise plan which is suitable for you. The exercise plan should note the frequency, intensity, duration and type of activities. People who have not experienced regular exercises should start with light exercises. The intensity and duration of the exercises should be increased gradually. The long-term goal for the exercises should be 30-40 minutes four or five days a week. The exercise plan can contain various different exercises such as those to improve stamina, strength, flexibility, and balance.

How do you start the exercises?

Before starting the exercise plan, you should increase your physical activity level by changing your way of life. Walking instead of driving, parking a reasonable distance from your house, walking around your office, taking a short stroll during your lunch break, playing with your children, doing housework and using the stairs instead of the lift are all suggestions for activities that you could do. You should also limit the amount of activities you do sitting down. This includes watching television and playing video games and computer games.

What are stamina exercises?

Aerobic exercises strengthen your heart and lungs, and increase your stamina. The result of this depends on the frequency and duration of the exercises and on the heart rate achieved. Initially, exercises which achieve a maximum heart rate of 60% for 20 minutes three days a week are sufficient. When your condition improves, you can increase the frequency, duration and intensity of the exercises.

How are the maximum target and the heart rate calculated?

The maximum heart rate is the heart beats per minute achieved with maximum training. It is calculated using the 220-age formula. (e.g.: if your age is 50, this is 220-170=170). The heart rate achieved is 50-85% of the maximum heart rate. Exercises at this level increase the fitness of the cardiovascular system.

For people who are doing exercises for the first time or have heart conditions, a maximum heart rate of 50-60% should be used at the start, this figure should be 60-65% for active people. If this speed is very easy, it should gradually be increased up to 85%. The heart rate should be measured regularly.

How is the training intensity determined?

For low intensity exercises, the heart rate achieved is 50-65% of the maximum heart rate. Examples of this include garden work, housework, painting, and washing the car.

Medium intensity exercises are exercises which require the use of large muscle groups such as the waist, upper body, legs, and hips. They are done at 65-70% of the maximum heart rate. During these exercises, you should be able to speak but not sing. Examples of this are walking quickly, riding a bike, tennis, basketball, swimming, dancing, and hiking.

High intensity exercises are recommended to people who exercise every day and have reached a given level. They are done at 75-85% of the maximum heart rate. During these exercises, you should only be able to say a few words without stopping to catch your breath. Examples of this are running, climbing stairs quickly, spinning, skipping and weight training. These exercise programmes should include 5-10 minutes for warm-up and cool-down.

Strengthening exercises: These exercises can be done with your body weight, resistance bands or with various different weights. They increase muscle tone, strength and bone density, improve posture and decrease the risk of injury. They accelerate the metabolism, ensuring that calories continue to be burned throughout the day. They should be done at least two days a week and require the use of large muscle groups such as legs, hips, back, stomach, chest, shoulders and arms. The movement should be repeated 8-12 times for each muscle group. If the exercise is easy, it should be repeated again or the weight should be increased. Strengthening exercises can be done on the same day as aerobic exercises. For maximum results, aerobic and strengthening exercises should be done each week.

What is the purpose of balance exercises?

Balance exercises reduce the risk of falling and injuries caused by falls. It is recommended that these exercises are carried out at least three days a week. Examples of balance exercises are walking backwards, walking sideways, walking on the heels or toes and sitting down and standing up. They can be combined with strengthening exercises. They should first be done holding on, without holding on, with eyes open then closed.

How important are stretching exercises?

Shortened muscles are the main cause of spine and joint pain. Stretching exercises should definitely be included in the exercise programme. The body must be warmed up before the stretching exercises. Stretching exercises should not be forgotten after stamina and strengthening exercises. Stretching exercises should be done at least three days a week and each movement should be repeated 3-5 times.

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