Exercise is vital for a healthy body, and whether you are physically strong or deal with health problems, it is important to incorporate some form of exercise into your lifestyle. Cardiovascular exercise is important for the body because it focuses on the heart and lungs to ensure they remain strong and capable of circulating large volumes of blood throughout the body’s tissues. For people with scoliosis, however, this can become problematic because many cardio exercises place large amounts of pressure on the spine. In addition, running and cycling can jolt the spine, which can increase pain in the lower back.
Nevertheless, there still exist some forms of cardio exercise in which scoliosis patients can partake without having to worry about worsening their back pain. These types of exercises are still able to provide the person with an increased heart rate, but they don’t put so much pressure on the spine.
One great cardio exercise for people with scoliosis is riding an exercise bike. One of the great things about an exercise bike when dealing with varying degrees of back pain and scoliosis curves is that the exercise bike itself can adjust accordingly. Move the handle bars and seat to find a comfortable position to exercise without feeling pain from your back. Exercise bikes can be used either in the gym, or at home and can be picked up (or even made out of an existing bike using a device called a “trainer”) relatively inexpensively.
Water aerobics are also an ideal form of cardio exercise for scoliosis patients. The water helps reduce compression to the spine and, therefore, prevents jolting which could worsen your scoliosis pain. While aerobics with the natural aquatic buffer are a great option, you should stay away from swimming in general, as swimming can actually make your scoliosis worse.
Another good cardio exercise for people with scoliosis is walking. Even though it is a low-intensity activity, walking for several hours can keep your heart pumping without placing too much pressure on the spine like running would do.
Even as you work to increase cardio activity in your life, it is important to always remember to listen to your body and not overextend yourself, as it could lead to further pain. It is best to start at a level that is comfortable to you and then gradually increase your level of activity based upon what is safe and possible with your condition.
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