Australia is famous for its sun, surf and sand, but many would argue that the real ‘Australia’ comes out in Autumn, when the footy season starts. Aussie rules, rugby league, soccer and netball take over the lives of many families for the cooler months, sparking a passionate warmth in our hearts, but whether you’re a watcher, a weekend player or a pro, follow our tips to help maintain your spinal health this sports season.
Whether watching the game on the couch or close to the action on the side lines, more often than not spectating involves hours of sitting, which can put pressure on the lower back. This combined with other sedentary practices throughout the day may lead to spinal health issues in the future. Here are a few spine-safe ways to support your favourite team:
- Pay attention to your posture – sitting up straight may not feel comfortable at first but overtime you will be able to maintain good posture as a habit. Keep your shoulders and back relaxed, and avoid tilting your head forward, backwards or sideways.
- Take breaks – When your team takes a break every quarter or half so should you! Stand and do some light stretches or walk off your frustration with the referees and umpires.
- Reduce sitting time – The game isn’t going how you wanted? Distract yourself by being productive and doing household chores such as ironing or folding clothes, that way something good can come out of a bad score board!
Playing a sport is a great way to keep active, healthy and maintain your spinal health. From professional athletes to weekend warriors playing for the local club, it’s important to remember your spinal health by taking the right steps to protect your spine:
- Stretch and warm-up – A proper warm-up with stretching exercises can increase blood circulation and improve the flexibility of muscles and ligaments. This not only helps enhance athletic performance, but it can help prevent injuries as well.
- Wear protective gear – No matter which sport you play, most have some sort of protective gear that is either highly recommended for use or mandatory. Head-gear, mouthguards, helmets, etc. all go towards protecting your body from injury.
- Stay hydrated – Ensure that you are drinking plenty of liquids before, during and after sporting games and activities. Make sure to take breaks during the game as well to give your body time to rest and recover.