Episodes of lower back pain apparently affect most people at some point from middle age. How to alleviate them has been a matter of historical dispute by experts and I noticed that both today and yesterday the Guardian published articles about a series of reports in The Lancet. The consensus seems to be that bed rest and medical intervention are unhelpful and that sufferers should keep exercising.
It all reminded me of one of our conversations this week at the gym before consecutive Barre and Yoga sessions. Several classmates hobbled in, others rubbed painful joints and we were all full of the woes that aches and pains bring. The level of torment varied from individual to individual but we were as one in our belief that a little exertion and some stretching would cure the problem. Of course there's no such thing as a miracle remedy and I'd be lying if I said that everyone skipped out of the door and home, twinge free.
The great thing about being a believer though is that we were all there again this morning, ready to be put through our paces once more. I am full of admiration for the lovely ladies that I exercise with, many well into retirement, and all anxious to build or maintain a strong core not so that they will look good in a beach bikini but rather to assure fitness into old age.
Routine tasks like bending over to fasten a shoe lace, getting up from a chair, climbing in and out of the bath all require the use of core muscles. Lifting, twisting, cleaning and even sitting need them too. Core strength can prevent the debilitating effects of lower back pain, aid balance and reduce falling. We all need it, regardless of whether or not we aspire to continue to swim, walk or play sport into our nineties .
Exercise of one sort or another is probably one of the most sociable activities to undertake in retirement and yes, we did all go out for lunch afterwards today.