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How to avoid back pain when Boating or Sailing

Health and Fitness 14th September 2017

Boating and Sailing are both equally rewarding and demanding sports, requiring a lot of experience, expertise, and knowledge of the ocean. What can often be unspoken about or not taken too seriously is injuries that can occur while doing either activity, like back pain. There are a couple of easy habits to get into to avoid a build up of back pain that could leave you uncomfortable for weeks, months or even years. When taking part in such grueling sports, it’s wise to remember some simple ways to prevent chronic injuries such as back pain.

The first natural habit to take on if you’re going to be involved in either boating or sailing regularly is doing some consistent core exercises. Your core strength is inherent to the state of your back. Your spine and back are only as sturdy as their foundations, found in the center of your abdomen. By maintaining a healthy regime either before or after you go out on the boat of working out your core muscles and keeping them nice and tight, you will lower your risk of suffering from chronic back pain. You will also have the strength to move around the boat much more limberly with added flexibility as the muscles in your stomach can take the brunt of the pressure you apply when pulling at the sails or rigging the mast.

The second simple way to avoid back pain when you’re boating or sailing is making sure you maintain excellent posture. If you’re somebody that goes out on the vessel to escape the office, then you might be someone who also struggles to sit upright at their desk. The spine is designed to sit right in the middle of your pelvis and stand up straight, and office jobs can often make this hard to achieve. You use your back a lot when boating or sailing, and it is under immense pressure. If you don’t have good posture and your spine isn’t straight, the pressure will be more likely to damage it and weaken it over time until you’ve developed chronic pain in your spine. By simply forgetting to maintain a safe, healthy posture, it can be surprisingly easy for sailors to put too much pressure on their lumbar spine and develop consistent pain as a result.

Being the proud owner of a boat comes with its mantle, and often the rules are too technical for the layman in us. It takes commitment and practice to learn how to boat or sail correctly, and a deep-set respect of the ocean around you to anticipate how unpredictable it can be at times.

Instilling healthy habits like core exercises, correct posture, and educating yourself through books can also help you prevent the unpredictable, like developing chronic back pain as a result of too much time out at sea. Keep up with these simple tricks, and you’ll be smooth sailing in no time.

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2 Responses to “How to avoid back pain when Boating or Sailing”

  1. Thanks for the mention – I really believe maintaining a healthy posture and good movement patterns is the key here!

  2. Core exercises are hugely underrated in day-to-day work in places like parcel logistics and picking jobs in warehouses, some large firms have actually had people come in and give seminars about it to cut down on sick days!

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