Exercise: Too much, too little, just right
St. Luke's Hospital
Located in Chesterfield, MO
Main Number: 314-434-1500
Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Senior's Center

Exercise: Too much, too little, just right

Too little

Lack of regular physical activity, often called a sedentary lifestyle, puts you at greater risk for getting back pain. This is because lack of exercise leads to:

  • Weak stomach and back muscles
  • Inflexible back muscles, which limit your ability to turn and bend down
  • Becoming overweight, which puts additional stress on your spine, especially increased abdominal size

Too much

High intensity exercise or doing movements improperly may also lead to back pain.

Many cyclists also have back pain. This may be avoided by proper adjustment of your bicycle seat and maintaining good flexibility of your back and hamstring muscles.

Using poor form or posture for any activity, including golfing or lifting weights, can cause serious problems with your back.

What should you do?

  • Vary your workout.
  • Work with a knowledgeable trainer until you have learned the proper movements and form for the activities you do.
  • Do low-impact aerobics like swimming, bicycling, and walking. These strengthen back and stomach muscles without over-straining the back. Swimming may be particularly good.
  • Include appropriate stretching and strengthening in your workout routine after you have recovered from the acute phase of your back pain. A physical therapist can be a big help in this area.
  • Consider yoga, Tai Chi, or Chi Kung. These are Indian and Chinese forms of exercise that combine low-impact movements with meditation and relaxation. Look in your area for a class. Your doctor or physical therapist may be able to help you find one.


Review Date: 6/29/2011
Reviewed By: Andrew W. Piasecki, MD, Camden Bone and Joint, LLC, Orthopaedic Surgery/Sports Medicine, Camden, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs

Brain & Spine
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Notice of Privacy Practices PDF  |  Patient Rights PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile