Scoliosis should not be a hindrance to getting physically fit. While it is more challenging to get fit while having scoliosis, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to achieve. Thus, if you have the condition, here are some of the ways you can get fit without aggravating your scoliosis or hurting yourself:
1. Consult your medical providers
Your medical care providers, particularly your scoliosis specialist, know best when it comes to the exercises you should and should not do with your condition. Therefore, don’t engage in a new type of physical activity without consulting your doctor first, especially if it involves laborious exercise.
2. Learn basic stretches
Stretching is perhaps the best type of exercise you can do to both improve your fitness level and help treat your scoliosis. It is primarily done to relieve tension in the muscles as well as relieve the pain associated with scoliosis.
There are many types of stretches you can do, such as the bird-dog, the pelvic tilt, the abdominal press, and more. However, just as mentioned before, consult your doctor first before engaging in any type of exercise.
3. Know what exercises to avoid
It is not recommended for people with scoliosis to engage in any type of high-intensity or high-impact exercises to avoid spine injury and exacerbating the curvature. These types of exercises can also trigger curvature if you are already genetically predisposed to scoliosis.
Whether you already have scoliosis or have a genetic predisposition, avoid activities such as competitive swimming, gymnastics, trampoline jumping, heavy weightlifting, football, and ballet. These activities generally involve maneuvers that can either aggravate your spine or put you at risk of spine injuries.
4. Find scoliosis-safe exercises that you enjoy
Even if you can’t play high-contact sports or jump on a trampoline, there are so many more physical activities that you can do that won’t put your spine at risk, such as:
- Non-competitive swimming
- Light weightlifting
- Core strength training
- Soccer (if you have mild scoliosis)
- Dancing (with limited backbends)
The key to achieving and maintaining fitness is to find exercises that you like, and you won’t mind doing every day. So if you want to get fit despite having scoliosis, find a combination of physical activities that you genuinely enjoy and work for your lifestyle.
5. Eat right
Proper nutrition is the most critical aspect of getting fit, even if you don’t have scoliosis. However, if your condition limits your physical activity, this can lead to an increase in body fat and decrease strength. To combat these effects, eat a balanced diet. Consult a dietitian beforehand to find out exactly how many calories and macronutrients you need. At the same time, hydrate your body with more water and less sugary, caffeinated drinks.
Scoliosis, just like many other conditions, can limit a person’s physical capabilities. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot achieve and maintain physical fitness in some other way.
If you want to get fit despite having scoliosis, strive for regular physical activity and proper nutrition with the help of your medical providers and, of course, your support system.