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Can I practice yoga if I have a bad back?

Jason Brown, New York, NY
“There are many possible issues that could constitute a "bad back." If you have a recently herniated disc, you should consult your doctor or PT to determine the direction of the herniation. Generally speaking, be mindful to not overly flex your lower spine during any kind of forward bending....” Read more
Stephanie Culen, New York, NY
“Yes, yoga postures can be extremely beneficial for hurting backs and bad backs. It is always good to work with a certified yoga instructor to assist you with the correct positioning of the postures so you don't exacerbate an existing condition. Some of the best strengtheners for back issues...” Read more
Kim-Lien Kendall, New York, NY
“There is no such thing as a "bad" back, and that kind of thinking can lead one to resent and limit their own bodies. There are certainly physical limitations and pain that we can have that cause us to feel as if our back is not as healthy as we want it to be, but ultimately our backs are good...” Read more
Melissa Gutierrez, New York, NY
“Yes, and you probably should. It has been proven time and again that yoga helps many back problems. The key is to practice under the guidance of a knowledgeable teacher that: 1) Has a strong knowledge of anatomy. When you describe your back pain, your teacher will be able to tailor your yoga...” Read more
Megan Ridge, Bethlehem, PA
“Absolutely. Seek out a gentle yoga class at first and see how your back feels afterwards. If anything hurts, come out of the pose.” Read more
Deborah Caruana, New York, NY
“If the pain is sharp, get it checked out right away. If its dull and achy, practice restorative yoga. Listen to your body. If it hurts ease up. Gently stretch your hamstrings. Do gentle cobras with breath. Work your core for support (gently). If the pain lasts more than a few days, get it...” Read more
Archarya Girish Jha, Marlboro, NJ
“why not but it all depends on the teacher what and how he helps you in introducing groups of practices . yoga is much more than the practices of poses alone if you ask Buddha - how many poses he practiced. he will smile and keep silent as yoga is consciousness based approach that applies...” Read more

I want to strengthen my lower back.

It's not just professional athletes who need a strong and sturdy lower back—you do too. Whether couch potato, aspiring marathoner or weekend warrior, many adults are susceptible to developing spasms and strains in the lower back with age.

Why the weakness? The lower back muscles are responsible for supporting many of the muscles, tendons and joints of your upper body, making this sensitive area one of the easiest to overuse and injure. Tenderness can even radiate into the legs and arms if the muscles are left inactive.

While an achy back was once associated with an older population, this ubiquitous concern has become problematic among younger generations too. Some experts say four in five adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives!

There are many causes for these twinges, for example, lack of physical fitness. One study found that men who lacked muscular endurance in their lower backs were 3.4 times more likely to develop problems later in life.…

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Omega-3 fatty acids are the superstars of healthy fatty acids, improving the health of the heart, brain, skin and other internal organs and enhancing quality of life in myriad ways.

A fundamental building block for the body, this essential nutrient is part of the cell membrane and plays a role in the function of cell receptors. Omega-3 fatty acids work wonders for healthy bodies, making brains smarter and hearts stronger. For bodies fighting illness, this fatty acid is one of the most powerful nutrients, able to battle conditions ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) to cancer to depression.

There are two main types of omega-3 fatty acids, which are also called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Scientists have not determined whether one type is healthier than the other. At any rate, most Americans lack both types.

Among the many health benefits of omega-3 fats, evidence is strongest for heart health. Omega-3's lower blood…

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Kettlebell exercise

The kettlebell is a specially designed weight used for cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. An effective and (somewhat) portable tool, the kettlebell can be used at home, with a personal trainer, or in group exercise classes.

The secret behind this cast-iron instrument, which looks like a bowling ball with a handle on top, is that the weight is centered below the handle, requiring good balance and core control.

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