Expensive gym memberships and bulky equipment are only two of the drawbacks that can deter men from exercise. But according to a publication by Harvard’s School of Public Health, exercise might be the one thing the body needs most. Also found to echo this research,The Spine Journal claims that exercise is a successful means to prevent back pain.

Specifically,The Spine Journalfound that exercise prevented painful symptoms in the lower back. Charles Friedman, M.D. of Pain Relief Centers adds, “Staying active and physically fit is an important component to overall health, especially for men over the age of 35.” Exercise is beneficial to the body in so many ways, but perhaps one of the lesser-known reasons is that it can prevent minor aches due to sporadic over-exertion of the muscles.

Consistency is important when starting out a new regimen. Frequent low-impact activities are great for building strength without injury, and it is much easier for the body to adapt to low-impact workouts. So as you’re building strength, you can slowly adjust the intensity of your workouts to condition the core muscle groups.

Conditioning exercises are crucial to any workout regimen — the idea involves keeping the core muscles of the back in good shape via moderate physical activity. “It is never a good idea to employ a strenuous workout regimen. It’s better to avoid strenuous activity entirely,” says Friedman. “As men age, their bones weaken. This makes them more susceptible to pain and injury. Exercise is good for bones too.”

Try these easy ways to get your body in shape:
  • Park farther away from the building when you go somewhere- those extra steps really add up,
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Pick-up a new sport or try hiking- make exercise as fun as possible
  • Combine physical activity with social activity by walking/jogging with a friend
  • Start small with at-home strength training
  • Designate a specific time each day to include some form of physical activity

It’s no secret that physical activity works wonders, but how much activity is ideal? “It’s best not to overdo it,” urges Friedman. “First and foremost, you want to prevent injury by making your body stronger. Do what feels right. If you experience pain during certain movements, stop immediately.” Everyone has a limit.

“So start small. Real change takes time and when men start any fitness regimen, they should be looking forward to the long-term benefits.” Friedman concludes, “There’s no all-encompassing formula for perfect health and injury prevention, but being physically fit is certainly a good place to start.”