Frank Mikulka's

Weekly Fitness Tip

October 5, 2003

Iím a little past middle age and I have been experiencing lower back pains. Is this going to go on forever, or can I help myself through exercise? (Terry from Islip)

This problem occurs in approximately 80% of the people one time or another. Symptoms include pain and muscle spasms in the lower lumbar region. Pain can be caused by: tight hamstrings, poor posture or weak abdominal muscles.

Exercise programs should include warm ups and cool downs before and after you train. They should be designed to stretch tight muscles of the hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and erector spinae muscles. Also, begin a good abdominal program to strengthen your abs. A trainer can help you design this program and change it up for you as you get stronger.

By the way the trees are beginning to shed their leaves and then you know what comes nextósnow. To avoid hurting your back, rake carefully and bend your knees. I will discuss the art of snow shoveling at a later dateóI hope itís a later date.

Listen to Frank Mikulkaís Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandelís Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Sunday morning from 10:30 to 11:00 AM on WLIE 540 AM in New York City