Why working your heart will help your back pain

At Animated Physiotherapy, we want to encourage all of our clients to become the healthiest versions of themselves.  As February is Heart Month, the British Heart Foundation are urging people to take at least 10 minutes a day to exercise to help improve their heart health this February.

Benefits of completing regular cardiovascular (or aerobic) exercise include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease & high blood pressure
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels
  • Aids sleep
  • Regulates weight
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Improves brain power
  • Boosts mood
  • Reduced risk of falls

Whilst we of course want you to keep your hearts healthy, we find the most common reason we see patients for physiotherapy appointments, and for taking up our pilates classes is lower back pain. You may be surprised to know that there is lots of evidence showing cardiovascular exercise helps with back pain as well as your heart – so yes, it’s good if you get a little warm and out of breath in your pilates class!

Studies have found that general exercise programmes combining strength, flexibility, and aerobic fitness are beneficial for rehabilitation of lower back pain.  Whilst strength and flexibility exercises help with improving movement, aerobic exercise is also helpful as it increases the blood flow and nutrients to the soft tissues in the back.  This helps with the healing process and further reduces stiffness of the lower back.

Therefore, try taking the British Heart Foundation’s advice by starting small – a small change everyday can really add up to making a difference!  To get yourself started you could try one of our YouTube videos found on our channel ‘Animated Physio’ which last 10-25 minutes and can be done in your own home.  We even have the option of chair-based exercises if you’d rather not get down onto the floor.

Lack of time and motivation have been found to be top of the list of barriers to participating in physical activity.  Scheduling a time and a place to exercise with a friend is a great way to help keep yourselves motivated and accountable.  So why not book a 2:1 session with a friend or loved one this February – for Heart Month we have a special offer on our 2:1 appointments which can be booked by clicking here.


Gordon, R, et al (2016). A Systematic Review of the Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Non-Specific Chronic Low Back Pain. Healthcare (Basal), 4(2), pp.22.

The British Heart Foundation (2015) Take 10 minutes to change your life this Heart Month. https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/news-archive/2015/january/take-10-minutes-to-change-your-life-this-heart-month

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