A question from my London based Personal Training Q&A Group on Facebook –

Hi Nick, I'm new at this group and I really would like to know how to get back on the fitness track….I have two degenerated disk on my spine..it causes me a lot of pain….but I've started to lose some weight thanks to a new diet…it means eat healthy..and walking an hour per day….after 2 months doing this I feel I can start to do some exercise to tone and strengthen my body muscles…do you think there are any specific suggestions you can make to my case? I really would like to lose weight to relieve my spine of that pressure but I'm worried about the way my body will look if I do not tone it….I am 168cm tall and my weight is 82kg…thanks for your help.

NICK:

I am afraid that I cannot make any specific recommendations for your condition without first examining you. To do so would be wholly unprofessional.

However, it does sound like you are certainly on the right track and thinking correctly about healthy eating and exercise. As a general rule, you should look to do some form of resistance training as that will help strengthen your bones and the muscles whose job it is to effectively carry that skeleton of yours through space. I would totally eschew any activity that has an impact to it (eg jogging), look at pilates as that can give great control over the body, and take professional advice from a good personal trainer on weight training so that you limit any spine loading exercises.