Yeah sadwife, there are many exercises for stretching out and relaxing the back muscles which will give you relief. Specialist talks in terms of current state of back, your pain and medicines/surgery because that's their area of expertise. But you can always tell them which exercises you are planning to do and take their opinion. Thing that bugs me is they never volunteer this info but if you ask they do reply. 45 mins to 1 hour a day is reasonable and you are doing that anyway. You can walk outside in that time, in some sloping stretches and try to increase your pace of walking. Thing is during that time try to maximize by increasing intensity, or changing up your routine. There are many exercises on youtube - stretches, aerobic routines and exercises to pump up cardio that you can also try. Try different things on different days. The day you cant do anything because you are too busy or too tired then you can always fall back on walking.