If you made a resolution this New Year, chances are it has something to do with getting healthy. Often this means a fitness-related goal. I will go to the gym every day. Or, I will run a 10K this Spring. However, without proper preparation or training, the good intentioned resolution can lead to injury – leaving you sidelined for weeks or months.
In fact, Texas Orthopedics physical therapists and physicians see a spike in fitness-related injuries in January and February.
Here are three ways to avoid injury while being more physically active in the New Year from physical therapist, John Key.
1) Slowly work into a new exercise routine. Intensity and frequency are two things that drive results. But, initiated too soon, it can also set you up to be sidelined. How do you know what’s too much? Soreness during and soon after exercise is a good indication that you’re doing too much too soon. Important: Stop exercising if you feel sharp, acute pain. This is never a good thing.
2) Make sure the shoe fits. If beginning a running or jogging program, proper fit and shoe type are great ways to avoid low back, knee, and foot problems that arise from improper form or fit during physical activity.
3) Warm up and cool down. A slow but progressive dynamic warm up with full range functional movement plays a key role in avoiding injury PRE-activity. Follow your regimen with a light cool down and static prolonged stretching for flexibility.
If you have a prior injury and are not sure about a fitness program, make an appointment with one of our physicians.