10 Tips to Avoid Injury When Returning to Regular Exercise
Kayal Orthopaedic Center Wants You to Stay Safe
It’s that time of year again: March madness. No, we’re not talking about the fast-paced rhythm of well-trained college athletes racing up and down the court during the NCAA basketball tournament. We’re referring to the frantic scramble of lesser-fit people who took the winter off and are now plunging into ambitious workout routines with abandon, hoping to get in shape for summer.
We can’t stress enough that we’re firm believers in working up a healthy sweat to get your body firm and fit. However, we’re keenly aware of what can happen when you try to do too much too quickly. It can lead to muscle strains, sprains, tears, pulls and other musculoskeletal injuries of the hips, knees, shoulders, neck, back, feet and ankles. Our skilled and experienced sports medicine specialists in Westwood, NJ, and beyond urge anyone who hasn’t been active in a while to take it slow to avoid these and other injuries.
Play It Safe With These 10 Pointers
If you’re returning to a fitness regimen after a lengthy hiatus, here are some important reminders:
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. From added pounds to less stamina to poor muscle tone, straying from your workout routine for even a few months can take its toll. Don’t let that stop you from recommitting yourself to healthy habits that will get you back on track. Be patient. You’ll get there!
- Take it slow. Many people overdo it when returning to a workout regimen. They make the mistake of thinking they can pick up right where they left off. But you need to ease your body back into shape. Pushing yourself too hard increases your risk of injury and can cause you to feel overwhelmed and defeated, which can result in giving up. Start with a low-intensity workout of about 10 minutes. Build up from there as your endurance increases, typically after a week or two.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Who says you have to work out six days a week? Certainly not us! Stay within your comfort zone, even if that means just one day. Once you’ve gained confidence, you should gradually increase to at least four days a week.
- Mix it up. Make sure your workout routine includes these three areas: strength training, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. If you’re working out five days a week, consider two days of cardio, three days of strength training and two days of active rest.
- Rest? Really? Yes, really! Your body needs rest days to replenish and repair itself from the demands you are placing on it.
- Warm up and cool down. Every good workout routine should begin with warm-up exercises to prepare your body for the tough work ahead and should end with a cooldown to slowly bring your heart rate to its normal resting rate. A proper cooldown also helps reduce muscle soreness. Make sure to include stretching exercises in both your warmup and your cooldown.
- Technique is key. Don’t worry about how fast you’re completing a particular exercise. Focus on whether you’re doing it properly. Proper form, breathing and control improve the value of your movements and help prevent injury.
- Your body will talk to you. Listen closely. Learn the difference between the muscle soreness you feel from a strenuous workout and the pain you feel when you’re doing harm. If something is causing you pain, you need to stop doing it. Trust what your body is telling you. If you’re not sure, schedule an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists.
- Get plenty of zzz’s. Your body needs adequate sleep to recover from strenuous exercise, too. Give it the pampering it deserves.
- Recruit a workout pal. A workout partner can help keep you motivated when you’re tired, discouraged or simply not in the mood to work out. Plus, you can do the same for your partner.
If you’ve made the decision to exercise and get healthier in the coming months, the team at Kayal Orthopaedic Center applauds you! We’ll be here to encourage you—every step of the way.
Schedule an Appointment Today
And if you need any of our state-of-the-art, world class orthopaedic services, call us at 844.777.0910 or contact us on the web. We specialize in sports medicine, injury prevention, arthroscopy, robotic surgery, innovative therapies, pain management and partial and total joint replacement, including knee replacement surgery in Westwood, NJ. We have four convenient offices in New Jersey: Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes, Westwood and Paramus (coming soon); and one location in Stony Point, NY.