Here are 5 things you can do to avoid injury as you start to workout more in the New Year. It is great if you take the opportunity to get healthier as January comes around but you wont be very successful if you have pain or become injured. Follow these rules and stay pain free all year.
The most common reason for injuries as people begin to exercise is poor flexibility. Joints that are not flexible are much more likely for injury. The joints that are more often effected are the knees, shoulders, and back. It is not enough to stretch just before your workout. You should have a daily stretching routine to keep you out of trouble. Here are a couple links to some exercises that should be done daily.
2) Listen to Your Body!
If you have a joint that is sore from doing your new exercise then rest it and see if it will calm down. That doesn’t mean you have to quit working out, just avoid things that are going to aggravate that joint. For example: If you knee is hurting from running then do an activity that doesn’t pound on it such as biking or doesn’t use it at all such as upper body weight lifting
3) Start Light
There is plenty of time to increase the weights that you are lifting. Start with easier lighter weights with higher repetitions and make sure you don’t get pain in the joint. If those weights are easy and you don’t get sore then bump them up.
4) Take Rest Days
Often when people start working out they think they need to do something every day. Often times the body needs some rest in between exercise sessions especially if the exercise is vigorous. A stretching or yoga day when you have been running or lifting can really do the body good and also can help with your mental focus
5) If You Have Pain Don’t Wait
Many people get some pain after exercise. I would not worry to much about it if it goes away in a day or two but if it lasts longer than a week you should talk to someone. Physical Therapists are the musculoskeletal experts and usually if we catch an injury early we can show you how to make it better quickly. The longer the pain lasts, typically the longer it takes to resolve once you start to treat it.