The majority of New Years Resolutions that are made involve some effort to get healthier, and for many that means a new exercise routine. A recent study by the University College London determined that it takes 21 days to develop a habit, so if you have stuck with your new exercise routine up to this point, you are well on your way to a new lifestyle!
If you have recently started exercising or adopted a new exercise routine, but you’re feeling some new aches and pains, don’t give up! Muscle pulls and strains, ligament sprains, shin splints and tendinitis are common injuries after starting a new exercise routine, but they don’t necessarily mean you need to quit exercising.
Here are some tips to help you avoid injuries from your exercise routine:
– Include a warm up and a cool down period to slowly increase and decrease your heart rate.
– Gently stretch your major muscles groups after your warm up and cool down. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and avoid bouncing and ballistic movements that can cause injuries.
– If you are new to working out, start slow with 10 minutes at a time, 3 times a day to get the recommended 30 minutes of activity in a day. Gradually increase your intensity, duration, and frequency.
– Add variety – alternate your exercises between weight lifting and cardio, and do something different each day, walk one day, bike the next day, and elliptical the next day. Alternate muscle groups in your weight lifting routine – arms one day, legs the next. This allows time for muscles to rest, but keeps you exercising.
– Wear appropriate attire, such as sturdy, comfortable tennis shoes and moisture wicking clothing.
– As always, check with a health care provider before starting an exercise routine if you have any concerns.
“No pain, no gain” isn’t always the best motto when it comes to exercise, particularly when your exercise routine is new to you. If you experience pain or swelling, follow the RICE method – Rest, Ice the affected area, Compression on the swelling, and Elevate to decrease swelling. If the injury doesn’t improve within a week, call your doctor or schedule a visit for an evaluation with a physical therapist.
A physical therapist from Makovicka Physical Therapy can help decrease the pain from your injury, and teach you techniques to prevent further injuries. A physical therapist can show you specific stretches and strengthening exercises that encourage proper form and control in order to prevent strains or injuries. We can recommend a safe frequency, duration and intensity for your exercise routine that is appropriate for you.
There is no reason why a minor injury should sideline you from your exercise routine. If you are experiencing aches and pains, give us a call today and we will help you stay on the path to getting healthier!