Get fit and avoid overuse injuries!
Like most people, I have decided to make positive life changes this new year. I have decided to focus better on health, fitness, balancing professional and personal life, and so on.
I am sure you must have thought about making some positive changes to your life as well.
Like many people, you must have thought about getting more active, getting regular with your workout routine, and getting healthier. But most of the time, we fail to achieve our goals from new year resolutions. There is a lack of organized efforts and planning to achieve those goals.
In this article, I want to share something that might help you stay on top of your goals to get more active, stay active, stay consistent with your workout routine in the new year, and prevent any injuries that might slow you down.
Regardless of your workout routine, there are certain things that you should keep in mind.
Most of the time, I see people getting motivated to work out and sometimes do too many exercises and end up hurting themselves. It affects their motivation to get back to the active routine. To avoid this, I have some tips that might help you stay active, stay motivated with your workouts and get the best results out of your activities.
1. Start Slow
If you are not used to working out regularly or getting back to your workout routine after a break, you need to start slow. It is best to start with easy exercises, fewer repetitions, and less weight (lifting weights). Do not get exhausted on the first day and progress slowly. I have seen my patients going through this all the time because everyone is looking to get fit fast. But to get into healthier habits, we need our body to get used to it. That’s why I suggest the same thing to my patients: start slowly and steadily and stick to your plan to get healthier longer.
2. Start with a warm-up and end with a cool down.
The best way to prepare your body for a workout is to start with warm-up exercises. I would suggest starting with gentle active movements (not stretching), slow cardio (slow walk, slow biking), followed by your regular exercise routine. End your exercise routine with a cool down. It is the best time to stretch the muscles you’ve worked out. It will help to avoid any post-exercise soreness. There is a general misconception that stretching is part of the warm-up. You should avoid stretching muscles until you have adequately completed warm-up to prevent any unwanted injuries to the muscles.
3. Start with 2-3 times/week
The best way to stay motivated is to avoid exhaustion and slow progression. It includes the frequency of exercise days. Some people like to get into a heavy workout routine five days/week right away and push themselves through the limits. It might work for them, but most of the time, this type of exercise behavior will put you at the risk of injury and burnout that will eventually affect your ability to continue with your exercise routine.
So, start probably 2 to 3 times a week initially so that you can balance your work-personal life with your new schedule. As you are more comfortable with your time, you can increase your exercise days. Starting this way also helps your body to recover between workout days.
4. Talk to an expert
If you are new to exercises, chances are you might do things the wrong way. Most common workout injuries happen because of faulty exercise mechanics. There is an option to speak with your physical therapist and get suggestions on what to avoid to prevent damage or consider getting the best out of your exercises without hurting yourself. If you are not sure how to do some activities look at the videos on Youtube, ask your friends to observe your mechanics and correct you if needed. You can also talk to the fitness trainers present at the gym to suggest any corrections.
5. Schedule a Tune-up Session with PT before starting your workout routine
Physical Therapists are movement experts. We help someone get back their everyday life after the injury, but our job as physical therapists is also to educate and help prevent injuries. If you think Physical therapists are only for pain and recovery from injuries, you are missing out. Scheduling a tune-up session with your physical therapist will give you a better idea about your specific postural habits, muscle impairment, or muscle weakness. Getting this detailed information will allow you to target your particular needs better. It will help you to achieve your goal faster without hurting yourself in the way.
We at Active Kare Physical Therapy believe in getting our patients back to their active life. We help our patients to achieve their specific goals from PT, such as bringing back to playing golf, going back to the gym, ability to run, and playing with kids.
If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about Tune-Up Session or talk to us before you start with your exercise routine, we are offering a Discovery Visit.
During this Discovery Visit, we will go over your history of injury, your present issues (if any), and answer any questions you might have regarding your health-related goals.
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